Is Recruiting Via Facebook Possible?

Social Media recruitment is no more a out of the box move but today companies are scouting for talents on Facebook because today Indians are more active on Facebook.

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Social Media recruiting is really evolving. Recruiters are no more scouting for talent on LinkedIn alone, they are posting it on Twitter as well as creating a presence on Facebook. LinkedIn does have strong features but then today Indians are found on Facebook. Not only is it the largest social network in India but today India is ranked second globally after US with respect to the number of users. This means a lot of opportunities for brands but then it also means that your next job or your dream employer is also on Facebook. So tomorrow will Facebook be your personal plus professional profile or will users prefer to have different networks? Along with them, will we find companies who have till day trusted traditional ways of recruiting, jumping onto Facebook for recruiting talent?

More often than not when you are thinking about HR practices and how social can benefit it in India, you recall Gautam Ghosh at once. Gautam, a prolific blogger and a social media evangelist in the HR domain thinks that going ahead there will be more companies who will leverage Facebook for recruiting.  He also adds that,

[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_lhi”]There are many apps that help organizations broadcast their job openings via their employees social networks. Other than that companies like Dell have also dedicated careers pages on Facebook, which are distinct from their company or product or brand pages. There are also job specific groups on Facebook – which is where active job seekers go to find openings.[/pullquote]

Gautam shares a great thought here that most brands whether it is B2C or B2B have created a separate tab dedicated to the latest job openings. The primary reason being that we spend more time on Social Networks which is apparently Facebook in India.

Abhinav Jain who is a recruiter himself comes from the same school of thought and believes that “Talent Acquisition” is all about acquiring talent irrespective of where the candidate is coming from. And today social network is the only network that comes handy with all age groups and professionals. He further adds that traditional job boards were one way of communication as you would visit it when you plan to change but suppose your dream company had a job offer and you could find only about it because it was on Facebook and someone had shared. Now even if you don’t want to change, you would be excited to know more.

Abhinav does have a point and I have seen many Indian companies setting benchmarks by approaching their prospective employees on Facebook. Capgemini India, one of the IT giants in India has aggressively adopted this model and not only is it sharing job opening contents on the wall, it also has a dedicated tab on Facebook that lists jobs and one can submit resumes from Facebook itself.  Sangeeta Sundaram, Head of Marketing, Capgemini India  believes that social media is where potential recruits can be found today and she adds that:

[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_lhi”]As a recruiter it becomes essential to be where the most qualified, and talented applicants are.  Social media is where potential recruits can be found. A lot of time is spent on social media, and it is extremely essential to engage them on that medium. Therefore social media is used as an engagement channel. Social media (Facebook or Linkedin) will never replace all other digital channels for recruiters but they do allow companies to engage and involve communities over a long period of time. At Capgemini too we use Facebook to listen and understand the mindset and aspirations of our current and prospective employees and engage them on topics of their interest especially technology[/pullquote]

Sangeeta does share some hard thoughts and infact Gautam also echoed the same thoughts that 2012 would see a lot of number of companies and recruiters will experiment with Facebook– but the majority of traditional businesses will not really dive into it. It will remain the initiative of individual recruiters and third party recruiting firms to use Facebook.

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I do believe that Facebook has opened up one more channel to go one step closer to the potential recruiters that doesn’t mean that other modes of recruiting will be closing shops. Apart from that Facebook does throw some challenges too. Security has been a concern and there has been a general feeling that either people don’t take their professional side very seriously on Facebook as most believe that it’s a space for my friends and not a place where my potential recruiter should peep in. Same thoughts were shared via LinkedIn Answer to me by Zachary Starkey, who believes that Facebook is a valuable recruiting tool but it would require a better integration of professional experience. He also adds that the personal aspect stops people on Facebook to open up to potential employers.

Apart from these, there are a few more challenges from an employer perspective and Sangeeta lists them:

1. Regular content generation can be challenging. Marketers should invest time and effort in building content. Traditional marketers fail to understand that social media forces help you to move away from the traditional campaign or PR approach. Anyone managing a social channel is basically running or trying to run a small but interesting website.

2. Many times people managing social media have to answer some tricky and difficult questions. These questions and the answers(or lack of them), will be visible for everyone to see. This is true for even off-topic questions. This is a huge step away from traditional media or even digital channels like email. It is important for a company to present a united front on social channels. Good social channels, even the ones focused on recruitment or a particular product, will have multiple departments within the company to support it.

3. Social media needs skill sets such as community management. These are in short supply. Many organizations will need to have to build these skills and work with vendors as well.

4. Frequent updates on Facebook. People managing online will need to be on top of these. Read the product blogs regularly; sometimes they impact the way we work.

5. There will be a tendency to look at social media from an ROI perspective, and that too, immediately. This should be avoided, as it is always difficult to measure ROI engagement. Keep objectives clear and measure related metrics.

The challenges that have been shared by Sangeeta are relevant and imperative. Today marketers and brands will have to overcome the work challenges and be on the edge as finding talent is no more restricted to your resumes and social profiles have suddenly become important.

However, it is just not the bigger companies that are engaging on Facebook for scouting talent but lesser known companies such as Aditi Technologies are adopting Facebook with open hands. The Facebook page not only gives you a colorful gist of life at Aditi but also has a cool careers page where you can upload your resume and start a new professional life. It is just not Aditi but L’Oreal too has created a Facebook page for the sole purpose of recruitment in India. It has very well connected its offline drive to the Facebook world and that can be felt if you visit their Facebook wall.  A tip shared by Pradeep Chopra who is also using Facebook for recruitments at his firm Digital Vidya and has witnessed lot of growth in this area. He thinks that,

[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_pull”]Given Facebook has today taken the shape of a hybrid (Social + Professional), it makes sense to leverage it for various business functions and HR (including recruitment) is one of them. From individual status updates to wall posts on pages to an application to FB Ads, all of them can be used for recruitment on FB. We’ve seen number of brands using FB Ads for hiring and one of the key reasons is targeting opportunities.”[/pullquote]

So can you recruit talent from Facebook - why not? Yes there are challenges and it won’t eat up the traditional ways but then it gives a better avenue to reach out to your future employees. Or do you think otherwise?

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