SHRM 2011 and BeKnown: New Social Products Would Be Great If They Could Scale…

Kris Dunn Kris Dunn, Recruiting, Sourcing

You know what’s wrong with America?  Capitalism.

Case in point:  Monster.com’s new product, BeKnown was released in conjuction with SHRM 2011.  It’s Monster’s significant entry into the Facebook recruiting scene.  To get you started, here’s a primer from the press release fodder shared over at TLNT:

BeKnown, as it is called, borrows much from LinkedIn and BranchOut, but goes further than the latter and offers more versatility and flair than the former. It’s not a frontal attack on LinkedIn’s growing recruitment business, but a flanking maneuver, focusing on younger workers just beginning to build their business contacts.

Installing the app gives users a second Facebook profile, that can be imported from LinkedIn or Monster if they are registered there. Pictures and other, existing Facebook content can be managed to create a distinctly differently persona from the one social friends get to see. Otherwise, the visual appearance mimics the typical Facebook presence.

That’s an observation Altimeter Group’s Charlene Li shares. “If I’m looking for an entry-level researcher or intern I won’t find them on LinkedIn,” the Financial Times quotes her as saying. “When you’re coming out of college, you don’t have a professional network, you have Facebook.”

Most people love the play from Monster.  I do too.  They’re a sharp group and while their acceptance that not everything is going to happen from within the Monster sign-in has come a little late, it’s still a smart play from a smart company.

The two problems:

1. They don’t own the pipes.

2. It’s America.  Which means that BranchOut (already significant) and 94 wannabe players in the space (most which have not hatched already) are going to fragment the attention that Monster can generate, the scale they can achieve.

LinkedIn is different.  They own the pipes.  The network is theirs, and with the scale they have they won’t be diminished.

Still, we need a superpower when it comes to Facebook recruiting.  We need someone who can smack the market in the face and demand 90% of the eyeballs to understand that career stuff on Facebook is important to them.

The problem is all the competitors (present and forthcoming), and the fact they don’t own the pipes. LinkedIn owns theirs.  Everyone who signs up there knows what it’s about.  BeKnown will do well, but my guess is it will be fragmented by competition.  They don’t own the pipes, so you can be sure that there’s 5 venture funded plays working on this right now we aren’t even aware of, in addition to Branchout.

The losers in that scenario: You and me.  The recruiters.  If it goes down the way I think it will, we’ll never have a LinkedIn for Facebook.

Unless Zuckerberg buys LinkedIn.  Then it’s game on.  We need that type of capitalism.