Facebook goes talent acquisition, effective or not?

23 February, 2017

Read in: Nederlands

Last week, Facebook has made posting vacancies available in the US and Canada. Late last year we already wrote that the social media platform was testing this new functionality. A very interesting one for recruiters as the reach of Facebook is huge. But whether or not it will exceed other online recruitment channels remains to be seen. Let’s have a critical look at Facebook as a talent acquisition platform first.

Posting jobs on Facebook

What we are actually talking about is that recruiters are able to post jobs on their Facebook business page. These job posts are visible in the news feeds of users who actively follow the company and can be found on the ‘Jobs’ tab. But what is particularly interesting for recruiters, is the option to advertise (boost) job postings based on specific demographic criteria. Applications eventually arrive as a message in the recruiter’s inbox, from where further communication is possible.

Job post creation flow (desktop)

Posted by Facebook Business on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Reach passive job seekers

With 1.86 billion users and a wealth of user data, Facebook is the most promising online channel for recruiting passive job seekers effectively. This group accounts for two-thirds of job seekers. On one hand, Facebook offers the opportunity for advanced targeting based on demographics and interests, and on the other hand nearly every target group is represented on Facebook. In comparison, LinkedIn just has 467 million users and has evolved in a platform exclusively for highly educated people who are active in their careers. You will hardly encounter less educated people or part-time students here.

No adequate selection tool

Recruiters do not want to get more candidates, but mainly want to attract better ones. Preferably with fewer resources too. In this area Facebook hits sadly deficient. Applying for jobs with job posts is made accessible by providing minimal information to recruiters. It is very likely that this will lead to an overflow of applications, but also making a selection will turn out to be a difficult and time consuming task. This can be partially counteracted by making the application forms smarter. For example, by using killer questions. That being said, we advise against asking passive job seekers to fill in more career information on Facebook.

Tricky scalable

It’s easy and fast for applicants to use the messaging feature and it allows for a recruiter to communicate quickly and personally with candidates. However, we expect this to stay comprehensible till a maximum of 10 candidates. Hence, a tricky scalable function. Let alone for managing multiple jobs at the same time. We expect follow-up through the inbox to only be feasible for the small business owners who occasionally post jobs.

For professional recruiters, larger scale solutions that can communicate with the ATS will need to be programmed. However, such an investment can only be justified when Facebook has proven itself as talent acquisition platform.

Summarised, in first place we see potential to reach passive job seekers. However, the tool seems more appropriate for small business owners who can manually manage their recruitment. It is still unknown when the new tool is available in the Netherlands. But knowing Facebook, this can go fast when the pilot in the US and Canada is successful.

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