Talentag, a "social CV" where colleagues give recommendations and Foursquare-style badges

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Talentag.com, which gets an ‘official’ launch today, is the new consumer-facing product from the team behind Emp.ly, the social recruiting startup.

It’s pitching itself as a “social CV”, and features the recommendation element of LinkedIn but adds Foursquare-style badges and traditional tags as a fun and quick way of soliciting a ‘thumbs up’ from co-workers and friends. Recommendations don’t just operate as a popularity contest, however, but can be tied to actual work roles that the user has had.

Talentag is also heavily reliant on a user’s existing social graph. Signup/login can be done via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and the service will even pull in parts of your existing LinkedIn profile, including work experience. That said, currently it’s a bit too reliant on Facebook as the only means to add ‘friends’. The problem that this poses is, like myself, many people don’t use Facebook for work purposes, limiting Talentag’s current utility. However, the startup tells me that they are working on their own follow/follower system and further integration with LinkedIn and possibly Twitter to pull in existing contacts but need to first tackle the issue of duplication.

In terms of how you ‘thumbs up’ a colleague, well, firstly you can do just that by clicking on the thumbs up button next to a current or previous work position. You can also add free form tags, such as ‘tenacious’, for example, or write a fuller recommendation.

Lastly, and this is perhaps the most fun part, you can award your colleagues badges (a virtual gift as it were), such as the ‘Best Journalist’ badge, which Jüri Kaljundi, Co-founder & CEO of Emp.ly made sure I got straight away. How very shrewd. Additionally, some badges are awarded automatically, just like on Foursquare. So, for example, users get a “Generous” badge after giving feedback to at least three others.

  • http://mydigitaldesk.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/talentag-a-%e2%80%9csocial-cv%e2%80%9d-where-colleagues-give-recommendations-and-foursquare-style-badges/ Talentag, a “social CV” where colleagues give recommendations and Foursquare-style badges « My Digital Desk

    […] Comment! Amplify’d from eu.techcrunch.com […]

  • http://www.spirofrog.de Thomas

    Like a social recommendation engine! Nice!

  • http://siim.lepisk.com Siim

    Integration with LinkedIn and Twitter is excellent idea and works perfectly. But why would I need to import my 500+ private friends from Facebook?

    I hope it will go booming if not before, then after LinkedIn friend import functionality!

    • http://twitter.com/jkaljundi Jüri Kaljundi

      Importing Facebook social graph makes a lot of sense by immediately showin where your friends work, what positions they hold etc. Manually re-creating that graph would make not much sense. For most people it is also much more interesting what their friends are up to, not their LinkedIn professional contacts.

      We are adding LinkedIn friend graphs soon as well, the question is more about avoiding duplicate contacts.

      It’s also old misconception that LinkedIn is serious and Facebook is fun. Already now 30% of people have their serious work history filled in on Facebook. Let’s also not forget how much bigger Facebook is both in absolute numbers as well as user minutes.

  • Luke

    Like the Talentag idea, but don’t get the emp.ly.

    I assume it is a paid service. why and who would pay for that?

    • http://twitter.com/jkaljundi Jüri Kaljundi, Emp.ly / Talentag.com

      Emp.ly is used both by small businesses doing their own recruitment who might not use job boards or even have their website career section, as well as recruiters and HR people looking for convenience in spreading their jobs to various channels. As we add more channels to post to and even more intro and referral options, the value will increase as well. For now, it is just a nice small nifty tool to manage all your job ads for external sharing.

  • http://favit.com/infographs Marfi

    Sounds nice, but if they can not fill it quick with people it will die

  • Beth

    It sounds like fun but I can’t imagine really taking it seriously for hiring. At least on Linkedin it all seems a bit more grown-up and with the free text you have to be a bit more thoughtful.

    If I saw someone on here with a high score it would put me off employing them. I’d assume they were probably more interested in being popular and playing with social media toys like this than in actually getting on with their work.

    • http://twitter.com/jkaljundi Jüri Kaljundi, Emp.ly / Talentag.com

      It’s very important to distinguish 3 levels on which something like Talentag can be used. First is candidate discovery, just becoming aware of potential people in selected areas of work. Second is using badges, tags and vouches as just one part of decision-making process. Third is really making the final hiring decision. History will tell, but Talentag should be great for 1 and 2, probably not so much in 3. The same applies also for LinkedIn recommendations, which all are positive and written more as a favour to friends when they are looking for a new job.

  • Geoff Garcia

    I LOVE the idea of badges to recognize employees!
    Awesome concept.

  • http://www.vox-pop.co.uk Kagem Tibaijuka

    What’s the business model?

  • Travis Valentine

    Any developers interested in working on something like this (but with an education focus) can tweet me @travisvalentine.

  • joe techie

    What a spammy little app. All over the place it says here are your friends that “joined” Talentag. In other places it says they’re new to Talentag. It made me click on a bunch of them since I was surprised they’d join. Turns out my *entire facebook friends list* has “joined” Talentag – which is clearly not the case. Come on guys.

  • http://www.ere.net/2010/08/11/talentag-the-social-cv-site-for-friends-only/ Talentag: the Social CV Site for “Friends” Only - ERE.net

    […] what I was wondering after reading the TechCrunch Europe post about this site. The answer to the first half is straightforward enough. Talentag is the […]

  • http://www.blogle.org/2010/08/talentag-a-%e2%80%9csocial-cv%e2%80%9d-where-colleagues-give-recommendations-and-foursquare-style-badges/ Talentag, a “social CV” where colleagues give recommendations and Foursquare-style badges | Blogle.org

    […] on eu.techcrunch.com This entry was posted in English, Technology and tagged com, facebook, fun, linkedin, […]

  • http://www.merchandisingplaza.co.uk/ bryansmith

    I like this concept. It is realIy funny.Keep posting as I am gonna come to read it everyday

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com Marina Zaliznyak

    Juri, my main question/concern is how seriously this would be taken. Even recommendations on LinkedIn are not really to be trusted. You always get the positive comments from friends/close colleagues, you never get the negative reviews, you can request recommendations, etc.

    Mostly in recruiting, I don’t think they take those into account and for mid-level to top tier positions, look for real-live references.

    So back to my question, how seriously do you believe this will be taken? Not a trying to poke at you, just thinking out loud.

    • http://parcura.com Kevin

      How seriously will recommendations be taken?

      It all depends on who has given the recommendation. I do not tend to trust anonymous recommendations. On the other hand if a trustworthy friend / family / colleague writes an online recommendation on say LinkedIn, it means much more. Either you can take it for what it is or follow up with that friend for further due diligence.

      So it all depends who has given the recommendation. Having the social graph as context is always useful.

      • http://twitter.com/jkaljundi Jüri Kaljundi, Emp.ly / Talentag.com

        Absolutely, that’s why we show who has given tags and vouches related to specific jobs. In some cases it might not be so important, for example just to identify person as a teacher or angel.

    • http://twitter.com/jkaljundi Jüri Kaljundi, Emp.ly / Talentag.com

      Marina: tags, badges and vouches can be viewed from different angles. They must not be thought of just as a quality sign for the hiring person or recruiter, they are also a pat on the back for the owner of the profile as well as an meta-identifier for the person. When you look at a pure Facebook or LinkedIn work history, it is not always easy to understand via searchable identifiers in which profession the person is. “Best Designer” badge and voila, you know he or she is a Designer. So what we do at Talentag is collect a lot of meta-data about people and there are various uses for them. It’s not just about if the person is good/bad.

      There are also various ways to use tags/vouches/badges all interconnected between the people, with various values based on who have been giving them and how. It will get pretty scientific in the future I hope – and as such, much more trustable.

      I agree LinkedIn recommendations are all positive and as such not worth much.

      • http://parcura.com Kevin

        You say “I agree LinkedIn recommendations are all positive and as such not worth much.”

        So apart from the “Best Designer” badge, are you planning to introduce badges for the “Mediocre Designer”, “Sloppy Designer” and “Poor Designer”?

        Just wondering…

      • http://twitter.com/jkaljundi Jüri Kaljundi, Emp.ly / Talentag.com

        For the person getting a Talentag badge or LinkedIn recommendation, it is:
        – a pat on the back, making you happy, if it comes unexpectedly and you did not ask for it specifically;
        – it means nothing for yourself emotionally, if you get it by bugging your friends to give them to you so your profile would look nicer.

        For an external viewer:
        – Talentag badges make the profile searchable in a quanitfied way, as meta-data. They can be taken as some small evaluation of a candidate, but not more. For example the value of badges depends on how many friends and co-workers you have – but that does not matter for identifying your profession.
        – LinkedIn recommendations are hard to search in a systematic way and don’t always identify what profession the person is in.

        Let’s also keep in mind there are no absolutes. We will be testing, experimenting, changing and learning. Only time will tell, what works and what not. Any suggestions are always welcome and will be taken into account.

      • http://parcura.com Kevin

        Your answer does not cover the point of how you deal with negative feedback but I like the badges approach and what you are doing. Keep up the good work and yes… don’t stop iterating! cheers.

  • http://www.ragunaru.com Ragnar

    Whatever happened with friendly profile urls? Other than that, it’s an absolute delight to see new Estonian startups.

    • http://twitter.com/jkaljundi Jüri Kaljundi, Emp.ly / Talentag.com

      Agreed, nice URL’s rock! Working on that.

  • http://wp.arcticstartup.com/2010/08/13/talentag-wants-to-make-online-recruiting-more-social/ Talentag Wants To Make Online Recruiting More Social – ArcticStartup

    […] Talentag, on the other hand, lets you create an online profile and then ask feedback from others that builds up your ‘social CV’. Your co-workers and friends can tag a you with words or a badge. They can also vouch for a particular role you have had. At the moment this is largely focused on pulling information from one’s Facebook profile. Talentag also rides the lets-give-them-a-badge bandwagon, which more and more services have started to use after Foursquare made it famous. TechCrunch has also a nice analysis on the actual product here. […]

  • http://zikkir.biz/b012010/?p=2720 Talentag Wants To Make Online Recruiting More Social

    […] to use after Foursquare made it famous. TechCrunch has also a nice analysis on the actual product here. I talked to Talentag founders Jüri Kaljundi and Andrus Purde to get my head around the product. […]

  • http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ArcticStartup/~3/FPr05j_BLHY/talentag-wants-to-make-online-recruiting-more-social Talentag Wants To Make Online Recruiting More Social - ArcticStartup

    […] to use after Foursquare made it famous. TechCrunch has also a nice analysis on the actual product here. I talked to Talentag founders Jüri Kaljundi and Andrus Purde to get my head around the product. […]

  • http://thestartracker.com Tiago Forjaz

    Great stuff. Tags are the future! Talent is observable and thus if you can get statistical relevance out of the tags that people use to describe you, you can be sure that the person has that talent. We’ve launched a diaspora talent network for global portuguese talent and have used tag searches to identify members for their talent, not just their experience…and it really works! The statistical relevance that one can get out of tags really is impressive! check out the video on how: http://www.vimeo.com/14092344

  • http://www.dailyhrtips.com Ben Nash

    From an interviewing and hiring perspective, assuming the hiring manager is connected to the interviewee (which is not likely), Talentag has the potential of providing a quick snapshot into what a person’s colleagues believe to be the character of the candidate. This is, of course, wholly unscientific, but it may be useful for HR generalists responsible for screening candidates during phone interviews. See more of our review here: http://www.dailyhrtips.com/2010/08/26/hr-blog-talentag/

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/03/03/utopic-lets-you-see-what-content-is-trending-amongst-your-friends/ Utopic lets you see what content is trending amongst your friends

    […] It’s not an entirely new idea: offer a way to view trending content shared by your friends via social media. That’s the basic premise of Utopic, the latest project from the team behind Talentag, the “social CV” that we profiled last August. […]

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    I could really say that visiting this one of a kind site was very great cause it has a content that you rarely found to other site based on the articles that you have been posted..

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