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How Small Businesses Can Use Facebook to Level the Playing Field

Posted by Samara Parker
December 9th, 2013

Being small is tough. When it comes to recruiting, the big guys have a lot going for them: established branding, greater reach, and just more resources at their fingertips in general. But, being small also has its advantages; you just need to know how to leverage them!

I am an extremely tiny person myself. I am also quite athletic. These things are often at odds with each other, so no one would ever think to pick me first for their basketball team! So, instead of crying over poor genetics, I've found sports that are better suited to my stature. I don't play volleyball, sport of the amazons, but I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is perfectly suited to those of us with small levers!

When it comes to recruiting, I suggest small businesses do the same.

Smaller companies can beat the big guys. They just have to pick the right game, choose their playing field wisely, and employ a few ninja-like social recruiting tricks while they're at it!

The Game:

Social Recruiting

TV ads, billboards, job fairs, and networking events are very expensive. Social recruiting is not. Big companies also outshine smaller companies in these non-social areas because they have easily recognizable branding, established reputations, and more manpower!

When you use social to recruit, you level the playing field. You simply do not need a large staff to run hiring campaigns when using Facebook  or Twitter. You can grow your employer brand while you recruit, and, let's face it, Facebook Ads are much more budget-friendly than career fair booths!

The Playing Field:


I'm not going to dwell on the commonly-used reasons given for picking Facebook to recruit with.

  • 1 Billion Reach

  • Graph Search's ability to access passive candidates

  • Mobile-friendly

  • Amazing candidate targeting

All of those things are gold for recruiting, but they are equally beneficial to big businesses as they are to small ones. And we're talking about how you can edge out the big guys. There are two notable benefits to being a small business when it comes to Facebook Recruiting.

First, big businesses aren't using Facebook for recruiting at nearly the same rate that they are using Linked in. Most of them include the network in their strategies, but aren't consistently focused on building Facebook talent communities. This means less competition for small businesses trying to recruit.

Second, Facebook is all about "authentic interactions". The term authentic gets thrown around a lot these days, and often it's just marketing fluff, but when it comes to engaging on a social network like Facebook, it has actual meaning and value. Facebook is built on friends connecting with friends, and users still see the network this way, even though over 70% of them have used Facebook to look for work... just sayin'!

As a small business you can work this angle to your benefit. You aren't some huge corporation, sending out email blasts, using bots, and posting repetitive content. You are human: personal, and engaged. Embrace your smallness. It makes you more relatable.

The Tricks:

Play up your smallness

Engage with people one on one, showcase the that staff you do have on a personal level, emphasize just how small you are, and how that impacts your team positively (i.e. they are a name, not just a number.) Show potential candidates that yours is a company they can grow with. You can do this by sharing content about your company's growth, both past and projected, its history, how you got started and why, as well as posting employee profiles that introduce your staff.

(Here's how to create employee profiles to boost your employer brand)

Go on the hunt

Facebook is the perfect place to seek out passive candidates to grow your talent pools. You can search for potential hires through Facebook's directory, and check out Pages and groups that are relevant to your job openings. More and more, users are sharing their employment histories and professional skills, so you can use Facebook Graph Search to seek them out based on this information.

Be consistent

Many employers only post to their Career Page when they have a position to fill. This simply doesn't work. If you want to build a great employer brand, grow your talent communities, and connect with potential hires, you must share varied content, and do so consistently.

Employee profiles, pics of staff parties, recruiting videos, links to relevant blog posts, and questions, are all great things to post on your Page. I highly recommend checking out Earls Restaurant's Facebook Career Page if you want to see a great example of Facebook employer branding. KLM Airlines also has an amazing content strategy, worthy of imitation.

Most importantly, just get started! The sooner you take the plunge into Facebook recruiting, the sooner you can start growing your talent communities, and attracting qualified candidates!

Oh, and did I mention that the Jobcast Facebook Recruiting App is a super easy way to get started with social recruiting?