The Rise of Facebook Recruitment

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Just like the rise of social media, the recruitment industry has also evolved from platform to platform. One of the latest discussions online is the relevance and the use of Facebook’s Graph Search as a recruitment tool. This article will take a look at Facebook’s users, Facebook as an alternative to LinkedIn and some statistics explaining the phenomenon.

Look at the Statistics

It’s easy to make fun of Facebook. The depressed stock, the misguided political comments, the unguarded vanity of high school “friends”—all tend to reinforce the inanity of the social network. But a billion people still use it. Even those who complain (like me) still use it. And for large, multinational companies, it’s becoming an increasingly valuable tool for recruiting employees. – Forbes

Even though Facebook’s reputation has gone through a bit of a dip, there is still no denying the fact that over 2 billion people are actively using it.

If a social platform is still in use, it is still seen as valuable for those looking to retrieve data. If Facebook users are making most of its data public, it’s like a gold mine for recruiters. It’s not only highly beneficial for those looking to employ, but also for job seekers:

  • The average person spends 1 in every 7 minutes online on Facebook (Work4)
  • 52% of job seekers used Facebook to look for work in 2012. (Mashable)
  • 22 million people surveyed used social media to find their last job in 2012. That’s up from 14.4 in 2011. (Jobvite survey)
  • 84% of job seekers have a Facebook profile. (Time Business)
  • 50% of users say a brand’s Facebook page is more useful than its website (Work4)
  • 81% of jobseekers want to see job opportunities posted to Facebook career pages (Work4)

The Battle of Facebook vs LinkedIn

“Facebook is really a platform, not an application. While LinkedIn is being run like a data-driven application, Facebook is really a sharing platform from which many companies can build applications”. – Forbes

The main factor to keep in mind is that these platforms have different users and serve different purposes. Even though both Facebook and LinkedIn share the same features, they don’t necessarily have the same following.

Facebook recruiting has the chance to be successful mainly because of the average age of its users. LinkedIn is more focused on the working professionals with college degrees and experience. They don’t particularly target entry level job seekers or the average work force.

What works well for LinkedIn is its niche- focus but it might be overlooking prospective employees because of its age parameter.

“With around 160 million members (mostly professionals in their 30s and older), LinkedIn has become the virtual rolodex for business people”. – Forbes

According to this article featured on [the] world is rapidly getting younger (e.g. 55% of the US workforce will be under the age of 35 within 3 year).

The younger generation is growing up on Facebook, so this would be their go-to guide for whatever they are searching for. Recruiters would be playing it smart by fishing for the younger generation job-seekers on the platform or social network that they feel most comfortable with.

Facebook Career Pages

Job seekers are likely to follow the career pages of industry-specific companies. Not only because they are interested in what the company is about, but also because they are hoping this particular company would be advertising a possible job openings.

By following what the company is about, the prospective employee would be able to get a clear idea of what they are looking for. The same goes for recruiters. Because of these Facebook Career Pages recruiters would be able to make a better match between a candidate and a company.

An example of a company that implemented a Facebook Recruiting Campaign is Earls (a chain of premium casual dining restaurants in North America). Here is screenshot of the cover and below you’ll find the current job opportunities with the chain – all inside the Facebook page.

“Earls Restaurant recently decided to make Facebook the main focus of their social media recruiting strategy with their Earls Wants You Facebook recruiting campaign. They chose Facebook for all of the reasons mentioned above, but also because it allowed them to convey their company culture to potential hires in a way that neither Twitter nor LinkedIn (let alone any job boards) allowed.” – Jobcast

Facebook has the power of visuals on their side. Even though people might use Twitter and LinkedIn for recruitment, Facebook can display the company’s culture through videos and images and regular updates. This interactive appeal is what makes this platform successful for recruitment.

Less Is More When It Comes to Competition

“Only about 60% of hiring managers are actually using Facebook to recruit.” – NAS Recruitment

At the moment Facebook Recruitment is still rather young, which makes it even better for recruiters. They have the chance to scan through the talent and opening while the competition is still busy elsewhere. Coming on board with Facebook recruitment will give your company a head start in building the online brand, connections and proving your credibility.

Have a Look at Using Graph Search

Apart from the obvious branding and advertising opportunities on Facebook, recruiters should also start using Graph Search which is similar to (but possibly better) Advanced People Search on LinkedIn. On Facebook, you can search through profile data of members who are either your friends, friends of friends or have public data on their profiles which many users do nowadays.

For anyone starting out with this, have a look at How to Use Facebook Graph Search (Noob Edition) by Maren Hogan. You can also have a look at Facebook’s own explanation of Graph Search and its many uses.


Our newsletter is exclusively curated by our CEO, Jörgen Sundberg, for leaders who make decisions about talent. Subscribe for updates on The Employer Branding Podcast, new articles, eBooks, research and events we’re working on.


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