How to Use Facebook Dark Posts to Recruit Passive Candidates

sourcing, facebook, job search, social media

If you are pushing the envelope as a sourcer or recruiter, in anyway, you are likely getting some negative responses especially if you are relying solely on LinkedIn which last year made some changes to response rates and messaging as part of their LinkedIn Recruiter product offerings. Engineers, especially, have adopted a mindset that recruiters just shotgun messages without reading their LinkedIn profiles or, somehow, understanding that they get 90~ messages a day and blah blah blah.

Using Facebook Dark Posts to Recruit: Reaching the Unreachable Candidate

I get it. It’s a culture that we have created. We have been so focused on candidate experience and culture that we have created a monster. What are some ways that we can use alternative means to reach passive candidates in a way that they prefer to respond to?


One way, that has given me solid results, is using Facebook Dark Posts to recruit. Dark posts have been a big hit among the social media marketing crowd for a while. I recently tried using it for sourcing and it has worked really well. Right up front though, here are 5 things you need to know as you give it a try:

  • Dial in the searches. You have to reduce your searches to the simplest terms. If you are looking for a Site Reliability Engineer or a DevOps Engineer, you only need to specifically look for Title, Location, and maybe targeted company.
  • You will need to run several campaigns, perhaps simultaneously, to get solid targeted reach. The benefit to this is you get to A/B test what works best for future posts.
  • Make sure you are posting relevant content, NOT a job post. Its okay to throw in a “PS we are looking for ______” but that is all you get. Here are 50 more things you can be doing on Facebook for Recruiting.
  • Run at least 5 different pieces of content, against the same search over a 5 day period to the same demographic set. Sometimes it will take several posts to get the good ones to engage.
  • Make sure you are promoting relevant content & NOT a job description.

Mostly importantly, Dark Facebook Posts should not be used to drive candidates to apply to your jobs! It should be used to drive context, so that you can turn a completely cold candidate, into a warm one.

For more information on how to effectively use dark Facebook posts to engage the unreachable, uninterested or passive job candidate, check out this tutorial video (below) to get you started and experimenting on engaging job seekers using Facebook where the average US visitor is spending 21 minutes a day.


Finding candidates based on your typical parameters. Most of the time, it will display results saying fewer than 1000 people. That’s okay. If you are spending $10 per post and you test 10 different variations for the same reqs, you will spend $100 for likely 3-5 solid leads per day.

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Jonah Manning

Founder @PeopleOps. Connect with Jonah.


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