Could Facebook advertising help you win the war for talent?

will francis r02wxT3 PYw unsplash 1 scaled 1 | Could Facebook advertising help you win the war for talent?
By Paula Smith | 8th October 2021 | 8 min read

Although Facebook advertising has been available since 2007, the use of this form of sponsored and targeted advertising has only really started to play an integral role in recruitment activities over the last few years. However, the current recruitment challenges brought about by an influx of job opportunities with a significant shortfall of jobseekers have meant that Facebook advertising has become much more appealing to organisations than ever before. 

With a wealth of benefits on offer, it has often been questioned why Facebook hasn’t played an integral role in the attraction strategy of every organisation until now.

Quite honestly, we believe that whilst companies continued to generate applications from their more traditional advertising methods, the use of Facebook was considered an ‘extra expense’ that in-house recruitment teams didn’t actually need. 

However, now the tides have turned somewhat and the success of job board advertising has dwindled, here at IRIS we are seeing a wealth of interest from clients keen to maximise this substantial pool of potential talent that has remained largely untapped. 

So how can Facebook help you with your current recruitment needs? 

Whilst Facebook is often considered all about reaching passive candidates whilst promoting your employer brand, the stats suggest that more job seekers look on Facebook and Twitter than they do on LinkedIn, and yet 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates but only 65% use Facebook. 

Arguably, the ability to reach and engage with potential candidates on LinkedIn is much easier than on Facebook and they make some considerable money on the back of LinkedIn recruiter packages as a result, but in terms of reach and brand awareness, Facebook undoubtedly wins hands down. 

With 2.5 billion monthly users, 74% of users visit the site daily and spend an average of 35 minutes a day on the platform it’s clear to see why. 

LinkedIn on the other hand boasts that they have just over 740 million users in more than 200 countries.

Facebook is also the most popular platform amongst B2B marketers with over 60 % using it to promote their products which also speaks volumes. 

If you want to reach the widest audience you need to ensure that Facebook and Facebook advertising plays an integral role in your attraction strategy and is not just considered as an additional extra. 

Facebook Jobs 

The Facebook Jobs feature was introduced just over 4 years ago and is designed to allow organisation to post job vacancies on their corporate page. Anyone who has liked the page will see the advert in their news feed and anyone who may venture onto the corporate page can view it there too. Although not many people actually tend to do this. The main benefit to marking a post as a job is that your job will appear within the section of the specific job on Facebook and be listed in line with the user's search criteria, which helps you immediately reach those actively looking for a job.

Although using this Facebook feature may prove successful for some vacancies, this again negates the fact that the true success of Facebook is due to the exposure you can gain from passive candidates ( ie those not actually looking for a role) Again this supports the argument that all jobs should be sponsored on Facebook in order to maximise results. 

Employee Referrals and Advocacy 

Employees have extensive networks of friends, followers, and connections on social media, and they have the potential to reach more people than their employer's corporate social media pages combined.

Given the extreme popularity of Facebook, a large proportion of your existing workforce will already be users and have built connections across the platform. Whilst their network will undoubtedly include friends and family, there is also a strong possibility that they will also be connected to individuals that they have previously worked with, people within a similar profession as well as those of other professions too. 

Potentially a lot of people you can't reach without their help!

Employee referrals are renowned for their success and with a quick like and share of your corporate post, your employees can become brand ambassadors, presenting your vacancies and the organisation as a whole in a positive light to encourage applications from their network.

According to a study conducted by SMARP, the average employee advocate has approximately 400 LinkedIn contacts, 420 Facebook friends, and 360 Twitter followers. On top of that, the content shared by your employees has an 8x higher engagement rate than the content shared by brand channels.

But it’s not just about sharing immediate vacancies that employees should be supporting but posts about the business in general too. New business wins suggest strength, new employee posts suggest growth and awards can show innovation. Together they create a positive image for anyone who may be considering joining your organisation. 

Facebook Groups and Corporate pages

Even if your organisation is lucky enough to have a strong following on your corporate page, chances are that your Marketing team will be reluctant to step away from their own advertising strategy to promote your vacancies to their carefully nurtured audience. Even if they do, this simply means that your advert will only be shown to the same people over and over again, and only a relatively small % of your audience will probably ever see it, even if you send it out multiple times. 

Facebook groups and pages can however allow you to reach a little wider and target your adverts to those that either may be actively looking for a job but may not be accessing the jobs tab or people with specific skills. There is an abundance of job-related groups to post in. Many of the groups don’t require approval but it can prove a little more difficult at times to join those which you may not have any direct association with. Again your employees may be able to support you with this.

You may also be able to pinpoint certain pages that you would like your adverts to appear on. For example, if you have an apprenticeship role then messaging the owners of relevant colleagues or schools can also help to amplify your opportunities to potential job seekers with the skills you are looking for.

This exercise however can be quite time-consuming and often not as successful as you might think. 

Sponsored advertising 

As mentioned earlier, the true power of Facebook can only be harnessed via sponsored advertising. The ability to create a target audience based on location, job titles, age, interests, and even workplaces, allows you to reach the widest possible audience of potential job seekers.

So if you have a role you need to recruit for you can either target Facebook users within a specific distance of your head office or drill down to pinpoint those who have a similar job title to focus your campaign further. 

However, we would always advise that the strength of Facebook lies within reaching as many people as possible and the ability for those that do see your posts having the ability to share or tag people they think may be of interest to increase visibility even further. 

It’s also important to remember, that whilst Facebook can help you reach your target audience, it is the actual advert or video you use that will ultimately determine your response. 

Creating a professional-looking advert that provides interested parties with the information they need to assess whether or not the vacancy could be a good fit for them is essential. 

Tip: Try and put yourself in the shoes of those you are trying to target. Would the advert appeal to you? Does it portray the right image? Does it include the information you need to take the next steps? 

The importance of delivering a mobile-friendly application process

Approximately 83% of all social media visits are from mobile devices, compared to around 15% on desktops or laptop computers. In fact, roughly half of social media users only use mobile devices to access their social network of choice.

Your candidate experience has a significant impact on the success of any of your recruitment campaigns and this is no exception for Facebook. With over 83% of all social media visits taking place via a mobile device, making sure your application process is slick and simple to complete using a smartphone is critical. 

Whilst this might sound obvious, there are still many organisations that expect candidates to apply for their vacancies despite the process being slow, clunky, and not optimised for those applying on mobile devices. 

Think about how much information you ask candidates to complete in order to register interest for your vacancies and consider how easy it would be to do so whilst on your commute to work or during your lunch break. 

With the war for talent more fierce than ever organisations need to consider a new approach to candidate attraction. Facebook advertising is not only a cost-effective option but can also prove extremely powerful in terms of promoting your roles, enhancing your employer brand, and generating applications amongst a new pool of talent. 

Check out our IRIS networx solutions for more information on how we can help you leverage the power of Facebook advertising to support your current recruitment needs.