Does Facebook Work As A Social Recruitment Platform?

You may have noticed as I have that there has been a great deal of buzz in recent months surrounding the effectiveness of Facebook as a social recruitment platform. chat with a stranger A couple of weeks ago, Bill Boorman published the results of his social recruiting project for the opening of Hard Rock Cafe in Florence, which was centred around a Facebook fan page that attracted over 10,000 fans and received 4,000 job applications during a two-week campaign.

Despite Bill’s and the Hard Rock Cafe team’s remarkable achievements that led to the successful hiring of 120 staff with a setup cost of less than a grand, this case study has further cemented my belief that Facebook is not only a social media tool best suited to low level, high volume recruitment, but it’s also better suited for bigger brands who want to attract graduates or younger recruits.

Yes, the Hard Rock case study was from Italy, but you only need to look at Facebook demographics to understand why I feel my theory applies to UK based businesses. Last week the graduate recruitment website, milkround.com published a report claiming that 96% of students visit Facebook every single day. This is why entrepreneurial start-ups such as Brave New Talent are fighting so hard to create a successful platform that links blue chip businesses and the unrivalled student market that lives, breathes and exists on Facebook.

What’s more, of the approximate 30 million UK Facebook users, some 65% are under the age of 35 years old. Now, I haven’t seen any stats lately, but I think I can rightly assume that the majority of senior level appointments are individuals who are older than 34 and a larger number of lower level appointments such as waiting staff, retail assistants are those who are younger than 35.

Secondly, many small businesses just don’t have the same level of brand recognition as a Hard Rock Cafe does to lead someone to click through a targeted advert, like a fan page, engage and apply for a role. In one of my previous blog posts I looked at employer reputation – and Hard Rock Cafe is a great example of a business that has built up a great reputation both on- and offline. Amongst its target demographic for new recruits (i.e. that liked rock and roll), it is probably deemed as cool and fun place to work and so these younger people will aspire to get a role there. However, lesser known companies or brands are going to struggle to have the same appeal – purely because their reputation isn’t established enough.

What I’m not saying is that SMEs can’t and shouldn’t be using Facebook to help them hire more senior level roles. Far from it – and I know there will be a couple of case studies out there to suggest otherwise, but they are few and far between. In my opinion, Facebook can add significant value to the recruitment process as an employer branding platform and give potential recruits an insight in to your company culture.

Although Facebook is far from being a polished social recruiting platform , case studies such as Hard Rock Cafe certainly highlights the potential it has for high volume, lower level hires, especially where big brands are concerned.

But if you’re looking to attract more senior level people, or you a very small company… I suggest you utilise Facebook as an employee branding platform, but don’t waste your time, money and effort trying to make it work as a direct recruitment platform.