Facebook for Recruiting? You Better Believe It!

By The Recruiting Division

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LinkedIn is the place to be for recruiting. You can’t deny its premier features for sourcing, job posting, messaging, and networking, but it does come with a price tag.

LinkedIn works hard to attract and engage its users to entice them to use their platform exclusively for recruiting.

But there are other social media sites that are great for sourcing candidates without any cost except time and effort. With hundreds of millions of active users, Facebook is one of those sites. A 2012 CareerBuilder survey found that employers are frequenting Facebook slightly more than LinkedIn to research job candidates, and much more than Twitter or other social media sites. And Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerburg hinted at Facebook’s designs on recruiting and job search when he announced Graph Search.

Using Facebook To Search For Candidates

There are several ways to use Facebook to search for and research candidates, and Facebook’s more friendly, casual format facilitates introductions and contacts. Try these ways to use Facebook for candidate sourcing when you are looking for alternatives or additions to LinkedIn.


Grow your candidate pool with Facebook Directory. Search for people, pages, groups, and applicants. Users who share their employment histories and include their position titles in their profiles are searchable by recruiters. Find candidates with the skill sets and experience you’re looking for and connect with employees of companies in industries you recruit for.

Graph Search

Facebook’s new Graph Search lets you search millions of active users with specific queries. Easily create effective queries with terms like “people who like Cobol programming and live in California” or “computer science students graduated in 2012” for relevant results. Although Facebook is not yet as focused on professional networking as LinkedIn, Graph Search makes it a free source of candidates.

X-Ray Searching

X-ray searching on Facebook is an additional candidate search method using the site:query modifier. It’s not a stand-alone search method and is somewhat limited for recruiting and candidate sourcing, but is a recruiting search option that reveals the types of candidates you need.

  • If you need Java developers in the San Diego area, enter site:facebook.com (“Java developer” OR IT) (“san diego” OR CA) in Google search to see what comes up.
  • You can x-ray search for people with search terms such as site:facebook.com (“Java developer OR IT) (“san diego” OR CA) inurl:people.


Other Ways to Use Facebook for Sourcing

Post your job ads in Facebook’s Marketplace as another means of candidate sourcing. Use the no cost option to describe your openings and let candidates know the job title, location of the job and job duties, or use the paid job posting option to target your posting.

Create a public business profile page on Facebook and use it to attract viewers and followers as well as applicants and you’ll soon have a free candidate source.

  • Share your business products and services and regularly update your page.
  • Describe your company culture and let your employees discuss what they like about their jobs.
  • Include links on your Facebook page to your company website career page and your intern program page if there is one.
  • Use your Facebook business page to ask for referrals.
  • Use your Facebook page to post your job openings, highlighting new openings and letting viewers know how to apply or get in touch with recruiters or hiring managers.


Don’t overlook Facebook as a site for free candidate sourcing. Its user numbers alone make it an attractive site for finding new candidates. Add it to your candidate sourcing strategy as an economical sourcing tool for fresh candidates and take advantage of one of the top social media platforms today. 

Andrew Greenberg is the founder and managing partner of Contract Recruiter, a leader in On-Demand recruitment solutions. 

Image Credit: Spencer E Holtaway


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