Social Recruiting: Google+ Business Profiles vs. Facebook Pages
If you haven’t adopted Facebook as part of your recruitment marketing mix, you may be off the hook – for now. Google+ plans to roll out business profiles later this year and the debate on whether these will trump Facebook Pages has already begun. PC World is our current favorite, with arguments predicting Facebook’s sustained dominance and the eminent domination of Google+.
Some argue Facebook will remain on top because businesses are well-established on the site. While this may prove true for big brands and local businesses, it doesn’t necessarily apply to HR. While 12% of the Fortune 100 have dedicated Facebook Pages for careers, companies are just beginning to see how social networks can enhance their employment brand and recruiting practices.
Judging from the beta version we’re using today, Google+ may offer more for recruitment marketing than Facebook can. While Facebook has roughly 150 million users in the United States, Google has 65% of the U.S search market. To put that in perspective, 2 out of every 3 U.S. internet searches are performed using Google. Facebook lost nearly 6 million U.S. users in May 2011, while Google’s search dominance has stayed consistent month over month since September 2010.
How does this impact social recruiting?
Most people start with a search engine to find specific job titles in their city. User behavior has also shown that job seekers rarely search for careers pages on Facebook – instead they only discover the pages virally from their friends’ social activity, paid ads or links on a corporate careers site. Assuming Google will integrate Google+ and +1 results into their rankings, recruiters may have a better chance of reaching passive candidates and influencing active candidates by peppering search results.
The intended purpose of Google+ may also make it an HR favorite. Despite data that suggests job seekers use Facebook to search for jobs, many recruiting pros feel the site is too social. Google+ is shaping up to be a place to curate content and keep up with people; and much like LinkedIn and Twitter, could be seen as a more appropriate place for professional networking.
Fear of what will be written on a Facebook Page often motivates companies to disable Wall comments or avoid social recruiting altogether. In lieu of a wall, Google+ users can only comment on posts or initiate a chat, join a Hangout (video chat) or email others. While Facebook’s chat features are not available for use by Pages, Google+ works as a free tool to conduct video interviews or meetings between remote recruiters across the U.S. and around the world. Facebook integrates web content into search results, but Google+ gives users a way to subscribe to featured content called Sparks – an ideal place for jobs and career content.
While we can only speculate on what Business Profiles will offer, Google+ may prove to be a new way for recruiters to combine the power of search and social in their pursuit of talent.