Building an online Facebook community for recruitment

Posted July 27, 2016

Building an online community/page can be a really effective way in generating interest for certain roles.

Online communities are often more suited to industries that are competitive, candidates might not be looking in the usual channels and are  passive. It is expected that you go more to them, that they wont come to you.

The example I will use is a NZ Truck Driving job page which I built as a way for companies to connect with potential drivers. With the massive shortage of Class 5 drivers in New Zealand I thought there needed to be an easier way to engage with drivers who perhaps were not looking at job boards and the usual channels. 

The shortage has been so bad that companies have been going into rest homes to get drivers out of retirement!

Here are the key things to know when building an online community

Know your audience 

Make sure you know behaviours that your audience do online. Are they more Facebook users , or do they prefer Snapchat? Build up a character in your head of what they might be like. Talk to a few people that you are targeting to help with that understanding.What do they like? What foods do they like, what do they in the weekend? A lot of this can come from a gut feel, the idea you have in your head or past conversations you have had. Often these presumptions will be wrong, but as long as you learn a long the way everything will be alright.

Advertising the group

Facebook allows you to advertise to unique audiences in a really targeted way, which limits wasted spend. With the trucking group I advertised to people that liked certain trucks, other trucking groups on Facebook etc. I was also able to advertise to people that were currently working as truck drivers and based in New Zealand. The group started with targeting in Auckland and Christchurch where the shortage was felt most and expanded after that. 

You can either boost the posts or the whole page. I have found that boosting the whole page is more cost effective and gains more followers who then freely share it with people they know will get benefit from the page. I don't think you need to spend your budget all at once. Its often best to stagger it for when you have some really good planned content coming up.

Add Value

Value means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It all comes down to offering what you say you will offer, hopefully more. 

The truck driving community was firstly about jobs. When people first like the page the offer is "send us a message if you are interested in looking for a new job, we will do the work for you". This gives them a clear idea of the value on offer. 

Being a truckie also means you are part of a wider community. They are truly passionate about what they do and care about the industry. Other ways in which we added value was by being a place for conversations, sharing truck related news and posting some truck related humorous content.
Its a community.

An online community's purpose is to serve as a common ground for people who share the same interest. This isn't about posting something in a one way conversation, the key is to get the community almost self-sufficient. Where they hold the power and direct where the conversation goes.

We’re running and have run a number of these communities. Be it for truck drivers, Heavy Diesel Techs, Vodafone Careers, AWF Labor hire, insurance, engineering clients and for migrants through Workhere. We’ve learnt a lot and are always open to sharing.  
Louis Gordon-Green  | Business Development Manager