How Staffing Agencies Can Leverage Facebook Graph Search for Recruiting

Last February I wrote a piece about Facebook’s, then new, Graph Search (Clarifying Facebook Graph Search). The post centered on how Graph Search worked and what digital marketers need to do to take advantage of it.

“Think 6 degrees of separation. Graph Search is Facebook’s attempt to really use their platform to find information.”

facebook graph searchToday I’d like to talk about how staffing agencies can leverage Facebook’s Graph Search for recruiting.

Graph Search has been live for a little more than a year and with it Facebook has revolutionized the way that you can find information on Facebook. As I often say, “Social Media is like word of mouth on steroids.”

Graph Search makes it so you don’t even have to ask your “friend’s” opinions because it’s all already on Facebook!

What they’ve done is further developed Facebook’s traditional search functionality and gave it the ability to better understand natural language, making it much more intuitive and precise for searchers. This means users can search using natural language to find things such as people, events, personal information, photos, interests, or a combination of all of these and more. Here are some examples:

  • Friends who are interested in soccer
  • People who graduated from University of Tennessee
  • Nurses who live in Cherry Hill NJ

Search Tips for Staffing Agencies and Recruiters

As you can see from the list above, one of the things you can search for is Job Titles (nurses, fork lift drivers, etc.). You can also refine your search by adding a location: “Fork Lift Drivers who live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania”

Forklift drivers philadelphia Graph search

Furthermore you can refine your search by using a particular Employer’s Name. If you want to recruit from a particular company, or someone that has worked there you can simply search for the company or organizations name. If you would like to find particular job title from that organization you can refine it like this: “Software Developers at Google.” And Facebook will show you a list of software developers at Google.

Facebook Graph Search: Software Developers at Google

Another example: “Nurses at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia”

Facebook Graph Search: Nurses at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Let’s say you are working on filling a position for a company that will only hire from Ivy League schools. Facebook Graph Search can help you there too. You can search for graduates of Wharton Business School by searching by Education. “People who graduated from The Wharton School”

Facebook Graph Search: People who went to The Wharton School

You can also add the year: “People who graduated from The Wharton School 2013”

Facebook Graph Search: people who graduated from the wharton school 2013

Sample Search Queries for Staffing Agencies and Recruiters:

  • (Job Title) who live in (location of position).
    • Engineers who live in San Francisco
    • Nurses who live in Philadelphia
  • People who graduated from (University)
    • Doctors who graduated from Georgetown University
    • Accountants who graduated from Pennsylvania State University
  • (Job Tittle) at (company)
    • Fork lift drivers at Costco
    • Office Managers at Vanguard

Leverage Graph Search Filters to Refine Your Recruiting Efforts.

You may find that Facebook is returning lots of results when you use some of the broader search parameters such as location. Luckily though, Facebook gives you many options to refine your search. When searching via Employer’s Name, you can then filter using things such as “Current City”, “Gender”, “School”, etc.

Or for Education you can further refine your candidate search with “Employer”, “Degree”, “Concentration”, etc. These refinements could be useful for finding someone that lives close to where the position you’re recruiting for is located, or if the employer is requiring a certain type of degree.

facebook graph search filters

Contact Prospective Employees Directly

By using Facebook Graph Search for recruiting you also get the option to contact candidates directly via their profiles. You may find that in many cases when you try to message a prospect via their profile, you are shown the message, “Your message will go to Art’s Other folder because you aren’t connected to him on Facebook. See More.”

Similarly to LinkedIn’s paid accounts where you get a certain number of messages to people you aren’t linked to, Facebook allows you to pay to contact people you are not connected to. The difference is Facebook does it on a Per message basis; $1 per message. This is a great low cost way to directly let the recruit know you value their skills enough to reach out to them.

 

contact prospective employees via Facebook Messenger

 

Are There Any Challenges to Using Graph Search to Recruit?

Like anything, Graph Search has some challenges. One of the biggest challenges is your search results depend on what people have included in their profiles. Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook is traditionally a more social platform that people use to connect with friends and family, so not everyone will have their employer or job title filled in. However despite this limitation the up-side for staffing agencies and recruiters is that Graph Search provides more personal data such as, hometown, current city, gender, interests, activities and more.

The ability to customize search with Facebook’s Graph Search is its biggest benefit to recruiters and staffing agencies. LinkedIn is a great resource to find white collar talent, however using Facebook will give a competitive edge in recruitment and talent acquisition because it offers access to passive job seekers and prospective employees that traditionally don’t use LinkedIn.

Does your agency use Facebook Graph Search for recruitment? What success have you had with it? We’d love to hear your story.

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