Our fearless leader here at FOT asked if I would dig into Spokeo‘s new product – Spokeo/hr and write a review for the site. One of my favorite things professionally (other than sourcing, blogging for FOT and competitive intelligence) is to evaluate sites in alpha, beta and I’ll do it for any site, blog, job board, etc. I’ll review just about anything and pick it apart – bring it on, is my sentiment!
So, what’s spokeo/hr? Similar to spokeo, which came across my radar at AIRS in March 2007 (and relaunched December 2007 per TechCrunch), you can plug in anyone’s email into its search function and if that email is tied to a Social Networking site, or referenced online, you’re going to get some results kicked back and they’re ranked. There’s almost no point in looking at anything ranking less than a 100%.
Okay – so the purpose of this? Why, as a sourcer, would I want this? At first thought, this is a site that would be one of those that perhaps an HR Professional would want in their arsenal to further check out candidates. That would suck. If your job was to plug in candidate emails all day and see where or when they’re online and just look for reasons to disqualify? Bleaaahhh. I don’t want to do that. I want to disqualify for really good reasons, like when you are applying for an accounts receivable position and gee, you’ve got a credit card fraud incident showing on your criminal background check! Not because someone has a poor photo choice on MySpace or partied too hard at the Black Cat Thursday night.
Alright, so back to the fact that I’m a sourcer, c’mon now – how can I use this? Well as much as I love to find resumes, let’s face it, sometimes all you come up with is a name. And as many people will tell you that have worked with me before, my favorite things to hunt for are spreadsheets housing lists of names and, better yet, emails. So my thought with spokeo/hr is that if I get a list of names, with hopefully emails, I can plug the emails into the site and maybe generate some bio-data to work with. Now I know I could just go directly to LinkedIn to check out the names, but not everyone is on LinkedIn (can you believe it?). And spokeo/hr will look at a minimum of 40 social networking sites for me, including the mighty LinkedIn.
So that’s what I did – and I used people I knew and then I pulled up a few spreadsheets that were rosters for graphic design professionals and a listing of software association members and started running some of those emails through spokeo/hr. And lo and behold, I found my beloved biodata – maybe not in a neat and tidy format, but it’s there. And most recruiters and sourcers can figure out how to take that information to the next step.
A final note – if you have more than a professional email for a potential candidate – you should run whatever you’ve got through spokeo/hr. Hopefully most people have enough common sense to not tie their work email to Social Networking sites (unless you’re someone like me and it’s part of your job!) and use a personal email for their online networking. It’s worth the time (5 seconds) to run both through spokeo/hr if you’ve got ’em. Run me professionally, you’ll get a few results – run me on my personal email – you’ll get more.
Oh – and one small catch – this is not free. There are fees associated with accessing this information on SpokeoHR….you can go for a short commitment of one month or you can go big and purchase an annual membership. Up to you to decide if you really want this tool in your arsenal…..I am curious to hear what the FOT readership thinks….
Kelly is an HR Pro focused on recruiting Temp and Executive Talent in the Hospitality Industry and a 10 year writing veteran on FOT.