By Josh Zeitlin, Editor
Last week, Facebook rolled out a new feature that allows employers to post jobs and candidates to apply directly through the social media platform.
There's no cost for businesses to post jobs, which all appear in a new "Jobs" tab and in the News Feeds of users who have liked a given organization's Facebook page. Businesses can pay, however, to boost their posts to the top of the job listings.
Once a user submits an application, it is sent to the employer via Facebook's Messenger application, which the applicant and organization can then use to communicate if they choose to do so.
While some organizations already had been posting jobs to their Facebook pages, the new features should make it easier for users to find jobs and apply for them, according to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's VP of ads and its business platform.
Is the Facebook feature right for your organization?
"Most organizations need to look for ways to simplify and personalize the application process—and this offers a cost-effective option," Micha'le Simmons, a research lead with Advisory Board's HR Advancement Center, tells the Daily Briefing. "It offers a great way to meet candidates where they are, on a platform they use daily—which is especially powerful when your potential candidate is not actively job hunting."
But the feature may not be right for everyone, Simmons says. For instance, HR departments will need to figure out whether they can integrate Facebook job posts with their applicant tracking software and determine whether their recruiters have the capacity to chat with candidates via Messenger.
Some organizations, she notes, have recruiters man an in-house chat function on their career websites to talk with potential applicants. Organizations could mimic this "on-demand" recruiting practice using Facebook Messenger.
3 ways to make your job posts stand out
The key to success in Facebook recruiting will be "to win candidates over with the job posting—your first opportunity to sell them on a new role and your organization," Simmons says.
"In today's competitive labor market," she adds, "health care organizations can't afford to lose candidates before they apply, which often happens when the job posting isn't appealing, the application is too long, or the careers website is too difficult to navigate."
Most organizations' job postings are too focused on technical qualifications for roles, Simmons says. According to Simmons, job posts should do more to spark candidate interest in the role and give applicants sufficient information to decide whether the job would be a good fit.
Regardless of whether your organization posts jobs to Facebook, LinkedIn, or another website, Simmons contends that there are three keys to setting your posts apart from the pack:
1. Define success
The best job postings give candidates specific information about the competencies needed to succeed in a role—not just the minimum requirements
For instance, New Jersey-based Virtua Health System's HR department tells prospective applicants that physical therapists need to be patient-focused, decisive, and strong communicators, and that medical technologists most of all need to be flexible, conscientious, accurate, and ethical. To make this information stand out, Virtua highlights it visually in a pie chart rather than in a long block of text.
2. Share a vision
Your post shouldn't just focus on the job itself, Simmons says. You should also highlight opportunities for professional development and long-term career path options, either in the posting or through a direct link. The majority of people leave their jobs for a stronger career path, so you have to show them what you can offer.
For instance, Mayo Clinic for several key jobs has career profiles with upcoming development and learning courses, educational options for career advancement (such as a perioperative nursing program), and videos of current staff. Organizations could link to such profiles in their Facebook job postings.
3. Offer a connection
The best job posts will also offer opportunities for potential candidates to get to know what it's like to work for the organization.
For instance, organizations can point to their Facebook pages for employee testimonials and other relevant information. And organizations can embed LinkedIn's "Company Insider" widget on their main job websites to generate lists of employees who are in the applicant's personal network. Applicants can then reach out to them for additional information or a referral.
Get more recruiting best practices
For more recruiting tips, download Simmons' study, "Win Talent in a Candidate-Centric Market," which details 12 best practices for winning a greater share of today's top talent.