Job Recruiters Give Facebook The Old College Try

from the clean-up-your-profile dept

In the next few months, as college seniors prepare for their departure into the real world, campuses will be dotted with recruiters from a range of companies looking to reel in America’s brightest. Not surprisingly, this age-old ritual is getting an upgrade. Increasingly, recruiters are using sites like Facebook to reach out to potential hires. There they can get the names of potentially interested applicants and keep them up speed with important information. We’ve pointed out many instances of companies engaging in poorly conceived attempts to cash in on the social-networking phenomenon. Most of the time, the problem is that companies want to own and control the site for themselves, which pretty much defeats the point. But using social-networking sites for job recruiting makes some sense, as finding work has always been one of the primary reasons for any kind of networking, and it doesn’t require potential recruits to go to some new site. For sites like Facebook, which have struggled to make money, they should look to see how this online recruiting evolves, and what role they can continue to play. So far monetization has been a struggle, and what money they do make comes from basically selling ads (sometimes disguised as a profile for a brand) to companies. But actually facilitating more meaningful exchanges and relationships could create a lot of value. Still, it’s too early to say whether or not this will actually work. The Marines tried doing recruiting on MySpace, and though it found itself a lot of friends, it didn’t do so well in terms of getting soldiers.

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Comments on “Job Recruiters Give Facebook The Old College Try”

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misanthropic humanist says:

Recruiting can be a real bitch.

A few years ago I needed to hire a couple of Java programmers for a fairly short term project. It was the perfect temporary contract for a college first year or school leaver with a bit of Java knowledge, so I did the old fashioned thing that people have been doing for centuries. I wrote up a few postcards and pinned them on the board at the local technical college.

I was contacted a few days later by a fuming administrator who said the cards had been removed and that I did not have permission to offer their students work. Excuse me?! I explained that I was doing them a good service, the opportunity was not a scam, it was actually well paid work that would also offer good experience to students who had no other previous work on their resume. They hung up.

I took my remaining cards down to the hall of residence and put them there instead. A student called who seemed like a great candidate. While she was actually in my office *during the fucking interview* another college administrator called up again and said that if I employed any student from their facility I would be hearing from their lawyers.

I felt like a complete dick to have to turn her away and say “sorry, I think you’re a good programmer, but your college is threatening me if I employ you”

I looked at some agencies, but they only dealt with experienced graduates and wanted an extortionate percentage fee that made it uneconomical to go with. Why the hell would I give money to some slimey middleman when I could be paying that as wages to the programmer?!

In the end I found the internet newsgroups and chat channels were my friend. I got two brilliant coders from the next town who hung out on an IRC channel and they wrapped up the code so quick I paid them a huge bonus.

My point is this: Colleges, Universities, and I expect social networking organisations see their members as chattel not free individuals. They treat them as if they were property. I would not be at all surprised that Facebook (or whatever) get uppity and start to chase recruiters off their “turf”.

Tim says:

Re: Recruiting can be a real bitch.

Most colleges follow the Principles for Professional Conduct
For Career Services & Employment Professionals, by putting up your own cards without going through the campus’s career services office you hurt their ability to follow those guidelines. I am suprised they didn’t point you in the right direction for recruiting through their services. Access to candidates is usually quite good and inexpensive or free.

The infamous Joe says:

dot dot dot

Although IANAL, I can’t imagine there is a law restricting the employment of college students– I imagine they were using scare tactics on you. The fact that if you didn’t go to the college might make advertising on their boards unlawful.

In any event, I highly doubt facebook will have a say in how it is used– the only way they could prevent it would be to stop people from viewing their pages– which seems more than a little counterproductive to me since that’s how they make money.

And unless I’m mistaken, Myspace already has a ‘jobs’ section– as well as a place to post roommates needed, etc– I don’t think Facebook will mind if people view their site to find potential employees.

Anonymous Coward says:

Odd (regarding college thing)

I recently graduated and during my tenure at my school we had student boards posted with all kinds of jobs and internship opportunities. They were a great resource and very helpful. In fact I found my first internship through them which lead me into a great career as a systems engineer making significantly more than first year grads. I think it’s an exceptional resource and I’m shocked that the school did that to you. They’re only hindering the students and they should protest.

Republican Gun (user link) says:


Military recruiters should hang out in the Counterstrike and BF Servers. An army recruiter friend of mine has gotten at least six recruits last year from hanging out in military online games.

As for the college that threatened to sue….. tell them to go suck on a rope or pound sand! I would like to see the idiot explain to the schools board why they are spending money on attorneys for such crap.

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