Facebook Recruiting Is All the Rage

Violence is as American as apple pie. —Eldridge Cleaver

Todd Raphael just did a piece on Facebook as it relates to a conversation he had with Steven Rothberg, and that piece really hit a nerve for me.

As you might know, Facebook does not come with a user’s manual. Devoid of these instructions for use, it is open season to make use of Facebook in all ways that fit with your beliefs, lifestyle, and purpose. This might be good if there actually was a separation between our personal lives and our professional lives, but that line seems to be disappearing. I for one do not see this as a good thing for the world of recruiting in general and I certainly see Facebook as being far more of a problem then a solution.

I am not sure where Facebook is as it relates to contemporary society and its place therewith, but it has become monstrously big in the lives of many. I often wonder what we did in the days before it came into prominence, and I for one intend to find out as I scale back big time and only check in two or three times a week for a few moments. I need to do this and to regain control. I have said some pretty unpleasant things to those who disagree with my politics and I will not do that again. My new watchword is unfriend and/or ignore.

As far as Facebook and recruiting, I have grave concerns for the benefits to be gained, as these two entities might very well turn out to be a very deadly combination. Facebook is, among many other things, an ongoing real-time conversation, and this might be good in some areas but it is not good in others. Let me tell you three reasons why:

  1. Facebook allows you to know others in ways that poison the well. I have learned some things about people that I simply do not wish to know. This is not good in a place where recruiting is concerned, because when evaluating candidates we need to have a clear mind and make decisions based upon a candidate’s ability to do the job. To know that the candidate hates Obama will add nothing of value to one’s ability to make decisions with a clear head. We are all social creatures and have our beliefs and our prejudices. In reality, most of us struggle to do what is right and to keep the business end of things where they belong. Facebook will do little to help us keep the opinions we have of other folks in check and make rational judgments in terms of ability and hiring decisions.
  2. All things being equal, we tend to hire those we like and trust as opposed to those we do not like and do not trust. Even if it is possible to make cool and calculating decisions, it is highly unlikely that our judgment will not be compromised. I believe that having an understanding of the politics and thoughts of people before the interview is not a good thing. Many of us will have a distain for those of us whose views we vehemently disagree with, and a kinder dispensation towards those who think as we think. This is human nature. If you are devoid of this fundamental frailty, I think that is great, but few of us are. I for one am probably not all that good in this area.
  3. Would you go to an interview and discuss your politics? Gay marriage and other issues of sensitivity? Bush or Obama or Romney or Don Rumsfeld? I certainly would not do this, yet Facebook, even in a passive way, allows us to identify and explore the thoughts and comments of people we might wish to hire and/or partner with in ways that adds yet another dimension to the perception of what we see as right and what we see as wrong. Furthermore, it does it in a way that is public, subtle, and quite pervasive. Once again, I do not see this as a good thing.

Politics aside, we are a polarized country. Gun violence is off the charts, people are struggling to adjust to a new world order, and we say things to people on Facebook that we would never dream of saying in person. There was a time that it was considered unwise to discuss politics and religion. Has that changed, and if so, is that a change for the better or simply another reason to lash out and smite those who fail to see the world as we see it?

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It is my sincerest hope that we as a community can, if nothing else, raise our awareness of Facebook and other forms of social media as it relates to influencing our ability to make judgments and hire based upon qualifications and experience. If we fail to do this, we open up a new and dangerous Pandora’s box with ramifications that we as a society are ill-equipped to handle at this time.

My wife Corinne, also a recruiter, has two simple rules that should never be confused.

  1. Want to connect for the business world? Use LinkedIn.
  2. Want friends and family? Stick to Facebook and create friendships very carefully.

Social media is very powerful. If we do not handle with care, we will one day wish we did so.

Howard Adamsky has been recruiting since 1985 and is still alive to talk about it. A consultant, writer, public speaker, and educator, he works with organizations to support their efforts to build great companies and coaches others on how to do the same. He has over 20 years' experience in identifying, developing, and implementing effective solutions for organizations struggling to recruit and retain top talent. An internationally published author, he is a regular contributor to ERE Media, a member of the Human Capital Institute's Small and Mid-Sized business panel, a Certified Internet Recruiter, and rides one of the largest production motorcycles ever built. His book, Hiring and Retaining Top IT Professionals/The Guide for Savvy Hiring Managers and Job Hunters Alike (Osborne McGraw-Hill) is in local bookstores and available online. He is also working on his second book, The 25 New Rules for Today's Recruiting Professional. See twitter.com/howardadamsky if you are so inclined for the occasional tweet. Email him at H.adamsky@comcast.net


41 Comments on “Facebook Recruiting Is All the Rage

  1. Howard – How is this article about Facebook being “all the rage” in recruiting? Reading this, it feels more like a soapbox piece on your disdain for the social networking site, and the recruiting aspect feels more like an afterthought

  2. I agree. As I posted elsewhere not so long ago, I’ve been of the opinion for ages now that Facebook is a rubbish vehicle for recruitment. I don’t care that it has 900m members – China as a population of 1,338,299,512 that doesn’t mean I should look in China for my ideal candidate. It’s all about motives for being on there and what people want to get out of it. I don’t buy into the belief that anything other than a very small percentage of career minded business professionals want, or even expect to be recruited via Facebook. I even doubt that a lot of them have a particularly active Facebook account. And those that do may well not have filled in every field in their profile to give you a clear indication of what they do for a living. Nor do they want some random stranger barging in on the middle of a private chat with a friend. There are so many much better, tried, trusted and more targeted options where people are there for a purpose and one purpose only – to find a job. Facebook should be seen for what it is, a place where people can keep family and friends informed about whats going on, post pictures of children and pets and randomly like soft drinks, a chocolate bar or some other product advertiser who maybe has a competition on the go. It is not, nor ever will be a reliable, tried and trusted and universal recruitment vehicle. indeed, it will be flailing within the next few years just like Myspace before it as it continues to struggle for ways to monetise itself to the extent that any organisation with 900m members should. Advertisers are leaving it in droves and its share price is bombing – it’s frankly yesterday’s news. Over and above the possibility that Facebook might be good for filling low level jobs in bulk, i.e. shelf fillers for a store opening, if you want a job that is pitched a bit higher than that, forget Facebook and go to niche job boards and media driven career portals of which there are plenty – plus, they’re only inhabited by like minded jobseekers, not grannies, children or rednecks sitting at their PC in their underpants pretending to be 12.

  3. Interesting article, enjoyable read, many perspectives.
    FB most definitely not having the easiest of times, and appear they on many fronts, now with this article as well landed themselves in an area of question marks as to their value.
    As Linkedin upped their game significantly, features, benefits and more and more members, – and as FB have not had a clear objective as to who or what they serve their proposition has faded as a tool for the recruiment world. Question is with this as indeed with some many other social media tools/applications (Pinterest was pronounced to be t h e biggest thing not that long ago) whether we as the world waking up to the harsh realities facing us are coming to a point where if not of significant proven value then we question it.
    It could also be that we are ‘coming down’ from self propelled hype and belief and perhaps concentrating on those channels that are truly tried and tested and proved value contributors rather than ‘pie in the sky’ solutions.
    Whatever the case a sobering read and one that may (depending on who and how many contesting the claims of this article) lead to either a furious debate or a quiet acknowledgement that a lot of truth in what Howard is saying.
    Only time will tell.

  4. Interesting point of view although I completely disagree. Side note: Facebook is not struggling. Stock is going down and not at the price of LinkedIn however their company value is considered to be still very relevant. Facebook is absolutely a channel all recruiters should source from, engage in relevant and meaningful conversations and present their company’s real employer brand.

  5. Aside from the title being rather misleading; there are some good points made on human nature. That having been said, there certain laws and guidelines that “should” prevent us from hiring people on the basis of religion, politics, race, and sexual orientation. If we cannot separate the personal from the professional, I say we are the ones with the inadequacy; not Facebook.

  6. I think, (at least that was my take) that the title was meant to be tongue in cheek i.e. rage being the operative word, given the way some behave on Facebook. My view is I wouldn;t go into a grocery store to buy a car so why, with so many job boards, employer career portals, media owned recruitment portals and recruiter websites does anyone even need to bother with using Facebook for recruitment? It’s not a place that people knowingly go to look for jobs. Indeed, most go to chat rubbish with their friends. Horses for courses, the motivation for being somewhere is key.

  7. Justin and Alasdair (comedy writing? Lord knows recruiting gives you great fodder)…For purposes of clarification, I’ve been friends with Howard for waaaaay too long – so I know his feelings on this issue. The sad fact that the title doesn’t allude to is that our profession is significantly inhabited by lemmings and bobbleheads who are forever searching for the Holy Grail of sources for all their talent requirements. These are the ones who fall for the “Facebook recruiting is all the rage” line. There’s a suckah born every minute…

    Alas, some of us know this special sourcing elixir doesn’t exist – and that true recruiting excellence comes from using every possible channel and doing so in a manner that is proportional to its effectiveness (which also means channel effectiveness changes over time). Did anyone ever expect MySpace to morph into the preferred mode of communication (soon to be overrun by Twitter) of pornstars and rockstars?

    Likewise, as more people share their personal banalities on many social platforms, the talent pool will naturally become watered down and identifying who’s great verus who’s marketing dung as caviar will become even more difficult. It’s called “regression to the mean” and this concept is typically lost on some in our profession who become caught up in the fervor of all that is social.

    Even more, these banalities that are NOT connected to work might actually serve to promote the biases that every recruiter and hiring manager have – don’t deny this: Far too many involved in recruiting look for ways to disqualify someone rather than looking for ways to include them on the interview slate. The same research that indicated that resumes with African American sounding names were “disqualified” over more Caucasian sounding ones would seem to apply to social media (certainly more research is needed).

    Sorry to break it to you but Howard knows more about social media and recruiting than most and his missive is only a warning that when you get caught up in the fervor of social recruiting, “interesting” things can happen if you don’t pick up your head and pay attention to many factors.

  8. @ Michelle, – can you substantiate why FB should be a channel all recruiters should be sourcing from, – where is the evidence and statistics backing this up?
    (only asking for the sake of understanding/learning, as I have not read vast amount of articles as to why a convincing channel).

  9. I think it depends (of course) on whether you are talking about using Facebook for postings or research, and as a recruiter or a candidate. I think the privacy issue is key here. On one side we have LinkedIn. This option allows some level of perceived personal control of private information. It does so by allowing and encouraging a polished and business like presentation. People who are hiring can search – and perhaps pay for- additional access outside of their normal connections. This is a good thing for recruiters and candidates, since it allows for sharing of opportunities among an invited and widely dispersed network of people who have, hopefully, some kind of business like relationship. Some of them may even know each other well enough to provide a real reference.

    The transition over to Facebook for anything in career or professional life is where the challenges start. Most anything found here could be seen as a negative, and a reason not to hire that same person who looks awesome on LinkedIn. Here’s a chance to find out all the personal “dirt” – if you can find or friend or connect with the right person. It’s like a chance to get the answers to all the inappropriate or even illegal questions you are dying to ask – without asking them directly. Even more insidious are the stories of candidates being required to reveal user names and passwords so the interviewer can log in as that person later, or a requirement to log in right in the interview.

    What happened to privacy? Is there any such thing as privacy online? Whats next, access to online banking so we can see how you handle your money, too? I wonder why this inquiry is not seen by the law as the same as asking directly about politics, religion, sexuality, handicaps, or whatever weirdness you’d like to know more about before not hiring a person. I think this is the downside, in opening up the personal likes or unlikes of businesses and people and their circle of “friends” to more public scrutiny.

  10. I could gather a lot of stats and articles but unfortunately I am off for a trip tomorrow. Will try to when I return. I believe that any channel with the amount of members FB has, recruiters cannot ignore. They definitely need to add it to their mix of channels that they use. Facebook is a bit more challenging with respect to the fact that it is a personal channel rather then professional. I am originally from the states and now live in Sweden where most people say Facebook is and should only be used personally and not for recruiting. Yet I hear time and time again that Facebook starts meaningful conversations that are valuable to the recruitment process and has led to conversations both online and offline that are extremely valuable for recruitment and employer branding.

  11. @Michelle – thank you for answer.

    Let’s try to keep two things clear;

    1. FB for the use of a ‘marketing channel’ for EVP and branding through push of information
    2. FB as a source for identifying and engaging with potential candidates/employees – meaning as an active person database tool.

    On 1. I think there is little dispute as to value and purpose.

    On 2. the picture becomes far more complex and as commented by Neil Wilson we are into a muddle where in comparison with Linkedin it is far more clear cut and the constructed with recruitment in mind.

    So why cannot and should recruiters not ignore FB. Surely the mere numbers is not reason enough

    As you point out Michelle Swedes are not seeing the value of FB in recruitment terms – even though we both know that as a country Sweden not the most cutting edge in respect to social media and recruitment.

    Is that due being backward or as they in crisp Scandinavian manner cut through to what adds value and what does not?

  12. @Maureen :: the blind addiction to social media as a cure for all sourcing ills reminds me of way back when boolean searching was believed to be the way to find hidden candidates…but only those who chose to be on the Internet.

    As you know, I’ve been playing channel recruiting for quite some time and the topic of which channels are – and are not – effective has been a hot topic that is only getting hotter. Not hearsay but actual hands-on recruiting for me.

    Channel effectiveness first and foremost depends on the people you are recruiting – some functional work categories are more “interactive” on specific channels than others.

    Again, social media recruiting is not a cure-all that will make average and bad recruiters great nor does one’s participation in social media by itself make you more “relevant” (a word that makes me gag every time some expert uses it) and “authentic”.

    Facebook starts conversations as much as it feeds the fire of lawyers during divorce proceedings. Perhaps all social media channels should carry a disclaimer: “Use of this platform may be hazardous to your career.”

  13. Howard, you bring up great points as usual. We are trending toward transparency. We are marching toward knowing TOO MUCH about our candidates. In the past, you might read someone attended BYU, was on a mission, and then you’d make a judgement. However, to Howard’s point you can look at people’s ‘LIKE’ list now. You know what football teams they like, their religion etc. The invitation to cast judgement (and of COURSE we do) is huge. Heck, I’ve had HR peeps defriend me due to my politics, and due to their militant political views I can only imagine how they view candidates who view the world differently than them. Imagine hiring managers knowing everything about our candidates? I think Facebook aside, is how are we as a society and industry going to deal with full transparency? Because that’s coming and in many ways here. Howard, I understand the resistance, but rather than stick to LinkedIn and pretend the march can stop (it can’t) maybe we need to better prepare for the new world order where we know everything about everybody. Finding people will continue to get easier and easier. I can guarantee one thing–it’ll be interesting.

    Also, hate to break it to you but crime in the U.S. is half of what it was in the 90’s (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/) Check out the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

  14. Alasdair – the argument that Facebook isn’t really for recruiting and is mainly for sharing photos and random thoughts and what not — well, the thing is … isn’t that how people have always gotten jobs, and always will? People get jobs through people they know, and people that those people know. That hasn’t changed with social media — if anything, it’s more so. I feel like saying “LinkedIn is professional, Facebook is personal,” as I’ve heard many times, sometimes implies that recruiting is not so personal, that somehow it is not done among your pool of friends, but rather from a pool of other people.

  15. I maintain that life, and particularly recruitment, is about horses for courses and motivation for being somewhere. Whether I was chatting to a friend via Facebook (I don’t, I can’t stand the inanity of the medium) or in a bar, the last thing I would want is an unwelcome intrusion by a complete stranger. Just as I got to the grocery store for provisions and the car dealership for a car, so it follows I would go on a job board for a job, or maybe direct to an employers website to see what was about in terms of career openings. I would (and have) also sign up for email alerts via a niche website and a generalist one, as well as the online career portal of a newspaper that specialises in advertising jobs in my field. just in case. Oh, and I’d make sure my Linkedin profile gave a decent reflection of what I have done in my career to date (although I wouldn;t hold my breath as I have had one or two approaches in maybe 8-10 years). Now, to me, that’s plenty to be going on with. Indeed, like with anything online, if you seek you shall find – there are many, many avenues to explore when looking for a job, and even when not actively looking (remember those job alerts I signed up for with a niche job board, a generalist one and an online newspaper medium that specialises in my area of activity?). So what IS the big deal with social media being all the rage? Most mere mortals go there for a bit of relaxation, to chat minutiae of their lives with friends and family or see what certain celebrities they follow on twitter are up to. They are generally not in a job seeking frame of mind, and why should they be when there are so many tried and trusted alternatives that are tailored towards careers and not just part of a huge eclectic mish mash consisting of hundreds of millions of people, many of whom haven’t even filled out a complete profile about themselves? Apart from ther enot being enough hours in the day to cover all bases, it;s madness to suggest that Facebook, Twitter et al can ever be anything other than mere bit part players, not least while there is no real motivation to be on there in a quest for your next career move.

  16. Alasdair, i recruited a Nuclear Engineer in a bar—true story. I walked up, did you say nuclear? After 90 minutes and an exchange of business cards and a few pints at the pub I had an interview set up the next week. They’ve been at my employer for 2 years. Todd is 100% right ….

  17. “It is my sincerest hope that we as a community can, if nothing else, raise our awareness of Facebook and other forms of social media as it relates to influencing our ability to make judgments and hire based upon qualifications and experience.” Quoting Adamsky.

    The “rage” about using Facebook for recruiting is not new. “To Facebook Or Not To Facebook” before extending an offer. That WAS the question.

    I remember the great debate our team of recruiters had a mere five years ago after one of the candidates we hired checked himself into rehab within the second month of employment. The post interview qualification and experience scorecard revealed a slam dunk indicator to add this individual to the team. The candidate was labeled a “HiPo” for future leadership within the organization. An offer was all but guaranteed.

    Before that offer was extended to that candidate, the recruiter responsible for filling the position accessed the candidate’s Facebook page. What that recruiter found was a litany of photos and comments that were at best unguarded and at worst, a reflection of a job seeker’s incredible shortsightedness. By Hollywood standards, static photos and text that candidate placed on his own Facebook page would, if reformatted into a two minute movie preview or trailer, most certainly have carried an “R” rating (if not a letter found closer to the end of the alphabet.)

    So enter the recruiter roundtable debate. Half the recruiters on the team felt the hiring manager should be made aware of this candidate’s Facebook content. The other half went kicking and screaming. They, in high volume accord, proclaimed that sharing the candidate’s Facebook content would be a violation of that individual’s privacy and rights of free speech.

    Fast forward: the recruiter presented the Facebook content to the hiring manager. The hiring manager accessed the information on Facebook and chose to hire the candidate. The candidate chose to go AWOL after the rehab and never worked another day for the organization.


    Not terms usually found in most job descriptions or laundry list KSA’s. “Qualifications” and “Experience” are alone omnipotent, right?

    Question: do you think the recruiters in that organization resolved their debate and chose to check Facebook before making offers in the future?

    Answer: they didn’t need to. The hiring managers took it upon themselves to do so.

    In what would be the words of the Wimbledon Centre Court Umpire, “advantage judgment.”

    So let the rage continue on.


    One last note Howard: With her clarity of influence, ability, and judgment, its no wonder Corrine is top seeded!

  18. @ Everybody:

    The point isn’t whether FB does or doesn’t work as a recruiting tool- the point is for how long will slick hucksters with high-level connections be able to sell the latest recruiting snake oil or “magic bullet” to desperate and not-yet insolvent recruiters and their superiors who fail to recognize that in most cases they are futilely “rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” of their companies’ ill-conceived, over-blown, grossly-dysfunctional hiring practices.


    Keith “Against Stupidity the Gods Themselves Avail In Vain” Halperin

  19. I find Howard’s points obvious. Facebook, and all other means of encouraging prejudice vs objective and validated metrics for recruiting – as well as other serious professional activities – should be treated with caution, to be in mildly. Resumes don’t help much therefore LinkedIn doesn’t either, except as a source of names. We will overcome this faddish obsession with ‘social’ in due course, or at least learn to use it properly. Societal rules, protocols, politeness, discretion, and so on exist (outside of social media) for very good reasons.

  20. I think Paul’s right. It really is a “faddish obsession with ‘social’” that seems to be trying to drive a rather lame argument. We have made recruitment more complicated than it need be. We have channells, good channnels, that work. Why cloud the issue? Facebook is by and large for kids and family who want to keep in touch when on different continents or far apart. It will be history in five years and the world will be wetting itself over some other new channel that the snake oil merchants will be touting to all and sundry. Much of social is shallow and nonsensical, whereas recruitment is a serious business. Do we need to know someone better by being able to pry into their Facebook account? I think not – though more fool you if you expose yourself to the world in a derogatory way like that. That’s partly the point though – Facebook is primarily for goofing around, so why on earth would anyone go there to find the very best people? Why, many of them don;t even have Facebook accounts, or, if they do, they’ve long realised that FB is not the place to be if you want to actively further your career.

  21. @paul, – re Resume’s and Linkedin: A well written resume and Linkedin profile can speak absolute volumes why Linkedin far from just a source of names, used to its max capacity and with creativity it is a treasure chest.

  22. I have to go back to the very first comment from Justin Miller: Howard – How is this article about Facebook being “all the rage” in recruiting? Reading this, it feels more like a soapbox piece on your disdain for the social networking site, and the recruiting aspect feels more like an afterthought.

    Well, Howard?

  23. I love all the comments, it’s amazing how many people get riled through mis-reading and mis-interpreting the content of the article and of the comments made thereafter.

    Wait for it guys an girls “Facebook Killed My Career”……..

    Trust me the headline is coming, only a matter of time!
    Who knows, maybe I’ll be the one making the statement!

  24. I find it rather puzzling how the U.S with our emphasis on individualism has weaker privacy laws than our European friends. Consider if you will: someone in a public place snaps my pic on their phone, or when I go in to work I get scanned to enter the building. This catches my biometric data. Do I own the rights to my biometric data? In the first case, someone looks up my public-info digital dossier (I’ve discussed this before.) and finds out all about me. In the latter case, my employer sells my biometric data (along with thousands of its of employees and the non-biometric data on hundreds of thousands of applicants) to marketing companies. Think this is unrealistic? I expect some groups could do this NOW, and a whole lot of ’em within 3-5 years. It’s technically feasible, and no laws out there prevent it…


    Keith “They Will Seek You Out- No Place To Hide” Halperin

  25. @Paul Tseko. “All the rage” was just a play on words as I was trying to be cute.

    I do not see FB as a bad place but I do see danger that is inherent if it is misread by the wrong people in a way that is out of context. The content of the article was not an afterthought either.

    So many comments that I am trying to form a response I will get out in a day or so. Perhaps late tonight.

    Amazing reactions yes?

  26. Thanks, Jacob. I’m shocked, shocked that FB might be running afoul of privacy regulations!



  27. Hi all:

    I do so thank you for your comments on this topic. I have not seen comments pile up this fast for any article I have written and I sense that hit a nerve in many readers as well.

    It is a great conversation of which I certainly am not the final arbiter. I thank Todd for inspiring me and I thank my wife for helping me to calm down a bit as I wrote it.

    A few direct replies:

    @ Justin, all the rage was just a play on words but under the surface, there is some very real rage on FB. I invite you to see Todd and Steves conversation here. Please, look at this: http://bit.ly/RbLELn

    @ Alasdair: I Tend to think that FB’s best days are behind her. It was the celebrity for a long time and took the world by storm but for me, it has become a bore. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying I do not like it, I am simply saying I have grown bored with it.

    @ Jacob: You are right. Only time will tell. Anything can happen but to me, once a product looses it élan, it is a slow slide into the abyss of second class and a replacement is soon on top. Such is the physics of our society.

    @ Michelle: I think you might be wrong. I see FB as struggling, I do not see it as a place for serious recruiting and you will have to define “meaningful conversations” for me. Sadly, I might be missing the boat but I can’t even I imagine how FB would build a brand.

    @ Maureen: Point well taken. It seems to be the way things go these days.

    @ Francisco: “I say we are the ones with the inadequacy; not Facebook.” This is to a great degree, correct. Shakespeare said it best: “The fault, Dear Brutus, is not in our stars; but in ourselves.” As an aside, you are right about human nature and there is an article in that alone; perhaps 10 articles. Each day, we have to fight human nature to be fair and be reasonable.

    @ Steve is right. This article is just a word to the wise. A few thoughts to keep in mind on things social as we now enter a time that will present us with new challenges and new friction points. How we deal with them will be very telling. Levy, we can never be friends for too long. I might just buy you a pastrami omelet.

    @Neil: What happened to privacy? It is largely gone. And in 100 years, the concept will be seen as something quaint that we used to take seriously but fell by the wayside. We are a country of voyeurs and we are now technologically enabled. Say goodbye to privacy.

    @ Rob: “Also, hate to break it to you but crime in the U.S. is half of what it was in the 90?s (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/) Check out the Bureau of Justice Statistics.”

    Rob, Even if this info is correct,( I am suspicious of studies…) we are still far too violent a country. I stand by my statement. Handgun violence is out of control. The numbers might be a bit “better” but the reality is that there is still too much blood being hosed off the floor in this country every, single, day!

    As an aside, lets get together soon and have a few pints as we recruit our way through the bar!

    @ Todd: My thanks to you for allowing me to share what I consider things that make others think about life and reality and recruiting. You are right. FB Is personal and that is the very start of a very thorny problem.

    @ John, “Question: do you think the recruiters in that organization resolved their debate and chose to check Facebook before making offers in the future?
    Answer: they didn’t need to. The hiring managers took it upon themselves to do so.” This is absolutely correct John. Not in all cases but in many.

    @ Keith I agree to some degree. I also wonder if a time will ever come when something emerges that recruiters will examine and determine, no, this is NOT appropriate for recruiting purposes. We seek the Holy Grail and once again, we are fooled as those who seek the Holy Grail usually are.

    @Paul “We will overcome this faddish obsession with ‘social’ in due course, or at least learn to use it properly. Societal rules, protocols, politeness, discretion, and so on exist (outside of social media) for very good reasons.”
    Brilliant. I hope you are right. I for one am not that optimistic. We live in a society that is in many ways, crumbling.

  28. There’s no need to apologise to me Howard. I am totally in agreement. Was that not apparent from my comments? I cannot abide Facebook. It is something I visit rarely, and only because my daughter is on there. It’s strictly for kids or friends/family to communicate with each other from different parts of the world. I also get the feeling that, other than the 83m bogus accounts, many are deserting it, the novelty having worn off. Do I need to like a box of breakfast cereal? No. Do I need to post silly pictures? No. Would I look for a job on there? God, no!

  29. Thanks, Howard.

    “I also wonder if a time will ever come when something emerges that recruiters will examine and determine, no, this is NOT appropriate for recruiting purposes.” I doubt it, Howard. If there is a fairly-affordable, easy-to-use, effective recruiting tool/technique to misuse (I mean “use”), I’ll use it. If it’s too expensive, hard-to-use, or largely ineffective, I’ll let the VPs of Staffing buy it- it’s not as if THEY’D use it.

    “Holy Grail”?
    Howard, you’re “getting downright medieval on our a**”. Personally, I would have thought you’d be more of the “Kadosh Kiddish Cup” kinda guy….



  30. Howard,
    Thanks for prompting this discussion. It is one i have had many times. I started to post a reply but it was too long and became a post in its own right: http://www.recruitingunblog.com/recruiters-no-need-to-be-friends/
    The reality is that for recruiting you don’t need to be friends, or give access to feeds. Most recruiting activity goes on via pages and applications. There is no need to be a friend. I think this is a lot easier for corporate recruiters who have brand content and a story to tell. Bill

  31. Interesting posts… also, some are flat out comical to me. Some lose the point – I agree with what Steve said; some folks are looking for the magic bullet, or act as if they found it.

    FB is just a tool, and if you keep that frame of mind, it can be useful. However, some of the better coders are not posting how many bars they bounced around to on a given Thursday night. There is a time/place to source particular candidates…

    I don’t fully agree with Howard, as I can see FB being helpful on occasion, but he has a strong case. However I do focus my energy on LinkedIn (and other career-related sites) much more so.

    Peace, love and happy hunting ~

  32. DO read Bill Boorman’s post/blog, – both in respect to this discussion and for anything else, – few have as much first hand through to thought leadership insight as Bill.

  33. i’m jumping in really late to this discussion and i haven’t read through all the comments… but one thing that seems to be lacking is the perspective on facebook or any other social channel for that matter as an employer brand tool and as a vehicle to improve candidate experience. that’s where i see the biggest win. but to make an impact and do it right, it’s likely got to be an enterprise level first and foremost, and then individual efforts ladder up into it. thoughts?

  34. Thanks, Jessica. IMHO, “employer branding” is another recruiting snake-oil, like “social network recruiting”. Employers can no longer control their employment brand, except perhaps by treating applicants and employees well.

    The goal of recruiting is putting quality butts in chairs quickly and affordably. If you want to build a talent pipeline: ramp-up your employee-referral bonus system, hire some outsourced internet and phone sourcers to fill your pipeline and/or invest in an improved job-website/application processes. You’ll get a lot bigger/better bang for your buck. Think I’m crazy? Show me some unbiased, neutral studies that show $ spent on EB or SNR result in faster, better, more affordable hires than $ spent on proven, reliable methods (such as those mentioned above and others), and I’ll change my tune.



  35. @jessica.

    I am sorry but I can’t seem to understand your statement. Can you elaborate?

    I have no clue as to what the candidate experience has to do with FB or Social Media.

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