Facebook Hiring Part 2: How Hard Rock Firenze Hired 120 people in 4 weeks

Following on from last weeks post, "Send us your resume and we will send you a cow!", there was some concern expressed in some of the comments as to how to manage the volume of response and disapointed candidates. Earlier this year I was involved in supporting a recruiting project for the opening of the new Hard Rock Cafe in Florence. The brief was to hire 120 staff of all levels over a 4 week period.

 We planned to do this entirely within Facebook, managing and communicating the full process from attraction to hire within the channel, by combining a number of applications and plug-ins within a fan page.

One of the beauties of Facebook is that you can target advertising to attract potential candidates and audience. My experience of Facebook ad's is that job ad's generaly don't work. If your going to employ them as part of a campaign,  you need to be promoting pages with more than just recruiting. For HardRock we targeted 1,900 profiles who met the following criteria:


1: Lived within 25km of Florence.

2: Listed an interest in Rock and Roll (or were fans of specific band fanpages.)

3: Had some bar work or hospitality background (or worked for a competitor.)


You can set any combination across a range of combinations. Don't think in terms of single ad, in a traditional sense, and you can change your copy according to the ad targeting. To check the possible target audience for ads in your market sector create a trial ad campaign by searching "adverts" on Facebook and clicking on "create ad." From here you can enter any text/image and start testing your criteria to see the possible reach. I usually start with a pay per clicks campaign, (it costs a fraction of google ad words or LinkedIn advertising) and move to a campaign price when I know an ad is working.


Next up you need a fan page if you don't already have one, and a landing page to go to. The pages that work best for me are community pages, not recruiting pages.(There's always a career site for this purpose.) In the case of Hard Rock Florence, the content focussed on the progress of the opening/build and fan generated content. What they wanted to post was up to them, from questions to comments. What is important here is to create a 31 day content calendar and a team of people willing to rotate posts. You also need to plan for who will monitor the wall when,replying to questions and comments as they come up.


Although there are a number of app's you can use for building low cost pages that look and feel professional. My choice is Pagemodo.The Hard Rock landing page cost $75 to build, giving potential fans 2 choices:


1: To follow the progress of the opening and get updates.

2: To look at or follow job openings.(In this case under the heading of "For those about to rock we recruit you!".


We used the Work4Labs app to display jobs via a tab on the side of the page. You can label the tab as you choose. I love the work4labs app because it enables applicants to apply within Facebook without leaving the channel. In my experience, applying needs to take no more than 3 clicks, and in this case it was as simple as uploading a resume. The app also allows sharing, liking, suggests other people to share the job with and other jobs that may be of interest.


The Hard Rock Florence page attracted 1,000+ fans in the first day, growing to 11,000 after the first 4 weeks. The first week was for promotion and reviewing jobs, with applications accepted over week 2 and 3. Interestingly, as with other campaigns I've been involved in, questions were posted around the process of applying (most commonly about whether they could apply in Italian or if it needed to be in English.) and the selection process,not the job description.


During the promotion and application process, a series of live broadcasts went out on the wall, using the livestream application. This allows you to broadcast and promote sessions via Facebook events, livestream and invites through e-mail and social channels. Fans can leave questions on the wall, and broadcasts can be saved on the wall for later download. This is a great way for encouraging engagment.


During the application period, 4000+ resumes were received and reviewed by a team of recruiters and hiring managers. In week 4, 700 invites to interview were sent out via Facebook, with scheduling through event management platform Eventbrite. The successful candidates received a link  which enabled them to book 1 of 20 slots per hour, over 3 days. On booking, they recieved a confirmation e-mail with the location and a ticket, which included a QR code so they could be scanned on arrival and have a name badge waiting.

From the 600 interviews that took place, 120 hires were made, all completed from start to finish in 4 weeks. All communication was via Facebook messaging, and via the wall. The total campaign cost less than 10% of the usual budget for an opening, with the single biggest cost being success based click throughs.


At the end of the hiring period, the page has continued to grow as a brand page, now standing at 31,120+ fans, with regular content posted by both the venue and the fans. Regular resumes are still coming in for future openings, and there is a well established (and engaged) local talent pool, many of whom have become customers.


You can view the full case study on my blog:

Norton Folgate: The Recruiting Unblog.


The key lessons for me are:


1: Facebook gives you access to all the possible candidates you need. (I have yet to find an exception.)

2: Ad's work when they are for pages rather than jobs, and the pages are community based and lead. Ask your target audience their interests and use this to set the ad criteria.

3: Answering questions via a Facebook wall/live broadcast means you answer them once rather than multiple times.

4: Running group interviews as events (using eventbrite ticketing), with the onus on the candidates to book available times offer huge improvments in efficency, time taken and cost.

5: The application process needs to stay in Facebook.

6: Your wall needs to be manned at all times and content responsibility shared out to create variety.


This is the second part of my Facebook series of posts for RBC. More to come next week, but in the meantime, drop a message in comments if you have any questions.






Hard Rock Firenze Facebook Page




Eventbrite Interview Page





Views: 955

Comment by Bill Boorman on August 30, 2011 at 3:24am


Why not put it to the test. Let me know what your looking for thats hard at the moment, and I will see if i can locate a profile. It's bold because I haven't (yet) not been able to find profiles, or surveyed a candidate group to discover a % of the target audience on Facebook. The real challenge is in converting them.

Comment by Bill Boorman on August 30, 2011 at 1:30pm

Will come back to you over the next day. You can have the searches



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