LinkedIn's main professional-network competitor, BranchOut, has just announced today that they've hit the magic 25 million user mark (and 13.3 million active monthly users). This is brilliant news for recruiters of roles that aren't typically represented on LinkedIn (especially graduates and blue-collar professionals), as the growth of the BranchOut App means more potential results from sourcing via Facebook.
BranchOut is an application hosted on Facebook that allows you to create a professional profile and builds a network of contacts based on your Facebook friends. When recruiters search for a potential candidate on BranchOut, they can see not just current BranchOut members, but their friends (ie, non-BranchOut members) headline profile details (ie, where they work). This gives BranchOut huge power in leveraging the massive network on Facebook to enable both recruiters find candidates and jobseekers find a job through a friend.
BranchOut was blocked from using the LinkedIn API last Summer, such is their rivalry. However, if you've yet to explore BranchOut, here's what to do and expect:
Create a BranchOut Profile
By logging in to BranchOut through Facebook (just search for BranchOut in the search bar), you can create a professional profile that's entirely separate to your standard personal profile on Facebook. You can import your CV to flesh out your work history quite quickly, and personalize your summary, skills and specialties.
Build up your network
BranchOut will scan your Facebook friends for connections to add to your BranchOut network, as well as introduce you to "inside connections" if you're checking out a particular company. As a jobseeker, BranchOut allows you to follow companies where your friends work, which is a great way of seeing new job opportunities crop up where your friends can give you a great referral in to the company and help you land an interview.
Post Jobs out to the BranchOut Network
BranchOut lets you post jobs out to the BranchOut network for relatively cheap - purchasing a 10-pack of job slots costs just $39 per job. Applicants can submit their CV through a one-click system in BranchOut or through Email/URL if you'd prefer. BranchOut also has two recruiter packages available - CareerConnect and RecruiterConnect.
CareerConnect lets you post jobs to your Facebook Page, and allow job seekers to apply for the open position from your Facebook Page.
RecruiterConnect lets you actively source referrals through your employee connections as a way to source new hires, based on their knowledge that approximately 80% of all hires come through some form of referral to the company.
Have you set yourself up on BranchOut yet? How have you seen your network grow over the last while? We'll be discussing Facebook sourcing among many other hot topics at this May's TruDublin Recruitment Unconference (see here for all the details).