I think I have hit a bit of rocky patch in my relationship with Facebook. You know how it is when you’re in one of those relationships that seem to be getting bit old, a bit tired, somewhat stale? You either let it fizzle out entirely, or maybe you make a grand gesture, a bold statement that says “This is a bit rubbish and boring really, but I’m doing this big, grand thing, to reawaken our ardour and put the fizz back into things again!” Not wanting to let things slide into oblivion, you might book a fancy holiday, buy some expensive jewellery, perhaps even invite her parents around for Sunday lunch.
So it is for me with Facebook. Searching one day for the button to delete my account, our relationship was handed a lifeline by the lovely people at Jobs.co.nz who offered to build my Facebook page for my business Rice Consulting. So, believing Facebook would burst back into my conscious with a riot of colourful updates, friends, likes and photos, I let them create my company Facebook page for me. I must say they did a very nice job, for which I am hugely grateful, but do you know what Facebook did after my grand gesture?
Facebook sighed, shrugged its shoulders, and said “Meh…”
I got nothing from it. No re-ignition of passion for this form of social media, certainly not in the sense of running a professional business, and definitely not to help me win business and attract new recruitment candidates, which is essentially what my business is about.
But should I be surprised? I must say I have seen some fabulous examples where Facebook is a fantastic way for a brand to communicate with its friends fans and loyal customers. But this is nearly always in a B2C type relationship rather than B2B as we are in recruitment. How can a business selling a service to another business really expect to get anything out of Facebook? Particularly in recruitment, do Facebook users really want to know what jobs a recruitment company is recruiting for when they visit the site to share photos, tag people in embarrassing situations and wish each other happy birthdays?
On the flip side to recruitment agencies, there are some internal corporate recruitment teams doing some very nifty things with Facebook. Is this where the true value of Facebook can be realised in a recruitment environment? Deloitte appear to have harnessed this medium in a variety of clever ways and use Facebook to attract summer interns, augment their Graduate drive, promote their Employment Brand and communicate internally with staff in a less formal way, often resulting in more open sharing and collaboration. Plus it makes them look cooler, more modern, and more accessible in comparison to their competitors amongst the Big Four CA firms who are often clamouring over the same talent.
But can there be a future for Facebook and us recruiters on the agency side? I must at this point doff my cap to Frog Recruitment who make a nice use of Facebook to broadcast their radio series, employment advice videos and other bits and pieces. Also Sead who are having a decent go at it to announce industry events and post more relaxed images of the team at play.
So help me out here. As a recruitment company with a company page on Facebook am I wasting my time? Will anyone ever see my job ads? Or am I missing the point entirely and, like Twitter, is it just another way of humanising your brand and letting clients and candidates see the real people behind the corporate front?
Suggestions are most welcome, because I’m pretty close to giving this old Facebook the flick and strutting off to the pub to hit upon that fancy temptress StumbleUpon instead.