Here’s Some Help to Get You Started Sourcing On Facebook

Graph Search guidePuzzled about how to use Facebook to proactively find candidates? The social networking site — the world’s largest — has thoughtfully issued a quickie how-to guide for both job seekers and recruiters.

Oout last week, Graph Search for Job Search final offers no secret insights. Any recruiter who’s tried even a casual search won’t learn much. But if you’ve not given Facebook a try before, this one-page guide will help you get started, and may even surprise you.

One surprise is how simple Facebook’s search is to use. The example from the company uses “Engineers in San Francisco,” which yields a list of “More than 100 people” and includes anyone with “engineer” in their personal profile. The more specific you are, the better the results. If the results are still too broad, Facebook conveniently provides you a series of filters on the results page to help you narrow things down.

Think of Facebook’s Graph Search as a supplement, rather than a primary sourcing tool. Unlike LinkedIn Recruiter, which gives a way to contact prospects directly, on Facebook, you still need to have them confirm you as a friend. That’s another good reason why you and your search firm need a Facebook presence. When that prospect gets your friend request and decides to find out who you are before accepting, your FB page explains it all.

What makes this innocuous little guide more than a sourcing footnote is that it encourages using the social site for recruiting. Not only does it promote searching by recruiters, it also encourages job seekers to update their profiles with education and job histories, an area users have typically neglected to complete.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long had his sights set on recruiting, though job ads are the the only employment moneymaker.

The Graph Search for Job Search guide  was compiled for the Facebook Social Jobs Partnership, a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), DirectEmployers Association, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA).

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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