LinkedIn is a premier (translation: expensive) tool for recruiters created as a professional social networking website and has evolved into a major source for recruiting candidates. LinkedIn’s search functions, job posting feature, groups, and messaging make connecting with the right candidates in a professional way fast and easy. LinkedIn wants its users to spend all of their recruiting time (and money) on its site, and has recently upgraded the LinkedIn Recruiter home page to make it easier and more effective to do so. But LinkedIn is not the only social media platform that lends itself to candidate sourcing. Facebook has some pretty effective features for candidate sourcing to find the kind of candidates you need.

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook has 800 million to over 1 billion active users. In March 2013, Facebook introduced Graph Search, a new feature allowing users to search people using specific queries. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg said “One of my favorite queries is recruiting” when he announced Graph Search, hinting at the potential for recruiting and job search. While Graph Search is currently brand new and is not really a replacement for LinkedIn recruiting, it is an additional means of candidate sourcing that is free and has a lot of potential for recruiting.

Queries in Graph Search are simple, with fields such as company name, education, likes/dislikes, and groups. A recruiting search for candidate sourcing such as People who like Java programming and live in New York or Computer Science students graduated in 2012 can yield some pretty specific results for a recruiter to use as a source of fresh candidates.

X-Ray Searching Facebook

X-ray searching on Facebook is a search method using the site:query modifier. It’s a search method that doesn’t get as in-depth as some others. It has some limitations for recruiting and candidate sourcing, but is an additional recruiting search option.

• If you want to search for C++ developers in the New York area, enter site:facebook.com (“C++ developer” OR IT) (“new york” OR NY) in Google search and see what comes up.

• Use x-ray search for people with searches such as site:facebook.com (“C++ developer OR IT) (“new York” OR NY) inurl:people.

Facebook Directory

Increase your list of candidates with Facebook Directory where you can search for people, pages, groups, and applicants. Facebook Directory for candidate sourcing will mainly depend on the user employment history sharing feature. Recruiters can offer open positions to qualified candidates or connect with employees of a company by typing the company name. Facebook users who include their position title in their profiles are another source for recruiters to search for candidates in Directory.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook’s Marketplace lets recruiters post job ads that are another means of candidate sourcing. Describe open positions including the job title, location of the job, and job duties, and post an opening at no cost, or use the paid job posting option.

Facebook Business Profile Page

Creating a business profile page on Facebook is a potential free candidate sourcing avenue. Make your business page public and share your business products and services information to attract viewers to your page. Post your openings on your Facebook page to capture fresh candidates. Grow your followers by regularly updating information on your page and the number of new candidates you can capture will grow as well.

Stop thinking of Facebook as a site for friends and family members and start thinking of it as an avenue for free candidate sourcing. Add it to your list of alternative and economical candidate sourcing tools and you can count on adding fresh candidates from a social media platform with more than a billion users.

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