Using Facebook to Recruit: Reaching the Unreachable Candidate


By Jonah Manning

It’s a culture that we have created. We have been so focused on candidate experience and culture that we have created a monster. What are some ways that we can use alternative means to reach passive candidates in a way that they prefer to respond to?

One way, that has given me solid results, is using Facebook Dark Posts to recruit. Dark posts have been a big hit among the social media marketing crowd for a while. I recently tried using it for sourcing and it has worked really well. Right up front though, here are 5 things you need to know as you give it a try: 

  • Dial in the searches. You have to reduce your searches to the simplest terms. If you are looking for a Site Reliability Engineer or a DevOps Engineer, you only need to specifically look for Title, Location, and maybe targeted company.
  • You will need to run several campaigns, perhaps simultaneously, to get solid targeted reach. The benefit to this is you get to A/B test what works best for future posts.
  • Create a low barrier of entry. Do not try to get a candidate to apply. You simply want them to identify themselves. A simple email, direct message, or even a “like” is all you get. Then its up to you to strike up the conversation from there.
  • Make sure you are posting relevant content, NOT a job post. Its okay to throw in a “PS we are looking for ______” but that is all you get. Here are 50 more things you can be doing on Facebook for Recruiting.
  • Run at least 5 different pieces of content, against the same search over a 5 day period to the same demographic set. Sometimes it will take several posts to get the good ones to engage.
  • Make sure you are promoting relevant content & NOT a job description.

Mostly importantly, Dark Facebook Posts should not be used to drive candidates to apply to your jobs! It should be used to drive context, so that you can turn a completely cold candidate, into a warm one.


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