Active and Passive Job Seekers Prefer to Apply Through Facebook


How many hours do you spend on Facebook at work every week? A few minutes here and there while munching on a bagel? An hour or two over the course of a slow afternoon?  If your answer is 20+ hours, you’re either: every boss’s worst nightmare or a recruiter/hiring manager utilizing one of the fastest growing candidate sourcing tools at your disposal. Social media, the one-time bane of workplace productivity, has, over the past ten years, transformed into one of today’s fastest growing recruiting channels. By maintaining a worthwhile social media presence (posting updates about company news and accomplishments, posting interesting 3rd party or original content and posting job opportunities), you’re presenting both active and passive job seekers with a chance to engage with your brand through a platform that they use every single day. Besides the fact that you don’t have to pay to post about your open jobs through social media; studies suggest that social networks, and Facebook in particular, are one of the best channels for businesses to bond with potential employees. Whether its high rate of conversion, (from someone discovering a job listing on Facebook to that someone applying for that job) has to do with its user-friendliness or the wide array of content that can be featured on the site, the bottom line is that Facebook is your best choice for pushing your open jobs out onto social networks.

First of all, the number of companies that have adopted social media as a major part of their recruiting process has more than doubled since 2008, according to a survey from the Society for Human Resources Management, shooting from 34% in 2008 to 77% in 2013.  The biggest reason that businesses cited for adopting social as a cornerstone of their recruitment strategy was that the platform gave them access to passive candidates, who might never be exposed to their brand through traditional channels such as job boards.

As you probably know, browsing though job boards can be a huge drag; with little to break up the repetitive, SEO-geared, bullet-pointed job descriptions that take up the first few pages of any job that you search for. Now, compare the experience of raking through pages job board search results, something that most people view as a chore, with discovering a job through a friend on Facebook or LinkedIn. Instead of thinking about how many more job ads you need to look through on the remainder of your lunch break, investigating a link on one of these familiar sites feels like a much more real opportunity discovery.

Whether an interested party is exposed to your company because they’ve “Liked” you in the past or they just happen to be friends with one of your employees, these little connections to your company can grow into real interest as they further investigate your online presence. Perhaps it’s these pre-existing connections that make Facebook’s conversion-to-apply rate is 47%, (the percentage of people that went from viewing a job to applying for it), the most successful of any social network. Further, a recent survey from HubSpot shows that 80% of social media users in the US prefer to connect with brands over Facebook.

“But what about LinkedIn?” you might be saying, “I thought that LinkedIn was the site that professionals preferred. I thought LinkedIn was where I should be spending my time for recruiting on social media.” Well, if you think that, then you’re pretty in line with what most job seekers believe. According to an ICMS survey, 65% of candidates expect to find a job through LinkedIn when they look for jobs through social media, though the professional network only has a conversion-to-apply rate of 30%. Clearly, LinkedIn is still a good option for exposing active and passive job seekers, just not as good as you might have thought.

Whether you choose to use Facebook or LinkedIn to promote your open jobs, the important thing is that you’re promoting those jobs in the right way. Unlike a job board, which relies on the “post-and-pray” recruitment model, getting these kinds of results from social media can only be achieved though maintaining a social presence that does more than just spam the people that subscribe to you. In order to get Facebook’s spectacular conversion-to-apply rate putting in work for your recruiting function, you need to provide enough meaningful content for job seekers that view your Facebook page to become convinced that you’re a great company.

When someone lands on your company’s Facebook page, either by responding to a job ad or just by chance, there are a few things that you want them to be exposed to. The first is your brand. If someone visits your page and has no idea what product or service you’re offering, then you’ve got problems. Make sure that visitors are given the option to view information about your company’s mission and product as well as the option to visit your careers page. This way, candidates who are drawn in by your job ad can discover what your company is all about for themselves. This process of self directed discovery helps to form a relationship between the candidate and your brand before they’ve even finished applying for the job. Even if they don’t end up being a good fit for the job, a positive interaction with your brand means that they may spread the word in their own online social circles about a great company that’s looking for talent.

By providing job seekers with brand information via social media, you’re more likely to find candidates who are excited to work from your company from the very start.


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