Facebook! What did we do with all of our free time before there was Facebook? As popular as ever, a whopping 901 million users now have accounts on the social networking site. As a business, where can you find a larger pool of candidates or a way to reach more customers simultaneously? Nowhere.
For some, Facebook has become second priority next to breathing. With more members than any other social networking site, users purportedly spend 405 minutes per month on average in the Facebook universe. Widely known as a site for personal networking, organizations have increasingly honed in on the potential for professional opportunities.
Assuming this isn’t your first social networking rodeo, you most likely have a company page already established on Facebook. If so, I won’t need to explain the necessity of a Careers Tab or how crucial posting all open positions can be. You may already be cognizant of ensuring the ability to apply directly on your organization’s Facebook page as you lose a percentage of interested applicants with each click of the mouse necessary to get to the application page. Savvy recruiters will have thought about creating content geared towards getting candidates to “like” your page and encouraging repeat traffic. Time Magazine’s Business & Money page listed Marriott as a leading example. “Marriott’s Jobs and Careers page has an application that lets you run your own Marriott Hotel kitchen, which increases their page engagement and attracts more people to “like” the company.”
Advertising has changed through the outlet of Facebook as well. As does LinkedIn, Facebook Ads create company advertisements, from products to open jobs, that can be targeted to specific user criteria, getting you the most bang for your buck. Recruitment services site Zao says that 1 in 5 current Facebook users have had a friend share a job with them through the site while 14% search specifically for jobs this way. Zao also maintains that 92% of Facebook users are connected by only four degrees. The next great higher is closer than you think.
Within the last year, Facebook also launched a job search engine for seekers. Forbes reports that:
The page allows users to search for jobs by location, industry and skill; apply to them directly through Facebook; and then share the jobs to their social network. Its developer partners also believe Facebook is making a clear statement of its intentions. “Facebook is launching a jobs page within Facebook,” notes Stephane Le Viet, founder and CEO of Work4 Labs. “This is a very big disruption in a very large space.”
According to Facebook, half of employers in the U.S. use the social network during their hiring process. Of those companies already using Facebook to engage with customers, 54 percent anticipate using it more heavily in their recruitment efforts in the future. Given those numbers, the lucrative nature of the recruitment industry and the success of companies like Work4 Labs—not to mention increasing pressure from battered shareholders—it appears likely that Facebook will seek [to] monetize recruitment efforts at some point soon.
Though a different demographic, LinkedIn, which it’s much smaller user base, might be in for some serious competition. Whether you prefer one site over the other, one thing is for sure – profiles on both sites should be kept current and jobs should be posted regularly.
Beyond recruitment, branding and employee engagement capabilities are self-explanatory. Increase the number of “likes” your company page has through promotions, word-of-mouth, or posts. Monitor carefully the comments that are left on your Facebook page. Useful insight can be pulled from conversations started through your page or about your company, leading to beneficial changes, gainful entry strategies for new markets, and the ability to answer to customer concerns more promptly and efficiently. Lastly, promote a positive image and company culture through regular posts and links. Easy as pie, right?
With Facebook housing the most diverse and largest quantity of information regarding customers, employees, and potential hires, it may also house the biggest liability for employers. As always, be conscious of the potential ramifications for any information you post, read, or utilize.
Comment with any other ideas you have used or come across for utilizing Facebook!
For more recruiting and engagement strategies, continue on in the Social Media Series for articles about: LinkedIn. Twitter. Google+. YouTube. Pinterest. Instragram. Yammer. Quora, Dribbble, and GitHub. Also look into advice on Managing Employee Use of Social Media, How to Create A Social Media Policy and Social Media Branding and Marketing strategies.