Hard Rock Cafe

International Restaurant Franchise Converts Fans to Hires with Social Recruiting Solutions.

Hard Rock Cafe is an international restaurant franchise with a strong internal culture and external brand, and it recruits individuals that fit this unique culture. For its new venue in Florence (Italy), Hard Rock decided to supplement its hiring with Facebook, since traditional channels often proved slow and inefficient for sourcing candidates. Hard Rock not only needed to source 120 server to manager-level positions in four weeks, but also had to find candidates that fit their unique culture.


How to source 120 server to manager-level positions in 4 weeks?


Hard Rock’s Social Recruiting Strategy

W4 Pipeline

Hard Rock recognized that its consumers and candidates were often the same person, and launched a multi-faceted Facebook campaign to leverage their strong ‘fan brand’. They also ran Facebook Ads targeting people around Florence who ‘liked’ such items as ‘Rock and Roll’ and particular rock bands. Dynamic demographic and interest targeting honed in automatically on users that responded most to the job content.

Fans brought to the Page by ads could use social features embedded within the app to socially broadcast jobs. This drove viral fan growth, as the Page went from 0 to 1,000 fans in less than 24 hours and to 6,100 fans in 4 days. By attracting candidates that were passionate about the company, Hard Rock created a vibrant community that supported its employer brand. These engaged fans both supported Hard Rock’s unique ethos and acted as employer brand advocates.

W4 App

Hard Rock created a Facebook page from scratch, installed the W4 App, and uploaded their open positions. They allowed candidates to submit applications directly within Facebook. The app allowed Hard Rock to rapidly grow their fan base, convert fans to quality hires, and create a sustained talent community. The Hard Rock team responded to applicant questions on the Page’s wall, although a community quickly developed as users positively engaged each other.


  • $2,000

    Hard Rock traditionally spends around $25,000 on recruitment advertising for new venues. However, the Facebook campaign cost around $2,000.

  • $16

    This resulted in a cost per fan of $0.20, a cost per applicant of $0.50, and a cost per hire of $16.

  • 25,000x

    Even fans that did not initially apply for jobs or were not hired continued to be fans. The fanbase continued to drive fan and candidate growth, and the page reached 25,000 fans two months after opening.

  • 120x

    The app combined highly targeted ads, embedded social features, and a seamless application process to acquire 10,000 fans and 4,000 applicants in four weeks. The Hard Rock team conducted 1,000 interviews and ended up hiring 120 individuals through the app. 95% of candidates extended offers accepted them, a testament to the pre-qualification of candidates via targeted ads and social features.