BeKnown builds Facebook network for recruitment

Henry: opportunity to talk to 422m people, which is huge

Henry: opportunity to talk to 422m people, which is huge

Henry: opportunity to talk to 422m people, which is huge

In what is likely to be one of the biggest online recruitment developments this year, Monster has brought professional networking to Facebook users with the launch of its BeKnown application.

David Henry, vice president of media and digital marketing EMEA at Monster, told Recruiter there are an estimated 460m Facebook users in the 35 countries in which BeKnown has launched, and those who are using both Facebook and Monster number 38.2m. “So, if we get BeKnown right, we have an opportunity to talk to an estimated 422m people, which is huge,” he says.

BeKnown, which has launched in 19 languages, allows users to build a professional network on Facebook and therefore separate out personal and work-related contacts and information.

Research conducted by KRC Research for Monster revealed that two out of five people have had or know someone that has had problems as a result of a colleague seeing what is on their social media page. BeKnown allows users to choose a different picture, create a different profile detailing their career history and skills (users can import their Monster profile if they wish) and choose only those people from their network who they want to be linked with professionally.

Employers will soon be able to host and manage their own presence on BeKnown. Henry believes this addresses the recruiter’s problem of marketing typically owning a company Facebook presence. “If the marketeers are busy talking about the products or services the company offers or there are multiple company profiles, it can be confusing for the consumer.”

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BeKnown has built in a social referral programme, which allows users to let their network know about specific jobs. In addition to this, Henry said that a number of companies are taking part in a beta test of a referral programme, which would allow employers to post a job on BeKnown along with a reward for those who refer a successful candidate. “We won’t play any part in the transaction, that will be between the company and the users,” explained Henry, who says the service is likely to go live in 30 to 60 days and can be used by agencies as well as direct recruiters.

As you’d expect from Monster, there are also job search features on BeKnown. Users can click on a link through to its Sixth Sense semantic search facility to look for jobs on friends’ networks or featured jobs. So if a featured job is from Monster, they are taken direct to the job board in a new window. If a job is on a friend’s network and they wish to apply, a message pops up saying they will be sent a company link to their to the BeKnown profile. If they are happy to click ’submit’, their BeKnown profile becomes their application and the company will contact them through this to discuss the role.

BeKnown has the potential to turn Facebook into an extremely powerful recruitment platform and could seriously rival LinkedIn in this department.

Not everyone is convinced though, including Steve Evans, managing director of NetNatives, which helps organisations develop Facebook strategies. “Monster.com’s attempt to build yet another social profile network that focuses purely on recruitment, ironically on the same day Google launched Google+ and the concept of ’circles of associates’, is superfluous to a demand in the market,” he said. “Social media platforms work because they add value to the users’ lives. Yes, when executed correctly, social media can be used to an incredible effect for recruitment strategy and delivery, but we must respect why people network, connect and share on these platforms. I, personally, think that Monster.com’s BeKnown misses this point.”

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