Do you use Facebook to source and recruit potential candidates?
If yes, do you have one or two profiles?
If no, why not? (two words: Graph Search!)
One of the most common social recruiting questions I get is whether or not sourcers and recruiters using Facebook to search for and engage potential candidates should have 1 or 2 profiles (one “personal” profile and one “professional”).
I always answer that my recommendation is for recruiters to use only 1 Facebook profile (read further to learn why), but I can certainly understand why some people would want to use 2.
To see if I was alone in my position, I was curious what the folks in my network would say regarding the use of 1 or 2 Facebook profiles for recruiting, so I decided to ask them (on Facebook – where else?!?). Continue reading →
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.
As Facebook approaches 1 billion users globally, it would be folly to ignore the vast amount of human capital data that Facebook has to offer.
However, as I have written and spoken about many times, the value of data is directly proportional to the ability to retrieve it.
And therein lies the rub of Facebook.
It’s just not very searchable, and the structure of Facebook source code doesn’t make it easy to reliably target the really good stuff that sourcers and recruiters would be especially interested in.
Aside from being highly unsearchable, Facebook doesn’t score highly on the depth of professional content either.
I am aware that many of you probably believe that very few people enter in any professional information into their Facebook profiles, but you might be surprised to learn that more people than you would assume actually do enter titles and the companies they work for.
Also, while the percentage of Facebook users entering in professional details might be relatively small (for the sake of argument, let’s say 10%), given the nearly 1 billion profiles, that would be almost 100,000,000 profiles with some amount of professional data.
I don’t know about you, but I can work with 100,000,000 profiles.
So, while Facebook isn’t very search-friendly, and not everyone enters professional information on their profiles, there are a few ways to search for and target people based on what they do and where they work.
Let’s get on with a walk through of some of the ways you can leverage the professional content that is present within Facebook. Continue reading →
Practically everything I have learned about sourcing and recruiting didn’t come from a mentor or any formal training.
Instead, I learned how to become a top performing recruiter “the hard way.”
What that really means is that when it came to finding top talent, I tried a lot of things that didn’t work, and because I refuse to make excuses, give up, or accept anything less than the best results, I kept experimenting until I discovered things that enabled me to find people that others can’t and don’t.
With over fifteen years of experience in sourcing and recruiting, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way. I’ve also had the opportunity to assess, train and coach corporate and agency sourcers and recruiters, which has exposed me to many myths, misconceptions and mistakes when it comes to leveraging information systems for sourcing and recruiting.
Here are what I believe to be some of the most common productivity-robbing and results-reducing mistakes sourcers and recruiters make when looking for the right match.
Sourcing talent via social media requires an entirely different mindset than sourcing with other forms of human capital data, such as resumes/CV’s, employee directories, conference attendee lists, etc.
Now that nearly 2 years has passed since the Searching Social Media Requires Outside-the-box Thinking article was published, social media usage has continued to explode – monthly visitors to LinkedIn and Facebook have doubled, they’ve nearly quadrupled for Twitter , and we now have Google+, Pinterest and others springing on the scene, making the topic even more relevant today. As such, I wanted to rework the original piece and update it with a few more examples.
The primary challenge when leveraging social media for sourcing talent is that nonstandard terminology is prevalent – it’s generally acceptable to use slang and other verbiage that would otherwise never be found on a resume, even when it comes to describing one’s profession.
If you use the same query terms when sourcing LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. as you would when searching for resumes, you will certainly find people. However, you will also exclude a decent portion of the available results, unknowingly relegating them to Dark Matter and otherwise undiscovered talent. This is because you can only retrieve what you explicitly search for. Continue reading →
Anything worth doing is worth measuring, and sourcing isn’t exempt from this.
If you want to know which method of sourcing has the highest ROI in terms of enabling a person to find more of the right people more quickly, then you’re in luck – because that’s what this post is about.
Human capital data comes in many forms – resumes, social network profiles, blogs, bios, press resleases, etc. – and I have found that a key and critical aspect of sources of human capital data that many people fail to formally recognize is the depth and completeness of the data that can yield information through review and analysis.
When it comes to leveraging information systems such as the Internet, applicant tracking systems, social networking sites, job board databases, etc. for sourcing and recruiting – the operative word is “information.”
Data is the lowest level of abstraction from which information can be derived. For data to become information, it must be interpreted and take on a meaning.
Generally, the quality and amount of information that can be gleaned from any particular source is directly linked and limited to the quality and amount of data present to be reviewed and analyzed. How useful is an information system supported by only a small amount of limited data?
I recently wrote a post on how to search for candidates on Facebook where I featured all of Facebook’s “built-in” search capabilities. Shortly after publishing the article, I received a question from one of my regular readers asking why I did not include searching Facebook using the site: query modifier (as Google calls it), also known as X-Ray search.
It was a solid question, and the answer is that I purposefully did not include it in my “searching for candidates on Facebook” post, as I wanted to focus on the highest ROI search methods. I’ve taken cracks at Facebook with the X-Ray search technique, and I’ve never been very pleased with the results. Facebook’s site architecture certainly doesn’t make it easy to X-Ray like LinkedIn and Twitter.
However, while Facebook isn’t very “X-Rayable,” you CAN get SOME relevant results from searching Facebook with the site: query modifier. What you’ll see below is a series of videos (my first!) of me driving through my attempts to X-Ray into Facebook. Continue reading →