Recruiting on Google Plus: How to Source Your Target Candidates

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Google Plus has 300 million active users (out of 540 million total).

Or, put another way, it’s roughly the size of Germany, France, Japan, and Algeria combined.

With that potential talent pool, you’d think more recruiters would be mining it to find hires, but many have been scared off by talk that it’s superfluous, too confusing, or a ghost town.

explore google plus

Don’t be frightened away; savvy recruiters and hiring managers are already using the search giant’s social network to build relationships and find exactly the job applicants they need.

Google+ may not have as much engagement as some other social networks, but it still has half a billion total users through which you can search and connect to find prospects.

Here’s how:

1. People Search

google plus people search

The search functionality within Google+ is—unsurprising given the company that created it—very good.

What you’ll want to do here is use the search bar at the top, and click on the “People and Pages” tab right below it.  Unlike other social networks, Google Plus lets you use a whole host of search operators to narrow down your searches (like quote marks around a phrase to indicate you want an exact match for the search terms).

For instance, a search for ruby programmer (no quotes) will return anyone with either of those two words in their G+ profile, so you get a lot of people named Ruby, who also happen to be programmers.  However, a search for “ruby programmer” (with quotes) will return only those people who have that exact phrase, in that exact order, in their profile.

Other search operators that you can use on Google also work here, including adding “-“ before a term to exclude any profiles with that term from showing up in the results, and “OR” to indicate that a profile with either of the two terms in it should show up in the results (e.g. “California OR Tokyo”).

2. Communities

google plus community search

Like Facebook’s “Groups,” Google+’s “Communities” allow people with shared interests to meet, chat, and connect.

You can find communities where your target applicants congregate by clicking the “Communities” tab below the search bar.  While, as in the people search, you can use a whole host of search operators here, I’d recommend against too many for the reason that groups tend to be broader, and if your search is too specific you’ll exclude good options.

Instead you’ll want to search on more general terms that could be the names of groups your candidates would join.  E.g. “computer programmers” is likely to yield better results than “ruby programmers.”  Once you click into a promising group, going to “See all” next to “Members” will pull up a list of all the people in that group, which you can then search through as well for more targeted results.

If you do plan on posting job openings in these communities, make sure to check their rules first, as some don’t allow that type of promotion.

3. Public Google+ Posts

google plus post search

This search functionality is what really makes G+ stand out from the other social media channels for recruiters.

Because so many Google Plus posts are public (and actually indexed by the main Google search engine) they provide an incredibly rich, targeted vein to mine for applicants.

Want to find someone who just finished their Ruby on Rails certification and is announcing it to their friends and the world?  Easy.  Need to learn who is currently in between jobs and reaching out to their Google Plus network for referrals?  Just a matter of using the right search terms.

Click the “Google+ posts” tab below the search bar, and play around with keywords.  Beware that the results here are ordered by “best of” rather than “most recent” by default, so to get the most timely results you’ll have to change that each time you enter a new search.


What other ways have you found success recruiting on Google Plus?  Add them in the comments below!

Looking for Talent Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Talent Management software solutions.

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About the Author


JP Medved

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J.P. was formerly content director at Capterra.



Google plus is a great way to search jobs after linkedin.

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