Mastering Facebook Part I

Posted: September 12, 2012 by torontosingledad in Uncategorized

So this is going to be a three part series on how to Source and Attract Candidates on the world’s largest and most popular Social Network, Facebook, but first a word from our sponsors:

OK now that’s over, let me break down for you the next three days and what we will be talking about… here it goes:

  1. Direct Sourcing of Candidates on Facebook – Day 1
  2. Talent Attraction via Fanpages – Day 2
  3. Facebook PPC Advertising – Day 3

Let’s face it, for most Recruiters and Sourcers Facebook is no where near as attractive as Linkedin is, why you may ask, well mainly because the system is not openly available, it has a ton of privacy in place and even those of us who are Master Sourcers have a hard time figuring the Facebook URL patterns to obtain good data.  As well, Facebook users are simply not encouraged to put their employment information into the system and that’s a requirement for Linkedin Users…..but here are some of the reasons why you want to start looking at Facebook as a direct sourcing platform.


The question then becomes how do I Direct Source from Facebook?  Well there are in fact a couple of options (and they are broad options) to do this.

Facebook Internal:

Facebook wants you to find new friends, it’s how they grow the network but also how they target ads at you (more about Ads on Friday).  So to help you find people that you may know they have a feature that is fairly well hidden but allows you to search internally through the network.  It can be a bit tricky to use and takes some thought and research but can find you good results.  So let’s say that I am looking for folks that work for KPMG in Toronto because I like to hire and date accounting type people apparently LOL.  Here’s how I would go about accessing them:


As is the case with most of the Facebook features (hint hint hint) you start off on your home page, now for most of you who think that most of the FB features are located out of the Newsfeed, you are mostly right but for the purposes of sourcing our most useful features can be found via the Timeline….in this case we go to my Timeline and click on the Friends Tab…..which takes us to


my list of friends, now for privacy sake I have removed the friends listing…and because for the purposes of this post it’s irrelevant.  What we need to use is a non-descript feature in the upper right corner of the page titled + Find Friends, that’s where all the gold is.  Once we press that we have a number of options with which to search not in our own friends list but for potential new friends.

Now here’s where the thinking comes in.  This feature can now give you a wide net to cast for new potential candidates, it’s based on the friends/friends idea, so if you are like me and have approx 2000 friends and those friends (according to Facebook) have the average 350 friends then you now have a potential reach of 700,000 people give or take.  The great thing about internal search is that you can filter your results on Current City, High School, Mutual Friend, College or University, Employer and Graduate School.  Obviously the emphasis on Schools is a hold over from “The Facebooks” beginnings at MIT.  You can also filter on a combination of factors so if we wanted to look for folks from Toronto who work for KPMG we have a couple of options.  In this example I choose to select Eryn O’Shaughnessy because I know that she works for KPMG and the chances are that some of her peers are also Facebook friends, but if I had wanted to cast a wider net then I could have filtered on Current City and Employer and looked at the results.

The other option is just to find someone who is a friend…like Eryn and search manually through her friends…that looks something like this:


Once again we select her profile and then go to the friends Tab….


As you can see there is an option to search via the drop down for Employer as well….pretty cool right?

Facebook Externally:

For the longest time Facebook was not open to being X-rayed via Google or Bing.  However that has recently changed because the Social Network decided to allow API access to it’s system for a couple of partners and one major search engine.  Because you can now run Bing via Facebook Connect the Social Network is now much more able to be X-rayed.  But again, just copying and pasting a search string will not help very much, you need to be able to look at the URL patterns to see where the good data is…..let’s say I’m looking for someone working at Manulife.  Here is the search string I used in Google: Toronto “at Manulife”

this will get us a couple of results…it will

  1. Find people who have stated on their profile that they currently or in the past have worked for Manulife in Toronto
  2. Find people who using Facebook Places have checked in at Manulife in Toronto — and the majority of people who check in to a place are often employees or contractors.

Here is how that search looks:


Now when I first ran this search I got a lot of junk notes that people had written complaining about Manulife, not the data I was looking for but for sure might be useful for Manulife to know (ahem ahem).  So I had to remove those results from search —- what I noticed is that Facebook uses a standard URL address for notes that always has the word “note” in them so what I did was simply reduce those out with the field modifier -inurl:note as part of my search string.  All of a sudden I got much much cleaner results.

Here is the issue with doing any of these types of searches, you have to sift through the data that you are getting because most folks go on Facebook listing interests and not job titles….so although you are finding good data it is still heavy on time commitment to sift through that data.

Still not a network that can be ignored.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow.


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