BranchOut from a Talent Pool to a Talent Ocean | HR Fishbowl

Written on June 27, 2011 by Charlie in Talent Acquisition, Trench HR

I had a chance to sit down with BranchOut CEO Rick Marini at the Annual SHRM Conference today to talk a little about what has become the newest sensation in social recruiting – for both the job seeker and the enterprise. I Branched-Out a while ago. I’m officially an early adopter and have the Badge to Prove it. The concept is simple and it makes sense. It’s really all about harnessing your social network (not your professional network) to get closer to companies with jobs…or people who can get you jobs…or people who are looking for jobs. And the platform for this connection is only the most populated and highest volume social site on this planet…Facebook. Did you know 58% of Facebook users check their streams before they go to work and 28% of those check it before they get out of bed? That’s what Rick says and he ain’t lying. Some worry that the lines between social and professional are getting blurred and they don’t want the two to mix. Guess what: they are blurred…soon to evaporate entirely in my not-so-humble opinion. And that’s exactly the bet these guys have placed.

The LinkedIn demographic is white professionals over the age of 40 making $105K annually. The Facebook demographic: everyone under the sun…almost quite literally. Are you interested in hiring from a diverse talent pool?You may want to revisit your LinkedIn strategy. For real. Kids right off campus don’t even know what LinkedIn is. And they don’t really care. They like the diversity of Facebook. They expect diversity from their employers. Who the hell wants to hang out with a bunch of white guys making 6 figures?

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, BranchOut was flattered this week with Monster’s launch of BeKnown. According to Rick, “it appears as if Monster told their engineers to just go and copy BranchOut.” I asked him what he thought about the biggest job board’s foray into his territory and his response was a very simple, “we’re not worried about it.” I bet he’s a little bit worried about it. Come on, man..a little? Monster’s got capital and brand and presence. Plus they have a Monster and you guys have a….well, a branch. Should be interesting to watch the showdown.

As employers, none of this is for us to decide. We shouldn’t care whether it’s BranchOut or LinkedIn or BeKnown. It needs to be all of them. You can recruit on LinkedIn, but your candidates are only those swimming in LinkedIn’s pond. You also need to source from BranchOut, because their pond is technically an ocean. That’s just how it works now. The days of posting a job and collecting resumes are long over my friends. And if you think you can continue to recruit (the best talent) that way and that way alone, you’re just plain old stupid. Sorry, you just are. So Branch Out, Link In, Be Known, I don’t freakin’ care. Just make sure you cast your net as far, as wide, as deep as you possibly can.

Image Credit: Untitled Blue

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