Buzz off: Monster's Facebook app stings rival recruiters

Buzz off: Monster's Facebook app stings rival recruiters

Monster has built a platform on Facebook bringing social recruiting to the masses that might just change the face of Facebook. But it's also upset some other recruitment app providers.

When we think about social media, we tend to consider Facebook for family and social groups. LinkedIn is the career site – jobs, resumes and professional connections, and Twitter is a random, sprawling, free-for-all mix of business, pleasure and news.

Well, Monster is changing that. It has launched BeKnown, a Facebook platform – this is a lot more than an app - which gives Facebook a professional dimension. In fact, having had a sneak peek, it changes the face of Facebook.

“An estimated 700 million people globally live their lives through Facebook and 97% of the Fortune 500 companies turn to Monster to find talent. BeKnown now gives people and companies the ability to utilise that vast network for professional gain by tapping into the power of Monster and Facebook,” said Darko Dejanovic, global CIO and head of product at Monster Worldwide, commenting on the launch.

At first you may think that jobseekers don’t really want to use Facebook for job hunting. What else is LinkedIn for? And indeed research from Monster showed that people want to keep work and social separate. Figures revealed almost two-thirds (62%) of workers in the UK are concerned about mixing friends and professional contacts on social networks. These concerns seem to be fully justified as two in five (41%) have had, or know someone that has had, problems as a result of work colleagues seeing what’s on their social network page.

However, the massive potential of Facebook when it comes to audience cannot be denied.

In response to the concerns, the platform enables you to build a separate professional profile. A different photo. Career history, skills, interests and all the things you’d expect from a CV. You can import an existing CV from Monster if you like, or build it there. Then import contacts from LinkedIn or another social network.

The application posts to your wall and connections much like others, but it doesn’t shout: ‘X is searching for a job!’ – rather, it gives professional messages which hold the impression that the user takes their career seriously.

The aim, David Henry, digital marketing and media VP for the company, explained, is simply to connect talent and employers better. Which is what Monster has always tried to do. But this is another step, for jobseekers and for companies.

Instead of sticking to the well-trodden LinkedIn lanes, it realised that the most employable are those already employed. The talent which isn’t looking – passive job seekers. Those people are on Facebook, and if they can help their customers reach them, it’s very good news for them.

It has been launched in 19 languages. Individuals can now build their own professional profiles (see example below).

The BeKnown homepage for individuals

Later on, organisations will be able to host their own pages, a service which will be free of charge.

company page for BeKnown

The search attached to the platform is of course be powered by Monster, making it the centre of the Facebook job-seeking universe.

The platform has its own messaging function, so career discussion can take place outside of the personal messaging system – less risk of getting any of those mixed up – and employers will be able to see and engage with potentials in a way that has not previously been harnessed.

Landing page of BeKnown

Monster has introduced ‘gamification’ where users gain achievement badges and scores for connecting with others, long service and other points.

Gamification - badges up for grabs on BeKnown
 

The launch will also feature a select few companies which will benefit from a referral service, where users can recommend others in their BeKnown network to a position and gain from it.

Employers meanwhile can benefit from a larger audience and hopefully, a better source of candidates.

“It’s social recruiting for the masses,” said David. Recruitment is social. And it’s for everyone now.

Check out the app here. That little bee might be as familiar to us this time next year as the Twitter bird.

Of course, BeKnown is not the first recruitment type app - there's also BranchOut - and it seems BranchOut are not too happy about this new competition...

This week I read a great blog from Jim Stroud - he's a sourcer, so a specialist recruiter, if you will, and it gives some tips on what recruiters (and therefore, organisations as a whole) will find useful. The blog is good but what has also caught my eye is the comment from Alison Hillman - I've pasted it below but would recommend you still visit Jim's blog, as it's a good overview.

"Alison Hillman
June 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm

BeKnown is an example of yet another late entrant in the online professional networking space. LinkedIn was a pioneer outside of Facebook and BranchOut is the #1 professional network on Facebook, launching in July 2010, and now serving well over a million users.

Rather than offering a new or innovative way to help job seekers and recruiters, Monster copied BranchOut’s app, from the overall concept down to endorsements and badges. Copying features is easy, but building a robust community that truly helps job seekers and recruiters is difficult. BranchOut is the only successful solution on Facebook, which is why over 50,000 new people join BranchOut everyday.

As always, we are happy to share more information on BranchOut, our network, and products that help companies source top talent. You can always learn more and sign up at http://www.branchout.com

The BranchOut team"

Ouch. "Monster copied BranchOut’s app, from the overall concept down to endorsements and badges."

I spoke to David Henry, VP of digital marketing and media EMEA for Monster, and he was keen to point out that the offering is quite different. He also pointed out to me that there are maybe a dozen professional networking apps on Facebook, but (and as Jim points out) Monster's app allows 19 languages and also enables organisations to 'own' their own page.

Naturally, Monster are going to say that, but for BranchOut to accuse them openly on the web of this looks a bit, well, petty. Yes, it's competition, but that's not a bad thing, especially for jobseekers. (Whatever happend to 'we're all in this together', guys?)

I wonder if her comments really are endorsed by BranchOut? It looks like it, but I can't find anything about this on the BranchOut blog, or any stories about it, or any comment from anyone from BranchOut other than Alison. But she has been tweeting about it too:

and again...

Monster has indeed been discovering bugs, but with a launch product that seems pretty normal.

Alsion said: "Copying features is easy, but building a robust community that truly helps job seekers and recruiters is difficult."

I should imagine Monster know all about that - they are a worldwide job board, after all...

But I have another question: Would you let your employees post messages like that on social media about your competitors?

Charlie Duff is editor of HRzone.co.uk, a sister publication of MyCustomer.com.

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