What’s More Boring Than A BeKnown, LinkedIn, BranchOut War?

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You know what’s more boring than a war between BeKnown, LinkedIn, and BranchOut?

Not much. Believe me.

Here’s the deal. I had the good fortune to be in Las Vegas, last week, and meet the CEO of Branchout. You know what that is?

BranchOut is the largest professional networking service on Facebook. Hundreds of thousands of people use BranchOut to accomplish one of the following important tasks:

1. Create a safe and professional profile – BranchOut profiles only show work history, education, and positive recommendations. If two people want to connect professionally on Facebook, but not grant access to one another’s personal Facebook profiles, BranchOut is the solution.

2. Search 3 million jobs and 20,000 internships – BranchOut’s advanced search options allow users to find the job opportunities based on their location, industry, experience, and job title.

3. Get sales leads, top candidates, and interviews – By leveraging one’s Facebook friend network, BranchOut provides unprecedented inside connections. Just search for a company and you’ll see all of your friends and friends-of-friends who work there.

4. Build a powerful network of professional connections – Some BranchOut users are already connected to more than 1 million people and companies. You can send invitations to connect directly to contacts or you can ask friends for introductions.

It’s a cute tool. Might help you find a job especially if you’re an hourly worker. And the CEO is a nice guy. His company sponsored a very nice party for frumpy HR ladies like me at Madame Tussauds.

Then Monster rolled into Vegas and announced a new application called BeKnown, which is essentially a social networking application within Facebook. It has much of the same functionality as both BranchOut and LinkedIn. And Monster hosted nice networking events for frumpy HR ladies — although I didn’t attend any of their parties. But it’s nice to know someone likes HR, by the way. That’s great. I really appreciate it.

But I just want to remind you — the job seeker — that companies hire 40% of their employees through employee referrals (conservative). If they could hire 100% of employees that way, they would. And after they hire from a pool of employee referrals, about 20% (conservative) of the other new hires come through corporate career websites.

So right off the bat — 60% of jobs are filled without trying too hard. And the rest of the pie? Well, it’s a mix of recruiters & job boards & social networking & social recruiting.

So it’s awesome to go on the internet and look for a job — and I applaud job boards for expanding into the world of social networking — but if a company can hire you without spending a dime with BranchOut or Monster or LinkedIn, it will.

My advice to you remains the same as it was in 2007 when I first started blogging about careers.

  • Be present.
  • Be visible.
  • Be connected.

Go ahead and get a profile on BeKnown, LinkedIn, and Branchout — and then get off the flippin’ computer and get yourself to industry association meetings, Rotary Club meetings, and alumni mixers. Volunteer your time. That’s the way to get hired in America — and throughout the global economy.

And if you’re in Human Resources, please don’t be a tool and get caught up in the hype of yet another social recruiting application. You want to make waves? Reduce your job board expenses, hire candidates through a creative partnership with your marketing team, and start working with your CHRO and CMO to update your comprehensive talent management strategies.

Don’t get caught up in the fake war war between social recruiting applications. After all, the social revolution is just starting and there will be 100 more applications like BeKnown, LinkedIn, and BranchOut before this is all over.

And you should really be paying attention to the royal tour!

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