Monster.com, the online career board, announced yesterday (June 26th) that they are set to launch a professional social networking rival to LinkedIn on Monday, June 27th, 2011. The new professional networking site is called BeKnown and will operate on Facebook’s platform. Click on the link to find out how the new service works.
What does launching of BeKnown mean to recruiters?
1. Larger and younger market. As most people in the talent acquisition industry know, LinkedIn has become a major force in the corporate recruiting market. The company’s stellar IPO and rapid growth as “the professional social network” has created a transformational platform for corporate recruiters and job seekers. Corporate recruiting is LinkedIn’s fastest growing revenue stream, and the company is now aggressively building new tools and services. Today the LinkedIn network has around 100 million users and is growing at a rate of nearly 3 million per month.
Facebook reportedly has over 700 million users and many of the users are not on LinkedIn yet. Facebook users keep in touch with friends, play games, share photos and family news, publish personal information, and often promote information about their children, pets, and local activities. They even publish their location. And as the data below shows, they tend to be younger, of a lower household income, and of a slightly lower education level. And because of the way Facebook works, the information they share is not “sanitized” or “edited” for business purposes.
So despite the LinkedIn’s rapid growth, there is a huge pool of young professionals on Facebook, who do not take an advantage of professional social networking. BeKnown has the potential to bring a professional social networking to this large Facebook audience without mixing the professional and social identities. Also, as we can see from the chart, Monster’s client base is very similar to the Facebook’s, which makes the Facebook platform an ideal place for launching BeKnown.
2. The Use of Social Networks for Corporate Recruiting. It turns out, as the LinkedIn financials show, that social networks are powerful recruiting and job seeking tools. The $120 billion corporate recruiting industry is being transformed (and upset) by LinkedIn because the system is such a powerful tool for recruiters to find passive candidates. People in the LinkedIn network maintain their profile actively, giving recruiters a real-time, highly accurate database from which to search and contact candidates. Recruiting companies are losing the value of their networks. Large job boards like Monster.com, CareerBuilder, The Ladders, and others are seeing job seekers (and recruiters) move their dollars and energy toward LinkedIn. The launch of BeKnown is a major move to change these dynamics and give Monster a significant opportunity to play in the Facebook network of job seekers and recruitment needs.
3. BeKnown – professional social network on Facebook. BeKnown will appear as an application on Facebook, but after you join and create an account you begin managing your professional network outside of Facebook. Your professional network isn’t limited to your Facebook friends. In fact, your Facebook friends are not being revealed on BeKnown.
Some other key features include:
- The ability to invite connections from both Facebook and your LinkedIn network, Gmail, Yahoo, and other email systems;
- The ability to share different information and photos professionally than you do in Facebook today (a major important feature);
- The ability to claim and manage company profiles;
- The ability to post and share jobs;
- The ability to earn “badges,” which are professional achievements (a form of game rewards) for having the most number of connections, a large number of connections at the executive level, helping and endorsing others, etc.;
- The ability to give references and focus these recommendations based on a friend’s competencies or capabilities;
- The ability to follow companies and view jobs from those companies, which are matched against your BeKnown profile (and your Monster.com profile);
- Support for 19 languages.
4. Jobs. Since Monster is a talent acquisition company, the system has some unique features to help businesses recruit people. It will proactively display your jobs which can be recommended by the potential employee’s friends (creating a “JobVite”-like referral network). This is a significant opportunity for job seekers - making it very easy for them to see a customized feed of jobs that fits their interests every time they log on. Monster is giving the ability for the recruiters to post a fee for referrals and reward users who brought the person to the job. BeKnown is also free to recruiters. Monster jobs are incorporated there, so any user will see a good amount of jobs beginning on day one.
The BeKnown system has the ability to become a major force in the professional social networking. BeKnown extends Facebook with features to make recruiting far easier. Recruiters can easily set up company pages, post jobs, create referral networks, and leverage existing Monster job listings among the BeKnown network. The system’s features for badging, job sharing, job referrals, and company pages should quickly create a “market for jobs” which builds upon Facebook’s reach, but bypasses Facebook’s more generalized advertising system.