Facebook Graph Search Sourcing and Recruiting Initial Test Drive

Posted by | January 29, 2013 | Facebook, Graph Search | 7 Comments

 

 

For those who don’t yet have access to Facebook’s Graph Search – I put together a video detailing 5 live searches for:

  • product managers who work at Microsoft and live in Seattle
  • software engineers who work at Google and live in New York
  • (developer OR programmer OR engineer)
  • underwriters in Charlotte
  • accountants who live near Alpharetta

I must say that playing around with Graph Search’s natural language query functionality and long list of search options is quite fun. You can easily search for diversity, current titles and employers, years of experience, and of course education.

However, as you can see in the video, my main concern about the limitations of Facebook’s usefulness in sourcing and recruiting is the lack of professional information and the the shallow depth of what is there to be found.

Being able to search for and match people by title and company is useful for some recruiting needs and completely useless for others who need to find professionals with specific experience that cannot be reliably predicted by title alone.

Of course, the allure of the potential of using Facebook for recruiting is largely based on the fact that Facebook has over a billion users globally.

However, Facebook’s challenge in any effort to become a major player in the recruiting solution space is that many people don’t view Facebook as a place to put their professional information so they don’t enter work information on their Facebook profile. Even if they did, they do have the opportunity to hide it from people they don’t know, which is great for them, but bad news for sourcers and recruiters.

What I found especially interesting from my initial test drive of Graph Search is that the number of results for each search was a small fraction of what I know has to actually be available, at least in theory, given the number of Facebook users. ¬†For example, Graph Search returned less than 100 people for a search for people who are accountants in the Alpharetta, GA area, while LinkedIn has nearly 6,000. That’s a massive differential!

Do you think that the accountants on Facebook who live in the Alpharetta area just don’t put their work experience on their profile, or that they hide the info from being retrieved by people other than their friends? I’d argue the former at this point. Keep in mind that this issue not only affects search, it also affects advertising. You can’t use Facebook PPC ads to target people who don’t give you critical information to target.

I’ll be posting more videos soon – so stay tuned to see more practical Facebook Graph Search sourcing and recruiting examples.

Oh, and if you didn’t have time to watch the video, no – Facebook’s Graph Search doesn’t currently support Boolean logic.

 

No, Facebook's Graph Search doesn't currently support Boolean search. I am hoping the operative word is "currently," because the ability to run more specific and precise conceptual queries is critical to what sourcers and recruiters need to accomplish

 

 

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About Glen Cathey

Glen Cathey is a sourcing and recruiting thought leader with over 16 years of experience working in large staffing agency and global RPO environments (>1,000 recruiters and nearly 100,000 hires annually). Starting out his career as a top producing recruiter, he quickly advanced into senior management roles and now currently serves as the SVP of Strategic Talent Acquisition and Innovation for Kforce, working out of their renowned National Recruiting Center with over 300 recruiters. Often requested to speak on sourcing and recruiting best practices, trends and strategies, Glen has traveled internationally to present at many talent acquisition conferences (5X LinkedIn Talent Connect - U.S. '10, '11, '12, Toronto '12, London '12, 2X Australasian Talent Conference - Sydney & Melbourne '11, '12, 6X SourceCon, 2X TruLondon, 2X HCI) and is regularly requested to present to companies (e.g., PwC, Deloitte, Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citigroup, etc.). This blog is his personal passion and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone other than himself.