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 Suresh on September 26, 2011 at 6:18pm


You have a point..Corporate recruiters can use their corporate brand to get a following on a Fan page.

Its not easy for TPR's, unless you run a popular website or a rock star.

Comment by New Negotiator on September 27, 2011 at 6:02am
Good post, Ken. Thoughtful and, mostly, well written.
Comment by Ken Forrester on September 27, 2011 at 9:24am


Thanks for joining this particular discussion.  I know that you have had a lot of success using FB as a recruiting tool, so I value your opinion.  However, I’m not quite sure why you feel FB as a  recruiting channel will not be effective for TPRs.  Do you believe it was the TPRs that shaped LinkedIn into the recruitment channel of choice?  I feel if anyone who can make an impact it is the TPRs; they are the most ingenious of all recruiters, IMOP.  This Industry is built on the TPR concept.  LinkedIn just took that process to a different level.  The profiles on LinkedIn have simply shifted from their file cabinets to the cloud, but by the choice of TPRs. 

I don’t have a beef with LinkedIn; I just think that they have become a Dictator in the recruiting space. They are crowding out TPRs, job boards and other vendor and are replacing resumes -next they will become too big to fail.  We need is a shake-up in this Industry and the only giant that can compete with them is FB.   If FB knew that TPRs are seeking another alternative, what changes do you believe they will make to their platform to make it recruiter friendly?

Comment by Nate Fischer on September 27, 2011 at 9:36am


I value your opinion as well, but I don't think you can only blame TPR's.  Most of LinkedIn was built by independent recruiters with tight budgets that were looking for an alternative to the Monster/CB/Dice paid space that was out there.  I don't think TPR's even caught onto the space until much later in the game.  I think at THAT time LinkedIn realized their value and started charging for that model.  And TPR's wouldn't want to have another paid service either and with pricepoints very similar to the monster model I think it will be a tough sell especially considering that Monster candidate are truly looking for work, which LI's are looking primarily to network. 


As for your statement about TPR's, I've met just as many ingenious Independent Recruiters as I have TPR's, so to mass generalize especially in a forum populated by both is will raise some ire.

Comment by Ivan Stojanovic on September 27, 2011 at 9:48am

Facebook is more like a platform. Itself as it is, it does
not compete with LinkedIN at all. But Facebook enables the Branch Out, Be
Found,, and similar to operate ‘on top’ of their platform.  And here you will get the best of both world.
The reach of Facebook, and the connectivity to LinkedIN data via LinkedIN API.
What we will end up using is going to be a tool that will get a bit from
everywhere (where people are), and organise the data in a usable form or a
– here is just one of those samples (yes, I had something to do with that one!).
You take data from different sources like LinkedIN Profiles, Facebook, Blog and
a job site (advertisements) -  mix it all
together, and try to present it in a meaningful manner to both job hunter and a

Comment by Paul Alfred on October 1, 2011 at 10:14am
Great post Ken .. But I have to agree with Bill  - the key is Facebook Apps - what will the future look like in terms of the apps used to aggregate the target talent recruiters are looking for.   Over time perfection of the Facebook platform in combination with useful web services  on FB will allow Recruiters to make better use of FB over time ...   LinkedIn`s web service is geared perfectly for how Recruiters utilize the service ...   Facebook has the Ocean of fish but need to continue to build the right nets through great apps  in order to facilitate true use by Recruiters.  LinkedIn is not going any where, anytime soon, if they continue to innovate their service and listen to their biggest user.   Hmmm perhaps Facebook should just buy LinkedIn - saves them a lot of time and they can own both the professional and social side of social networking ...   What`s LinkedIn's share price again?
Comment by Ken Forrester on October 1, 2011 at 11:44am


Since you have an IT background, I will accept that it will be a monstrous undertaking on the back-end of FB to make their platform TPR friendly.   So, like Bill implied-FB is now more suited for corporate recruiters because corporate branding works pretty much like TV advertising.  You get the message out and hope that it will inspire the right applicant to take action at some point in the future.  And TPRs objective is for them to take action NOW.  Ok, I get it,  I wrote this post just to instigate and hope that it would lead to a fight between LinkedIn & Facebook.  What's thee purpose of social media if you can't use it to make something happen?

Comment by Amber Gerstenhaber on October 1, 2011 at 2:40pm


I am with Ken on this, my facebook is for friends and family, I have never even looked at it as a way to recruit.  If you could give some insight to how you recruit on it, I would be most appreciative.

Comment by Doug Munro on October 2, 2011 at 10:44am
Very interesting read, Ken, and it is fascinating to speculate on how much influence recruiters might wield. I've heard stories about successful FB recruiting strategies, but I must confess that my personal experience is that it has value as a branding channel more than a direct recruiting one. I question whether it will ever carry the professional cache of LI or the intense engagement of Twitter. Clearly FB is constantly trying to add to its brand and offer more professional-centric elements, but perhaps it would take the concerted effort of recruiters you suggest to truly move the ball.


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