Human beings have two lives – public and private. But in this digital age where we choose to put out private lives in a public space, where do we draw the line?

If you’ve recently discovered that people you’re not even Facebook friends with have seen some of your embarrassing photos from your past, the answer is no, you can’t do anything because Facebook hasn’t actually violated your privacy.

Today the Facebook user is losing more and more control over their personal data, with most users having absolutely no idea just how exposed they are to the online public and advertisers.

Another big push, recently imposed by Facebook in using big data to personalise the life digital (and legally expose your personal information to strangers), is Facebook Graph Search. It’s a tool used to search for people or groups who are actively providing information on things they do like check-ins, locations, employers, tagging etc.

Facebook are continually launching new apps and innovations. Some grow and some fault; consider Branch Out for example, the career networking tool to help you expand your professional network. That originally had a lot of buzz around it, particularly in the recruiting industry, but it has failed to make any real impact.

And again now, there is quite some hype around Graph Search, is it the game changer that some think it will be? There is a lot of excitement about the potential ad revenue this data and information could generate. Such excitement indicates that at the moment it’s not a particularly consumer-friendly development and it’s more for businesses and companies to use for data collection.

This puts me in two minds. People will be individually sought out by advertisers, marketers and dare I say it, recruiters. A recent Tumblr post by Tom Scott highlights how damaging the information that Facebook holds about you could be.Image

I strongly feel that Facebook is a social network, designed for personal use, meaning direct interaction with your family and friends. And with one billion people using Facebook around the world, I really don’t think I am alone on this stance but that is one big pool of potential talent. However, being from a recruiting background myself, I am willing to be proved wrong. In house recruiter's could benefit greatly with careers pages and direct sourcing.

With Graph Search, Facebook is heading in a direction, which will make it easier for recruiters and employers to use the network to source job candidates. If it shapes up to be everything that it is promising to be, it’s opening doors to an entirely new crowd sourcing product, which technically sits in direct competition with LinkedIn.

Not only would Graph Search give recruiters access to important information on potential candidates like names, locations, employers, past employers and even relevant interests, but also the opportunity for creative recruitment campaigns. These campaigns will work to engage the Facebook community, invite interaction, perhaps sometimes assume a level of gamification and also give real reasons for users to share.

This entire advancement is really going to depend on how it is received by the Facebook community. Sure recruiters can get excited about having one billion potential candidates at their whims, but at what cost? Their own personal lives being exposed to the same one billion?

I guess we will just have to sit back and wait to see where Facebook goes with this, continuing to absorb the basic truth that social media is becoming ever increasingly important to the recruitment industry.

Views: 856

Comment by Donna Cornell on February 7, 2013 at 8:50am
While a good recruiter never wishes to invade someone's privacy it has been my experience that most people want to know aboout a new potential gives them the "choice" to listen further, to explore or simply evaluate their current situation and acknowledge they are comfortable at this time. We all know that life can change within seconds....often our work life. So I see no reason why we should not be able to reach those on FB with opportunities. We could institute strong controls-Linked in does and it appears to work. I have faith in most of my fellow recruiters to conduct themselves appropriately. others?
Comment by Amanda Ashworth on February 7, 2013 at 8:57am

Hopefully they do!

I think country plays a massive factor, as recruiting via Facebook in the UK has never had the same impact as it has in the States. The risk with Facebook is that people will switch off as it's not only going to be recruiters contacting them, but also brands etc as the network continues to monetize itself.

Comment by Stacy Chapman on February 15, 2013 at 10:46am

While Facebook is definitely a great place for branding campaigns, and for building your name as an employer (even for taking applications quickly and easily), it's not so far a great site for sourcing talent, primarily because very few people actually keep their professional information on there.  We see this clearly through our user interactions, but we also see something else....employees are MUCH less willing to leverage Facebook in sourcing or referrals than they are with other sites like LinkedIn or Google+.  I suspect this is because most people feel like you do - it's a SOCIAL network.  However, that's will be very interesting to see where it tracks over time.  Thanks for the great post


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