The new face(book) of recruiting

Facebook isn’t just for holiday snaps and silly messages. Here’s how I actually found a new staff member using Facebook. MICHAEL PHILLIPS

Michael Phillips

By Michael Phillips

This blog first appeared 21 May 2008

Who would have thought that the site that often becomes the target of Gen-Y could actually have some valuable business use. The site I’m talking about is Facebook, and up until now I have been one of the only Gen-Ys not using the site – out of an unjustified stubbornness to avoid “popular culture”.

But now that has all changed. Not because I need some friends and want to show all my photos of trips to Bali and a friend’s 25th birthday party, but because I have come to see it as an amazing business networking tool.

The best example of this is a recent experience I had finding a new employee for our business. Normally our modus operandi regarding recruitment is to leverage as much as possible off our network of peers and our employees to find new and highly motivated staff. For weeks we have been running dry on our traditional efforts of getting the “feelers” in the market and looking for referrals to fill the role. This week, however, we cracked that little goldmine called Facebook.

We got all our younger staff members to send a notice out on their Facebook pages to all their “friends”. Within 20 minutes I received multiple CVs, with a number of them being fantastic prospects, and I subsequently offered the job to one of the “Facebook recruits”. This obviously blew my mind and any expectations I had. I’m now Facebook’s number-one fan.

If you think about it, this is a fantastic way to recruit. Not only are you getting your employees involved in the process of selecting their colleagues and taking ownership of their decisions, but you are also receiving applications from people known to your employees. This has the potential to reduce the number of wasted interviews, as you can filter before conducting an interview and you know that if they are referred by your staff then they have an even greater chance of succeeding.

This also highlights the many resources currently available to business. Cheap, reliable and highly valuable resources are all at our fingertips just waiting to be utilised. So don’t be too afraid of what these kids are doing on their computers – embrace it and maybe you might end up a beneficiary.


Michael Phillips is a 29-year old CPA managing a business full of Gen-Ys. He’s the Commercial Manager of Cremorne Group which wholesales and retail mens and womens apparel, including the Tommy Hilfiger, Blazer and Perri Cutten brands. He offers his experience as a pioneering Gen-Y managing Gen-Ys, covering issues such as how to recruit, retain and get the most out of Gen-Y – the notoriously difficult younger generation of employees aged 15 to 30.

Read more Managing Gen-Y blogs.
Read more about Facebook.
Read more about Gen-Ys.



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