Facebook’s Graph Search: Leverage Social Networking As A Tool For Recruiting

Facebook’s Graph Search gained quite a bit of press during its public beta.  It was announced by the company with a great deal of enthusiasm.  Perhaps this was due to the fact that if it can make an impact on internet search via social networking, it can remain the target of roughly 1 in 4 page requests on the internet.

Facebook has reiterated that Graph Search is meant to be disruptive but does not stand to replace the major search engines.  However, much like the Open Graph capabilities that it shared several years ago, it is allowing the wider business world to leverage the valuable connections contained in its vast network.

Graph Search is potentially valuable to start-ups and growth businesses in particular.  This is due to the fact that finding, retaining and cultivating talent in this business space is crucial to success.  A budding enterprise has limited capital and must depend on the skills of a small, exceptional pool of employees in order to grow.  Typically, networking is one of the greatest ways of locating top talent, and while LinkedIn and recruiter networks are often effective, finding the right person in an informal professional web often yields better results.

Facebook Graph Search leverages the company’s large social graph, and it was designed to do so making optimal use of fluid, natural language processing.  This allows a person to make a comprehensive targeted search based on very direct criteria.

For instance, a search such as “People who live in Boulder, CO and like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Python” will yield a precise pool of results.  Such searches can be as broad or as specific as needed, but in the competitive world of start-ups searches for expertise in specific skill sets are the norm.

Of course, using Facebook as a primary contact mechanism is currently not a representation of good form – and often comes across as phishing.  However, once a promising candidate (or even client or partner; as the effectiveness is not limited to recruiting) is located, then it is probably best to use other electronic means for first contact.  However, as Graph Search becomes more sophisticated, perhaps it will lead to an increase in the professional credibility of the platform.

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