Like many young professionals, I have spent a great deal of time curating and organizing my presense on the different social networks -- Facebook, for friends, is set with high privacy; Twitter for the public is meant for sharing with the world; and LinkedIn is purely professional and squeaky enough for any recruiter to marvel at my active-verb dense accomplishments.
But just as the social networks are evolving, so are the preferences of the companies researching prospective employees.
BranchOut also operates the largest job board on Facebook with over three million jobs and 20,000 internships that brings the resume and connection potential of LinkedIn and the job searching capabilities of Monster.com to the meeting place of more than 600 million.
Just as Facebook launches its new mobile application across the iOS system, BranchOut aims to reach Facebook users who want to use their social connections to land relevant jobs.
"We've learned from our millions of users that Facebook is where people want to do all of their networking, both personal and professional," said Rick Marini, founder and CEO of BranchOut, said in a statement. "The evolution of networking now requires a mobile platform to enhance face-to-face interactions, as well as the relationships we maintain online. The BranchOut mobile app, which we've been developing in partnership with Facebook for the past several months, allows anyone to leverage their relationships on Facebook to achieve their business goals, anywhere and at anytime."
Mobile Facebook users users can access the platform via an iPhone, iPad, iTouch or Android device, by accessing the Facebook app or mobile website and searching for BranchOut.
Even though the go-to for higher level job recruiting remains firmly in the LinkedIn category, Facebook has grown in its importance for recruiting entry level jobs and communication driven field-work, according to a study by PotentialPark Communications. It compared recruiting on Facebook to "showing up to a student party to do interviews with a megaphone."
HR professionals in the study also reported that they were growing more comfortable with Facebook job recruiting since the service is free, it has a larger audience and it is a more open forum where feedback and comments can easily be shared.
How Does It Work
In the spirit of expanding my professional connections, I signed up for the service using my Facebook account and it used the information on my page to get the profile started. Then the platform asks for any additional education or work input you wish to add.
You are asked to invite other friends to connect with you on the service.
Once I fully updated my info, and sufficiently bugged some key friends, I was in and could see jobs that there were posted in my area and within my preferred industry.
To my surprise, there were several reporting jobs in the Bay Area that I was qualified for and each had a quick link to an external application.
At this rate, I could have a new job by Monday.
BranchOut also offers "endorsements" much like the LinkedIn recommendations. Sadly, only three of my 366 friends are connected on the service at the moment -- and I wasn't close enough with them to offer up a glowing endorsement.
Users can also easily search companies based on their contacts and quickly post a job at your current company.
I also noticed while searching about, and was then assured through the service details that, despite the service being integrated into Facebook, those that find you on BranchOut will not be able to see photo albums, wall updates or contact information from your civilian wall. This is a tremendous plus for anyone with a less than puritan Facebook page that wants to still search the available jobs waiting for them.
I was amazed at how simple this process was to set up and how intuitive the search and posting capabilities were but it still feels less detailed and professional than LinkedIn. However, it holds great potential for such an early-stage service.
While this system is far easier to see an manuver on a traditional computer, the mobile access is seamless and fits into the new Facebook mobile update -- that I think has a column-happy Tweetdeck feel.
"Based on the demand we've seen from small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, it's clear that Facebook is the new frontier for recruiting online," said Chris Merritt, general manager of enterprise for BranchOut, said in a statement. "BranchOut mobile makes our suite of recruiting solutions even more effective."
BranchOut is a one-year-old San Francisco start-up has raised $24 million from several venture capital firms and angle investors including Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Floodgate.
This amount of VC funding for a young, free-service startup shows that the promise of marketing, analytics and advertising in this arena is sizable. Early adopters of the beat version include Groupon, Levi's and Kiva.
Later this fall the company is planning to roll out another arm of its service which will be named RecruiterConnect. This new offering will allow companies to search the database and connect with possible candidates.
Image Source -- Employment.feedfury.com