Facebook can be a platform that’s often underestimated for recruiting. The assumption that many of us make is that LinkedIn or Glassdoor are the primary platforms where people go to find out about jobs and a company’s culture.
However, Facebook has the targeting ability and functionality to offer some real ROI to savvy Recruitment Marketing teams. So even if people aren’t actively searching for jobs on the platform, you can still get in front of your target demographic with interesting content or activities that can pull them in to engage with your employer brand and job opportunities.
In this Q&A with Michelle Hart and Mary Weathers, Senior Talent Strategists with Dignity Health, we’ll learn how their team is using Facebook to conduct virtual career fairs with live recruiters. We’ll cover the logistics of how this works, along with the ROI they’ve seen since starting to host Facebook virtual career events.
First up, let’s find out a bit more about the Rally™ Community members being interviewed for this blog:
Michelle has been with Dignity Health as a Senior Talent Strategist for the past 3 years. Prior to working with Dignity Health, Michelle was a Talent Sourcer with Microsoft and worked in various other direct recruitment roles for 15+ years – from Recruitment Coordinator to Recruitment Manager
Mary has been working with Dignity Health for nearly 10 years. She spent several years in a Senior Recruiter role, before transitioning over to her current position as a Senior Talent Strategist. Prior to Dignity Health, Mary spent 8 years as an Executive Recruiter and then Recruitment Manager for a recruiting agency called System 1 Search.
Rally: Hi Mary and Michelle, thanks so much for chatting with us today to share more about your Facebook strategy! We’re really excited to hear about the virtual career fairs you’re conducting – can you walk us through what these online events look like?
Michelle: Definitely. We put on our virtual career fairs on a monthly basis. They’re organized around a specific role area that we’re looking to build our talent pipeline in. For instance, we’ve had virtual events in past for Physical Therapists, ICU Nurses and Speech Language Pathologists.
We target our demographic for these roles through Facebook ads to let people know that we’re putting on a virtual event. We also post messages about the events on Twitter and LinkedIn. We usually see about a 50/50 split of people who have heard of us before attending, versus people whose first touchpoint with Dignity Health are these events.
From there, our recruiters chat live with candidates using Facebook Messenger during the allotted time frame, answering questions and doing a bit of a pre-screen.
Rally: Awesome. And how do you pull these events off logistically?
Mary: On the day of a virtual career fair, our entire Talent Acquisition team hops on a conference call. Michelle and I collect initial information from candidates entering chat – a little bit about their background, if they’re in the ATS, etc.
We then steer them to the appropriate member of our Talent Acquisition team and over the phone provide the initial information that the recruiter should know as they begin the online chat with a candidate. Facebook actually allows you to assign chat to different people now, which makes our day-of process pretty smooth!
If anyone wants an opinion on how to respond to a chat, we’re also there as back-up or to look up information quickly if needed, as we’re all on the open conference line together during the event.
Rally: What made you decide to start hosting virtual career fairs on Facebook?
Mary: There were a few different reasons. First off, we wanted to come up with some ways to really engage with the people who were visiting our Facebook page to find out more about careers with us.
Secondly, we thought that these virtual fairs were a good way to get more people attending events. It can be hard to get off work to attend a job fair. But anyone can attend a virtual career fair – from anywhere, using their mobile device and the Facebook Messenger app! People can jump in during their break, while commuting, whenever it works for them.
Plus, a lot of our jobs come with the offer of relocation, so this opened up the event to many more qualified people who were interested in roles with us.
Another benefit is that these events are way more cost-effective than in-person events – and we get better turnout!
Rally: What sort of outcomes have you seen from leveraging Facebook in this way?
Michelle: We’ve been conducting these virtual fairs for about six months now and have hired 29 people.
We average about 90 attendees per virtual career fair, which we’re quite pleased with. We had a fair last week, and already have 5 to 6 candidates who were sourced from the career fair who seem like great fits for the roles we’re hiring for. These were all people who had never engaged with our employer brand pre-event – and it looks like we’ll be extending offers to them this week!
Beyond the direct hire impact, we’ve also seen a boost in the traffic to our Facebook, LinkedIn and career site. We now have close to 40,000 followers on our Dignity Health Facebook careers page, which is amazing to see!
Beyond the boost in brand awareness, we also think this adds a really positive touchpoint to our Candidate Experience. Facebook Messenger is such an easy, non-intimidating way to connect with a company for the first time to find out about their hiring process, company culture and your suitability for a role. Candidates are often surprised that these chats are with real recruiters, not chatbots, and I think they really appreciate the individual attention at these events.
Thanks so much to Michelle and Mary for sharing their Facebook virtual career fair approach and outcomes.
We hope this spotlight has inspired you with some fresh ideas on how you can leverage a platform not always associated with recruitment in order to get ahead, connect with your candidates and provide a human Candidate Experience!
If you have ideas for topics and initiatives you’d like to share with the Rally™ community, let us know by reaching out to Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself (Kaitlyn) at email@example.com – we’d love to hear from you!