When it comes to the social media platform that best complements staffing software, Facebook either wins or ties with LinkedIn. But Google+ promises to give them both a run for their money.

Google+, to be sure, has some serious work to do. Facebook has around 700 million users and LinkedIn has around 120 million. Both companies are mobile-savvy and respond quickly to the needs of their users. Both also have a lot of top-notch minds working for them and the cash flow to invest in R&D.

But if any company’s up to giving these social media giants some serious competition, it’s Google. Google is worth over $200 billion, has a ton of capital to invest in R&D, and has a culture that, time and time again, rewards innovation.

For now, Google+ is more geared toward Facebook-type interaction – sharing with friends and family – than professional, LinkedIn-type socializing. But as we all know, Facebook is a treasure-trove for businesses (and in case you doubt this, try to find a major corporation that doesn’t have a Facebook page). For people who use staffing software – recruiters and other staffing professionals, for the most part – it’s a great tool for finding candidates and references, and it’s a great way for candidates to interact with companies.

Will Google+ be able to imitate Facebook’s friendliness for recruiters and other users of human resources software? Theoretically, yes. The key is its “Circles” feature.

The “Circles” feature allows the user to divide up “friends” (to use a Facebook term) into circles: school friends, job friends, company friends, close friends, acquaintances, family, and so on. That makes it easier to communicate messages to only certain people – who wants to share information about a great date with grandma and grandpa, for example? Facebook has been working on this problem for a while, but (I would say) without much success.

Staffing professionals can create “Circles” around types of jobs, types of candidates, geography and any other grouping that can help them stream line their messaging to target groups.

The “Circles” feature will allow users to bracket off their professional/work life, and that, I think, will make people more comfortable participating in job-searching, referring, and other activities that recruiters can capitalize on. In other words, their professional “Circle” enables them to easily share information without 1) Leaving Google+ (because you never know who might be sending a message) and 2) Worrying about boring your close friends and family with yet another unintended announcement about a job application.

BUT – the convenience of Google+ will not automatically translate into its success. That all depends on the numbers that Google+ can generate. If it attracts 25 million users, I wouldn’t waste my recruiting time with it, even if it had some excellent features. If it can top the 100 million mark and keep improving its interface, I’d certainly use it to complement my staffing software.

What’s your experience with Google+? Do you think it will be a good recruiting and staffing tool? Please share your thoughts below and join the ongoing conversation about social media, staffing resources, and the ongoing challenges of recruiting in today’s difficult environment.

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