Using Facebook for Recruiting

With over 1.44 billion monthly users, Facebook can't be ignored. For staffing and recruiting firms, Facebook offers an unmatched opportunity to source and attract talent--if you know how to use it!

While Facebook can be a playground of Candy Crush invites and photographs of old friends, it can...and should be...an integral part of your staffing firm's marketing mix to help attract, engage and stay connected with candidates.

REACH OVER 1.44 Billion USERS!

Understanding Facebook Reach & Engagement

"On a given day, when someone visits their Facebook News Feed, there are an average of 1,500 possible stories shown. As a result, competition for each News Feed story is increasing. Because the content in the News Feed is always changing, and we're seeing more people sharing more content, Pages will likely see changes in distribution. For many Pages, this includes a decline in organic reach. We expect this trend to continue as the competition for each story remains strong and we focus on quality." - Facebook for Business

With increasing amounts of content being published every day, Facebook must choose which stories users will see. Recent data shows that on average, only two-to-four percent of a company's total Facebook fan base will actually see their company update. This is consistent with the stats we are seeing in the staffing and recruiting industry.

In other words, if you have 100 people who like your company on Facebook, your posts may be seen by only two to four of them.

Does that mean that it is impossible to fully reach your complete audience? Not at all. With a well-crafted plan it is not only possible, but can yield great results for your staffing and recruiting firm.

Boosting Organic Reach

By definition, "organic reach" means "the total number of unique people who were shown your post through unpaid distribution." That's the two to four percent who see your company update, job post or the photo that you shared.

Marketing to reach less-than-four percent of your audience doesn't make a lot of sense. And that's why so many people think Facebook is not very effective for recruiting. However, with a strategic plan of action, you can dramatically increase your organic reach.

An Organic Reach Case Study

ABC Staffing (yes, we changed the name) is a national staffing agency with 80+ offices and over 1,500 likes on Facebook. Their Facebook strategy consists of daily posts at optimized times of the day when their audience is active on Facebook. These posts include a well-balanced mix of blog articles (that link back to ABC Staffing's website), job fair announcements, branded motivational quotes, top available jobs, and showcasing their top employees.

The chart below shows a one month sample of ABC Staffing's Facebook organic reach. When they share an update on Facebook, they reach an average of 209 people (14 percent of their total audience). This reach is four times higher than the reach that Facebook predicts.

Check out the spike on July 16th at 10am (an optimal time for reaching their audience). This was a post for an upcoming job fair that received dramatically higher likes and shares, leading to an organic reach of more than 1,500 people.

So how does ABC Staffing achieve four times the average Facebook response? And more importantly, can you duplicate (or exceed) their success?

The short answer is "yes," you can absolutely replicate these results!

Step 1: Increase organic reach through user engagement

When you open Facebook and go to your news feed, you see a curated list of content that Facebook has determined is best for you. They use a proprietary algorithm to determine the stories that they think will be most relevant to you based on your friends, likes, shares and personal interests.

If you want your company updates to be seen by more people, you need to get Facebook to see your content as being more interesting and relevant to people. And the key to that is to become a more-social brand--a company whose content is shared and discussed by others.

Simply posting content is not enough. To be a social brand, you need to get people to engage with your content -- Liking, Commenting, and Sharing it.

One easy (and free) way to increase engagement is to get your team members to like and share your posts. In other words, every time you post an update on your company page, ask your sales people and recruiters to like that content and share it through their personal Facebook accounts.

To Facebook, your internal team members are simply members of the Facebook community who are engaging with your company content. When they like and share your company content, it tells Facebook that your content is relevant and interesting. It builds you credibility as a thought leader on the topic of each post, and it will cause Facebook to increase the distribution of your original post to a larger audience.

Step 2: Share content from your Facebook company page

For most staffing and recruiting firms, your number-one source of content is your company website. You have blog posts and jobs that are ideal for sharing, and Facebook makes it easy to share links to other web pages. So why not just post those links right on your Facebook profile?

Because to build organic reach, you have to create engagement with your company page!

Ultimately, you may be sharing the same information on Facebook that you already have on your company website, but by sharing your company's content through your company page (and then creating engagement with that content), you are signaling to Facebook that your company's content is useful.

The more people who like and share a specific piece of content, the more Facebook will display that content to others. Your goal is not only to share great content, but to increase your company page's reach. The more content you share from your company page, the further this content will reach individuals who like the company's page.

Step 3: Increase Organic Reach Through Cross-Promotion

Is your company active on LinkedIn and Twitter? How about on an individual level? Are your team members consistently posting to social platforms, other than Facebook?

One way to increase Facebook engagement is to cross-promote your Facebook company page on LinkedIn and Twitter by sharing updates that encourage people to visit and like your Facebook page. You can promote specific content that you are sharing on Facebook or offer people exclusive content that's only available on Facebook.

Again, the more people who like and share your company content on Facebook, the more Facebook will show your content to others.

If you send out a monthly newsletter, include a "Like Us on Facebook" link in each issue, so that your email followers can become Facebook followers with just one click.

Also, consider adding a "Like Us On Facebook" graphic to your email signature. As your team members send out their daily emails to clients and candidates, you will proactively build your Facebook likes.

Step 4: Create a Facebook Profile for "Professional" Uses

If you're an avid Facebook user, consider creating a professional Facebook account to use for recruiting. This keeps your candidate relationships separate from your personal relationships, and allows you to focus your professional account on engagement with your company page.

When you meet with new job seekers or a contact from a local company, send them a Friend Request from your professional account. Grow your professional connections on Facebook and regularly share content that is originally posted from your company page.

The bigger you grow your professional network, and the more you like and share your company content, the greater your Facebook organic reach will become.

Organic reach is great because it's free. And once you've built a strong organic reach, it can be very effective for recruiting--especially last-minute needs. However, to really expand and accelerate your reach, you need to incorporate paid advertising into your Facebook marketing.

How to Achieve Better (Organic) Results with Paid Advertising

Increasing organic engagement for your company content is important, but just like your clients' hiring strategies, your Facebook strategies can be improved with a more strategic approach to talent engagement.

Paid advertising on Facebook allows you to increase your reach well-beyond your existing fan base. You can target people who meet specific demographic criteria or who match the profile of your existing fan base. You can even upload an email list of all the old candidates from your ATS, and target just those people to reengage them with your firm.

Through paid promotion, you can build your company's following, and you can also increase engagement with your company's content, which will further improve your organic reach. For example, you might pay to promote "Hot Jobs" alerts, company news, blog articles and other content from your company page. The key is to selectively promote content that provides value to your audience and will be likely to create likes and shares.

Please note, we are not referring to hitting the "boost" button next to each company post; we are suggesting that you implement a well-managed, complete Facebook advertising campaign specifically designed to target the right people and create the right kinds of engagement.

A Paid Promotion Case Study

XYZ Staffing (yup, we changed the name again) is a regional staffing firm that used Facebook PPC to attract and engage talent and increase company awareness. By coupling their organic Facebook sharing efforts with a targeted Facebook campaign, they were able to increase the number of fans by 2,429 percentover the course of a year, and traffic to their website and job board by 556 percent.

INCREASED THE NUMBER OF FANS, AND WEBSITE AND JOB BOARD TRAFFIC!

Posting Jobs on Facebook? Yes or No?

Facebook has long been considered as the social network of choice for job seekers. Yes, LinkedIn may be the network recruiters use to find people, but LinkedIn is used more heavily by sales people and recruiters than job seekers. Facebook is the network where you'll find the majority of people who are actively (and passively) looking for work.

However, few people go to Facebook just looking for jobs. And if your company page is nothing more than a job board, you'll create little (if any) engagement.

Ideally, you want to post a mix of content that appeals to different subgroups of job candidates. Yes, you should include some "Hot Jobs" to show off the kinds of positions you offer, and the kinds of people you recruit. But you should also share career advice to position your firm as a top resource to local job seekers. You should share pictures of your team and company events to show off your culture. You should share posts that celebrate your temporary associates who do great work, and the successful placements you've made. And you might even profile some of your clients to illustrate the kinds of opportunities you offer.

On Facebook, variety is critical--both in the content and format of the posts. Vary your "Hot Jobs" posts by using text, image and even video updates. In your other posts, try to include engaging photos and attention-grabbing headlines.

How to Kick Start Your Facebook Initiative

At Haley Marketing Group, we continually craft, implement and manage Facebook marketing efforts for staffing companies, so we know what works--and what doesn't. Here are some quick best practices to keep in mind and additional content to explore further:

Post Strategically:

Don't just share updates whenever you happen to login to Facebook. Be strategic in your approach. Post content when your audience is most likely to be online to get the best results. Share content, and then follow up on it. Track via Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to see what content is liked, shared, and commented on.

Keep reading! Here are a couple of advanced topics for you to explore:

  • When is the Right Time to Post on Facebook?
    You might have the best content, but if you are posting it when your audience isn't active, your content will be missed. This article shares tips on how to identify the ideal time to engage your Facebook audience.
  • How to Use Facebook Insights to Improve Marketing
    The Facebook Insights tab is much more than a few graphs. Learning how to interpret the visuals on the insight tab will help you understand what is working for your organization and what's not. This webinar highlights how to analyze metrics and gain takeaways on your company's Facebook posts

Continually Work to Grow Your Audience:

The higher the number of fans you have on your Facebook page, the more candidates and potential candidates you can reach. Your Facebook marketing strategy should include elements that focus on growing your audience base.

Don't be afraid to go offline to promote your online Facebook marketing efforts. Cross-promote your company's Facebook page on your printed branding or at events. Consider integrating your Facebook page details on:

  • Print marketing pieces
  • Email signatures and business cards
  • Candidate onboarding paperwork
  • Signage taken to job fairs and other community outreach events
  • Signage in the waiting room of your office

When you dedicate time and resources to growing your Facebook audience, the last thing that you want to do is lose followers. Keep reading to learn how to avoid this: 25 Ways to Lose Facebook Followers.

Fine-tune Your Content Strategy:

For many, figuring out what to share can be a daunting task...but it doesn't have to be! What you share on Facebook should be a mix of content that appeals to candidates in all stages of their careers.

Craft a content strategy and then fine-tune it. Use your insights and analytics to identify what types (text? images? videos?) and topics (company news? hot jobs? job fair announcements? blogs? etc.) resonate with your audience. Your content strategy will evolve over time as your business, the market, and your candidates' needs change, as well.

If you are looking for ideas to help you get your content strategy started, see our article on 25 Social Media Posts Every Staffing Firm Should Share.

Increasing Your Reach:

To increase your reach (and engagement!), there are two approaches that should be a part of your Facebook strategy: organic and paid. The two are equally important and will help maximize your campaign results.

Here are several great resources to help you craft and refine your organic and paid approaches to help you increase your page's reach and engagement with talent:

Key Takeaways

Social media is a complex science. While this guide includes some of Haley Marketing's most up-to-date advice on using Facebook for recruiting purposes, in no time at all we will need to amend these best practices to include improved ways to reach your audience. (Given how fast social media changes, these recommendations will probably need to be updated by the time we're done writing!)

So, if you're looking for our latest and greatest advice on Facebook (and other social media), please feel free to give us a call or contact us via email or Twitter. Haley Marketing's social media professionals eat and sleep this stuff, and we'll be happy to answer your questions.

About the Authors

Brad Bialy is an expert in leveraging social media to drive true business results, and is one of the core developers of Haley Marketing Group's Social Pro service.

Jenny Keller is Haley Marketing's resident paid advertising expert; assisting clients with crafting and executing pay-per-click campaigns on social media, Google, and other ad networks to drive great results and support client marketing initiatives.

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