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Facebook Recruitment: How to Source Candidates on the Largest Social Network


When it comes to candidate sourcing, most people think of LinkedIn, and with good reason. As the undisputed go-to sourcing resource, however, on LinkedIn you may find that competition for the same talent is high. What if we told you there was an underutilized network you could source from that had nearly 15 times as many active users as LinkedIn?

Facebook is the largest social network, clocking in at 1.55 billion active users who can be sourced through its powerful built-in search engine, called Graph Search. It’s not well known, but the Facebook Graph Search helps you uncover candidates who have specific work experience and education information listed in their profiles, or who post content about topics you’re interested in. Facebook recruitment can also be useful for sourcers who want to find people connected to their current employees, or who work for their competitors.

Here’s how it works:

Typing in a search query

Go to Facebook, locate the search bar at the top, and type in a query.

Sample queries include:

  • People who work at [Competitor] and like [Job function]
  • People who like [programming language] and live near [Location]
  • [Title] who live near [Location]
  • [Title] At [Company] In [Location]
  • Female [Title] who live near [Location]
  • [Title] who live near [Location] and speak [Language]

The possibilities are nearly endless, so start broad and get creative to narrow your results.

Also consider running sourcing sessions with your teams - search results are based on your own unique Facebook Graph, and searching from other people’s accounts will produce different results.

I searched for “account managers who live near san francisco, california” and was served the following results:


Reviewing candidate profiles

The four top results show me current (and one former) Account Managers who live in my area - as well as how I’m connected to them. I can then click into their profiles to see public information they share, and get a little more insight into their work experience, education, and interests.

Contacting candidates

The best way to contact candidates is to try to reach them off Facebook. There is a messaging option on Facebook, but messages from non-connections are routed to an alternate inbox that the candidate is unlikely to see.

The best way to reach the candidate is by sending a note to any mutual connections, asking for a warm introduction. This will immediately help you stand out to the candidate and help you get a better response rate. Candidates will trust their friends and family members, and extend that trust to those in their second degree network. If you determine that the candidate knows an employee at your company, ask them to make the connection for you.

If you don’t have any mutual connections, try an old-fashioned Google search to find an alternate way to contact the candidate. You may find an email address, LinkedIn profile, or Twitter handle that you could use to reach out.


Facebook’s Graph Search was not developed specifically for recruiting, and its users aren't on there expecting to be recruited, but its lack of recruiting focus makes it a talent pool worth looking into. There are potential job candidates on Facebook that you may not be able to find elsewhere, and there’s a great chance you could receive a warm introduction to improve your response rates. 

Find this post helpful? Check out more of our step-by-step sourcing guides.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Sourcing Untapped Talent on AngelList

Recruiting Developers on GitHub: A Step-by-Step Guide

Twitter Recruiting: Sourcing Candidates in 140 Characters

Further reading

Data Proves It's Smart to Recruit on Social Media

This is a guest post by Zack Gallinger, President of Talent Hero Media, which focuses on generating leads for recruiters.  A 2015 survey found that 92 percent of recruiters use social media to find candidates. As of 2018, that number is likely nearing 100 percent.

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New Benchmarks Report: Discover the Keys to Sourcing Success

Candidates simply won’t answer your sourcing emails. On the rare occasions they do, you can’t even assess what you did differently to warrant a response. Ultimately, you just want to know: what are the formulae for actually hiring the candidates you source?

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7 Sourcing Hacks to Supercharge your Hiring in 2018

Sourced candidates make up the second most common source of hire, and sourcing is arguably the most promising way to find your dream candidate. To make that your reality, you just have to hone the right tactics.

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