Recruiting via Facebook: how do you reach passive candidates?

Recruiting via Facebook: how do you reach passive candidates?

Have you interviewed several candidates but not found the one yet? In that case, your ideal candidate may simply not be looking for a new job. So-called passive candidates aren’t keeping track of the latest vacancies, unlike active candidates. You can still reach passive candidates though, by recruiting via Facebook. It’ll pay to try your fishing rod in the pond of passive candidates as well as the crowded, competitive lake of active candidates.

Is the grass greener on the other side?

Before getting into recruiting via Facebook, you’ll need to get an idea of who these passive candidates are. Let’s just say that the working population is one massive lawn that is divided into three sections. The first section takes up 20% of the lawn: these are the active candidates. The next section takes up another 10%: these people are currently very satisfied with their workplace and will not even give other job offers a second thought.

The largest section of the lawn accounts for 70%: representing the passive candidates. It doesn’t take too much calculation to realise that the patch of passive candidates is more than 3 x as big as the little section of active candidates. This group becomes even more attractive when you find out that they possess as much – or maybe even more – experience and skills as their active counterparts. Convinced yet? 


What are the advantages?

Many recruiters like that they don’t have to deal with the competition when targeting passive candidates. While active candidates are often approached and sweet-talked by several organisations, passive candidates are left in peace. No stress and no spectacles!

All in all, it’s safe to conclude that the grass is a vibrant shade greener on the other (passive) side.

Mobilising Facebook in your search.

So, we’re clear about the fact that passive candidates won’t spontaneously come to you. If they won’t come to you, it figures that the only solution is to go to them. But where will we find these seemingly hidden candidates? We will start our search where most of us are passively watching what others are up to: on Facebook & Instagram.

Facebook and Instagram have grown into very popular and effective social media over the years. Facebook has convinced about 8.9 million Belgians to become users and Instagram has done the same to 5.6 million Belgians. Users on these platforms are generally not used to recruitment content, in contrast to LinkedIn, where most users no longer read recruitment messaging due to the sheer amount of it.

So how do you get to that missing puzzle piece for your organisation? Well, definitely not organically. Nowadays, only 5 of your followers get to see what you are posting on your organisation’s page. It doesn’t make sense anymore to only approach candidates that way.

How then?

By recruiting via Meta.

Just like Facebook and Instagram keep showing you those ads with the pair of shoes you’ve been drooling at, it can also target your news feed with ads promoting a new job. Thanks to its enormous database, the platform helps you reach the right candidates in an incredibly specific way. 

Speaking of targeting, back in 2021, Facebook introduced Special Ad Categories, bundling ads linked to credit, housing, and job opportunities. This led to more constraints on recruiting ads' targeting, with demographics like age and gender taking a backseat. Nonetheless, many targeting avenues remain open. Within this blog, we'll dive deeper into these unique ad categories and uncover how you can make them work for you.


Of course, all of this talk about targeting isn’t just talk. It costs money too. Thankfully, Meta allows you to stick to your predefined budget. You control the maximum spend , the definition of your target audience, and when to run the ads. 

Here at sympl, we see that 60% of candidates coming through Facebook recruiting campaigns are from the passive side of the lawn. No doubt that it is worth experimenting with Meta ads to find the right candidate.

A dog performing an experiment.