The Beginning of a New Recruiting Industry?

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, about Facebook.   And as a result, I found myself watching the “Social Network” movie for a second time!

It’s interesting because I do have a Facebook page, but only because friends & family and those from the past continued to send invites to connect.  Very seldom do I log in. I don’t play games, write on someone’s wall or read updates.

So it’s obvious that I am not yet a real fan or user of Facebook!  I see it as the old beer commercial (just watching TV enjoying a Bud), chill in, or just hanging out with friends. Basically it was something to do if you had time to kill. 

Because I am a recruiter, LinkedIn is my social network of choice.  The only real benefit of Facebook from a recruiting perspective is being able to send a direct email message to a person of interest without having to go through a connection or the In-mail process that is currently available on LinkedIn. 

But lately, Facebook has become a hot topic in recruiting.  A number of prospectors have developed tools to find the gold nuggets of talent; all because of two important demographics:  number of people on Facebook and the amount of time people are spending on Facebook.  I guess it’s the new “if you want to catch fish-you need to fish where the fish are” recruitment strategy. 

Here is what’s really bugging me about Facebook!  I am becoming convinced that it is here to stay and will become an institution in our lives like the banking and insurance industries! 

Think about it-today we put our hard earned dollars or life savings in banks without even thinking about the concept of banking.  And if you compare banking of the 1800’s; convincing regular folks that they should reveal their gold and other valuables by transferring them from their secret hiding places to a public place that is more secure than their secret hiding place.  Hmmm, think about back then and where we are today!

Anyway, back to Facebook!  At the end of the movie the caption said Facebook was valued as $25 billion; and a year later I read that it has an implied value of $80 billion.  What does that tell me; it tells me that after years of building my professional LinkedIn network, Facebook will replace LinkedIn as THE recruiting platform of the future!


Not because of the value, but because it was the recruiters who shaped LinkedIn into what LinkedIn is today.  Recruiters saw it as THE tool that could be a game changer in the Industry.  They were the true early adapters; they jumped all over it by inviting candidates in their proprietary database to connect, they started groups and continued to build their networks, but on property they do not own or control.  LinkedIn encouraged this usage by simply responding to their needs and offering more stuff, which is gradually shifting from free to fees.

What if?

What if real recruiters took back control of recruiting?

What if recruiters showed their true powers by collectively encouraging their connections on Linkedin to reveal their presence on Facebook?  According to the numbers-if they are on LinkedIn, most likely they are on Facebook as well!

Not really sure what the outcome or result will be, hopefully good! But what if every recruiter clicks the like/share buttons on this particular post or any other articles written this specific subject?

What is the true power of social media in the hands of real recruiters?


Views: 772

Comment by Nate Fischer on September 26, 2011 at 9:03am
I just don't see it.  I think with all the privacy arguments out there and the tighter controls Facebook has on content (i.e. I can see people's information, albeit limited, on LinkedIn who are in my network, you won't on Facebook) people are going to keep their Facebook for social and exclude recruiters.  

I personally use my LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ for my professional life, and Facebook for friends and family only.  I am not even sure about this Google+ thing to tell you the truth.  

You see I think the landscape with LinkedIn was that it WAS created for professional networking, and that we as recruiters drug people to it to increase its breadth, people didn't mind being invited accepting invites, and expanding their professional network there.  There was no silly games, or Farmville, or repost this here if you want to find a cure for cancer.  

The difference with Facebook is that we are fighting an uphill battle, people already have set what they want to see in Facebook and I don't think they want us there.   I think attempts to hit up Facebook is just for people who are mad that LinkedIn found out how important they are and started to make money.  I think the true option here if you are unhappy with LinkedIn, is to TAKE CONTROL and make another networking site or something, but even that's going to be an uphill battle that you won't see the results for years.  But what do I know, I'm an old fogey at 35 and being 15 years in this business. 

Comment by Francois Guay on September 26, 2011 at 9:07am

Interesting read Ken. I am fascinated by the coming battle between Linkedin, Facebook and others but I do believe one of the players will have to make a serious gamble to become the de facto business platform of the future. Social media is still in its infancy and there are tremendous business opportunities for the "ballsy" company. Recruitment is a tag on to a successful business platform: ie: Linkedin is a good example. but as the social media business model evolves all bets are off.


There is a significant difference on how these tools play out based on the type of recruiter using the platform: corporate recruiters vs agency recruiters. One is dealing with a large volume while the agency recruiter is working let's face it on more of a quality level. So how they use and are influenced by the tools are quite different. Agency recruiters will always tap their own network vs. just going to the tool du jour (although we do use them) but a corporate recruiter will have to adopt the various popular tools simply due to volume.


I look forward to the coming battle to see what transpires as I do believe it will be game changing to the recruiting world.


Comment by Suresh on September 26, 2011 at 11:29am

Facebook = wedding, family gathering

Linkedin = professional conference with multiple events

Linkedin groups, Niche Social Networks = focussed events


Weddings and family gatherings are great but tough to get anything done. As in real life, I think we get the most bang for our buck with Focussed Meetings/Events/Groups/Networks


Comment by Bill Schultz on September 26, 2011 at 12:35pm

I made 3 placements last week.  All from Linkedin inmails.  If there is a change coming, you wouldn't know it from here.  

Like the others say, FB is for friends and family so far.  However, the pages aspect gives you the ability to silo the social you from the professional you. ( and the embraceable you, if you're so inclined).  So that is the strategy to defeat linkedin.  

I wish Facebook would stop trying to battle windmills and get their own house right.  Such as their search function.  

Comment by David Palmer on September 26, 2011 at 12:57pm
I like your call to arms Ken. Recruiters taking back control of recruiting...I hope it happens. I sense they have to do something no one else can do to secure their place in the value chain and working more collaboratively would be a start.
Comment by Tracy Wanless on September 26, 2011 at 2:04pm
I can't see Facebook to be too valuable here either.  I have watched videos on how FB is the way to recruit as well as read all of the blogs and it seems like they only thing they can brag about is the number of members on the site.  I agree it's HUGE but I have not been able to find anything of value on there because of the privacy settings. During the times I've searched out keywords I get silly social updates about that topic that do not help me in my search.  Seems like the professional inviduals I have come across that actually DO have accounts are locked up so tight you can't view anything but a name. I'd like to have access to 155 million (U.S.) GOOD candidates but just don't see them being able to top LinkedIn for what we look for.
Comment by Darryl Dioso on September 26, 2011 at 2:14pm

Don't see it happening any time soon. I have trouble sourcing and recruiting using BranchOut (their professional site and supposed LinkedIn killer) never mind regular FB.


I'll stick with LinkedIn and my phone and leave FB for scheduling golf outings, sharing pictures of my daughter (she's growing way too fast), trying to reconnect with old high school buddies, etc.

Comment by Ken Forrester on September 26, 2011 at 3:22pm
Is FB a player in recruiting ?  Not now!  But their response to Google+ in making changes in their privacy setting options tells me that they will respond to the needs of what is gaining traction on their platform as well as others.  The big challenge however from a recruitment perspective is how do you get nuggets of gold out of a mountain of rocks?  That's what Branchout, beKnown and Identified and a few others are attempting to do.  As Francisco said, there will be a battle of the giants mainly because of the success of LinkedIn.  Whoever wins that battle determines how the game of recruiting will be played.
Comment by Chuck Morgan on September 26, 2011 at 3:29pm

Ken, I totally agree with you.  I understand many of the points raised in debate as well.  However, I think that Facebook is going to rule the lacndscape in a very short period of time.  I think Google+ will give it a run for it's money, but with the shear numbers that Facebook is starting with, they are sure to win in the early race.


I am still like you, only logging in to Facebook maybe once a month because someone tagged a photo of me from 1989, etc...  However, with BeKnown and BranchOut starting to lead the way from a professional standpoint, I think Facebook will find which professional "connector" looks and acts the best, will gobble them up, and then continue it's world dominance in the social space.  


I think we as recruiters should begin to embrace Facebook right now or get left in the dust.  I don't know in the long run which of these two giants (FB or Google) wll win this war, but we better be savvy enough to adapt or else.


Thanks so much for sharing.  These are cool times we live in!

Comment by Bill Boorman on September 26, 2011 at 3:57pm


Facebook is a very effective recruiting channel. More so for corporate recruiters than third party, but the apps that have launched over the last 18 months have turned FB in to a serious recruiting channel. I don't see it as simple as FB killing LinkedIn, different channels, different purposes.


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