Facebook, a Recruiter’s Best-Kept Secret

Facebook is not just a place to reconnect with your high school friends; it also happens to be the biggest directory in the world. Statista.com reports that, as of July, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users and ranks first among its top 20 social-networking sites. LinkedIn sits in 15th position with 294 million users. So when you’ve discovered everyone on LinkedIn, Facebook can still show you more.

But, how do you find people on Facebook? While it was not built for search, it does have very powerful capabilities. If you search for software developers in Harrisburg, Pa., Facebook returns hundreds. Before you assume these are only “oversharers,” consider that this list includes those tagged by others as living in that location and working in that profession. These people did not necessarily publish all of the available information, but it is shared through their own actions or those of others, so Facebook knows. The list includes people who are not connected to you or your friends.

All Facebook content consists of nodes–People, Pages, Events or Groups–each with its own Unique ID (FBID). When nodes touch, this is called an edge and is indicated by a command like /intersect or /union. When searching, you are looking for edges separated by the command /str. To use this, modify the URL–or Universal Resource Locator–which forms the physical address of this query.

For your own needs, replace the job title and town Facebook IDs with those for your search. If you run into any issues, come see me at the Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech Conference in February.

Shally Steckerl
Shally Steckerl is the CEO and founder of The Sourcing Institute.