When social networks first appeared they looked like they would completely change the recruitment industry. I mean, a profile was exactly like someone’s CV, right? Wrong. Despite LinkedIn doing very well as a hub for recruiters that put the time and effort in (and upgraded to the Pro version) or others using Facebook as a recruiting ‘back door’, it remains the case that social networks tend not to be set up for real day-to-day recruitment purposes. The whole thing is just a bit of a mess, especially where people’s public and private streams start to cross.
Some startups are trying to address this issue. Notably, the newish BranchOut is a Facebook application that works out where your friends, and friends of friends, have worked. It has secured $6m from Accel, among others. Then there is JIBE, Superscout and Emp.ly. However, while many of these startups are doing the classic Silicon Valley modus operandi of trying to scale as fast as possible and get headspace among users, there is one thing most seem to be missing from the equation: Employers. This is a group who are massively cautious and usually need hand holding. They are even now only just getting used to the idea that traditional recruitment consultancies or job boards are may be affected by ‘social recruiting.’
BraveNewTalent is a startup which has taken an approach from the other end of the telescope. It’s spent time building a network of corporate clients starting in London which has brought in revenues and pushed the startup towards profitability already, but clearly that doesn’t qualify it as a startup which can scale.
What does qualify it is its new Facebook app which just went live here.
This app builds your professional profile but instead of letting potential employers see all your embarrassing Facebook profile photos, it gives them access to what they need to know about you – your education, work history and current employer – while you get to see information about them and also, more interestingly, stats on your friends.
The app will recommend employers and jobs based on your profile. You can’t bring in Linkedin connections into the app yet but that is on the roadmap. Also displayed are where my friends want to work or do actually work, and the statistics section pulls in the top companies your friends work in, top industries, universities, degrees, etc.
As CEO and founder Lucian Tarnowki says: “Employers want a presence on social networks, but they want to do it professionally.” BraveNewTalent’s view is that allowing people to follow companies in a social manner allows the companies to hire from a “warm pipeline” of people who have opted in to following them, rather than the mass market. Their long term goal is also to allow employers to passively train that potential talent in advance of them even applying for a job.
The idea is that an employer can engage with people on BraveNewTalent, which sucks in social networks like Facebook, without the need for the employer to do the heavy lifting of having a presence themselves on all these networks. Of course, they may still want to so that. But the advantage to the person looking for work is that they can interact without giving out their personal social updates, just their work-related data. Indeed, Brave New Talent may also find a home in Germany where employers have been banned from accessing Facebook for recruitment, least they stumble upon private data.
Facebook App features:
• Follow employers: Users find and follow employers that they want to learn more about and stay up-to-date with their news, tweets, blogs, videos and jobs
• Use your network: Users can see where their friends are working, which helps them expand their network of professional connections
• Extend your network: Users get to see where friends of friends are working and if they’re interested in that particular employer they can ask for an introduction
• Share jobs with friends: Any Facebook user is able to share job opportunities with their friends and invite others to come join their network so they can share jobs too
• Search for jobs: Users can browse for job opportunities, linking them directly to the posting, either on BraveNewTalent or straight to the source
• Professional profiles: Users can manage their professional information and how they are presented through their online profile on BraveNewTalent.com, keeping their professional and personal lives apart.
CEO Tarnowski – who, I understand, arrived in Silicon Valley today to meetings with the kinds of VCs that have to date been fudning social recruiting startups – has also been promoting the product in the real world – gladhanding global recruitment heads for the last year or so at a number of conferences, while his 10 person team works on the platform.
The board features Alex Hoye, CEO Latitude Group and an Angel investor, Adrian Cox –Ex-European CEO of Ask.com and barnd expert David Ball. Clients include McAfee, L’Oreal, Allen & Overy, Pinsent Masons, Eversheds and Tesco.
Is their London location a disadvantage? Tarnowski’s view is that London and NYC are a better base than the Valley as there are more HR Directors in London than any other city in the world. Perhaps being in the Valley would be a disadvantage for once.