Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ASIO advertising jobs on Facebook - is your department using social media in recruitment?

I was checking my Department's week-old Drinking Nightmare Facebook Page from home the other day and noticed that besides it up popped an ad for ASIO, inviting me to learn more about being a Survelliance Officer.

This was the first time I'd seen ASIO advertising on Facebook - or for that matter any Australian government job ads on the site (though it's entirely possible there are many I have not seen).

It did give me a positive feeling that Australian government agencies are beginning to grasp some of the opportunities in tapping into social media communities for recruitment purposes.

Social media is a growing area for human resources professionals to use in recruiting and re-recruiting staff, as Michael Specht, possibly Australia's leading advocate in the area, would agree.

If you are interested in using social media in recruitment, but don't know much about it yet, this is a useful (free) eBook to start with: User’s Guide to Talent Recruitment through Social Media (PDF)

Recruitment 2.0 anyone?


  1. Advertising on social networks and search engines was mentioned as a strategy that might be necessary in the Project 8 guidelines. However, I know that some people where concerned about the barriers to doing this because of the way Federal Government advertising is managed centrally - is there any indication about how ASIO commissioned their ad?

  2. None in the ad.

    Sometimes people worry about barriers where none exist. I find that asking often sees these barriers disappear.

    If barriers do exist, central management in some ways should make it easier. It only requires one group to approve the approach to recruitment and the door is then open to everyone to use should they choose.

    Of course, even if for some reason agencies are not allowed to advertise jobs via social media they can still use social media to communicate with job seekers and direct them to the allowed recruitment channels.

  3. > Of course, even if for some reason agencies are not allowed to advertise jobs via social media they can still use social media to communicate with job seekers and direct them to the allowed recruitment channels.

    I thought that using social media only for recruitment advertising would be more agreeable to risk-adverse Communications/Media units (no risk of people writing comments and low risk scathing blog entries).
    In practice, I was wrong - and and blocked in the departmental IT filter. On who's authority? Communication unit. Ask them why can't we do social media advertising (including having a YouTube channel to allow easier access to existing WMV/AVI format recruitment videos)? Just because - no risk assessment, no previous bad experiences. Pulling out screenshots of ads like the one in this post (it's also on gmail/google adwords) and printing out the AGIMO YouTube tips didn't help at all.
    At least the people who know the power of those sites, won't accidently see an ad for an organisation that has it's head in the sand

  4. Craig, I would of course completely agree. Advertising via Facebook is a fantastic method of targeting potential employees, and for candidates to target employers.

    However I am always concerned by organisations who use these methods to attract staff but then do not trust them enough to allow access in the workplace. As this has a twofold issue. Firstly has the potential to provide candidates with an incorrect view of the organisation they will be working with, we are happy to attract you via Facebook but do not trust you to use it professionally within the workplace. The second issue which is probably a far bigger issue is organisations who block external access are far less likely to allow these tools inside the firewall, which is by far where the greatest ROI for organisation lies.

    Organisations need to provide guidelines for how these tools are used within the workplace and these guidelines should not undermine other marketing type activities.

    Just my 2 cents.

  5. Advertising on Facebook is pretty cost effective per click, especially compared to Google Adwords. Users are more likely to engage with the adverts on Facebook as they're more relevant, since you can target users based on their location and other, more insightful metrics using the info Facebook have.