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Mon, Jun 27, 2011

Ideas & Trends

What BeKnown Means For Job Seekers, Recruiters and the Talent Acquisition Industry

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On Saturday, Monster.com dropped the gauntlet and launched BeKnown, a new Facebook application that hopes to become the professional social network for Facebook users, and a vital new tool for recruiters, human resources, and talent acquisition teams.  In this blog post, we will explain this market and preview some of the exciting features in this important new offering.


Monster.com is one of the biggest and most experienced players in the corporate recruiting market. The company operates a vast array of websites, advertising services, and media tools to help job seekers and recruiters with more than 49 million unique visitors globally … Monster’s team has a deep understanding of the recruiting industry and understand these trends. Last year the company introduced its new 6Sense search technology which make it easier than ever for recruiters and job seekers to search, select, filter, and find the right job match across all the Monster properties.

But despite the company’s continued growth internationally and investments in search and advertising, Monster has been fighting an inexorable trend toward social networks – which ultimately become the magnet for recruiters. Corporate recruiters go where the people are – so ultimately advertising revenue and new service revenue is moving toward LinkedIn and Facebook.

The company hopes to change this dynamic completely with BeKnown.

BeKnown: Professional Social Networking for Facebook

A simple way to understand BeKnown is this: it is a professional social networking application which mimics and extends many of the features of LinkedIn within the Facebook network. If you are a Facebook user, it appears as an application – but once you join you become a member of the BeKnown network and can now manage your professional and social identities separately, but still on the Facebook platform.

BeKnown has dozens of powerful features for professional networking, and many extend beyond where LinkedIn is today. Not only can you build a professional profile (from your Facebook profile, but with a different photo and different information), but you can leverage your Facebook friends and connections immediately.

Some of the key features include:

  • The ability to invite connections from both Facebook and your LinkedIn network, Gmail, Yahoo, and other email systems
  • The ability to share different information and photos professionally than you do in Facebook today (a major important feature)
  • The ability to claim and manage company profiles
  • The ability to post and share jobs
  • The ability to earn “badges,” which are professional achievements (a form of game rewards) for having the most number of connections, a large number of connections at the executive level, helping and endorsing others, etc.
  • The ability to give references and focus these recommendations based on a friend’s competencies or capabilities
  • The ability to follow companies and view jobs from those companies, which are matched against your BeKnown profile (and your Monster.com profile)
  • Support for 19 languages.

What This Means for Job Seekers, Recruiters, and the Talent Acquisition Industry

While the system is brand new, and yet unproven in the market – our belief is that this solution has the potential to become one of the major social recruiting networks in the marketplace. Monster will focus its extensive marketing efforts at the Facebook audience, hoping to rapidly establish BeKnown as people’s “professional networking” application within Facebook (which now has 750 million worldwide users).  And the existing Monster network of 22 million visitors will help fuel this growth.

For social networking users and job seekers, BeKnown is a natural and easy way to extend your Facebook identity into a more protected, job-seeker profile.  The 600 million “non-LinkedIn” users in Facebook can use BeKnown as an entry point to build their own professional network.  LinkedIn users who may not want their Facebook identities shared can use BeKnow to build professional networks through their Facebook friends, many of whom may not use LinkedIn today.

As a tool for professionals, BeKnown gives users the ability to more carefully control what information they share – enabling people to finally separate their “family and personal” Facebook account from their “Professional” facebook profile in BeKnown.

For recruiters, BeKnown extends Facebook with features to make recruiting far easier.  Recruiters can easily set up company pages, post jobs, create referral networks, and leverage existing Monster job listings among the BeKnown network.  The system’s features for badging, job sharing, job referrals, and company pages should quickly create a “market for jobs” which builds upon Facebook’s reach, but bypasses Facebook’s more generalized advertising system.

For professionals who actively use LinkedIn today, this is a directly competitive system (and now another professional network to manage). My guess is that BeKnown is more likely to attract people who do not use LinkedIn today, attracting the millions of people who may be slightly younger or in an earlier stage of their career than those on LinkedIn (high school, new college graduates, people younger in their careers who are already addicted to Facebook). As powerful as LinkedIn is today, it is a more “button down shirt” environment than Facebook – so naturally appeals to people with more senior positions and often coming from an older demographic.

What is Facebook’s relationship with this new application? None.  This is not a Facebook-endorsed service: Monster is going alone here – leveraging the Facebook network to build a new community and service of its own. If it takes off (as I believe it will), Facebook might see it as competitive to its own advertising business – or might look to replicate the functionality itself.

The ultimate test will be how fast the network grows.  Monster is an innovative company and understands the need for proactive and aggressive marketing – so watch for a lot of advertising and noise about this new offering.  The system is well designed, easy to use, and provides value in many new ways.  If Monster can market the service well and build a strong groundswell of users, BeKnown has the potential to become a significant new player in the world of social recruiting.

This post is an excerpt of “Monster.com Launches Beknown: Professional Social Networking for Facebook” originally published on the Business of Talent blog.  Click here to view the original, complete posting and learn more about what BeKnown means for HR, recruiting, hiring and career management in today’s rapidly evolving World of Work.

About the Author

Josh Bersin has worked with hundreds of companies to deliver high impact employee learning, leadership development and talent management. In 2001, he founded Bersin & Associates to provide research and advisory services focused on corporate learning. Today, the firm is the “go to” source for learning and HR decision makers seeking product and market data, insight on trends and expert advice on enterprise learning and talent management.

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  • http://www.onesource.com/Business-Company-Profiles.aspx Calandra

    I think Beknown will definitely present some competition for sites like LinkedIn because of the bigger audience and unique features that differ from those of LinkedIn. With saying that, LinkedIn still will be a go to place for professionals because of it’s established brand and credibility. I’m interested in seeing how far BeKnown will go and how it will affect professional social networking platforms.

  • Diane Muchow

    As a current job seeker in a dismal market, I’m anxious to see what BeKnown can do. However, I don’t think it’ll be “taking over” the job search for most professionals.

    Why, you ask? I’ll admit that I have lots more contacts on Facebook than LinkedIn. However, I’m looking for job locally, and I really doubt that
    “Aunt Bessie in Kalamazoo” who’s been retired for several years will be a big help to me. I’ve chosen my LinkedIn connections from business connections I had or have made. Too many people have made silly comments on Facebook for me to take them seriously, and it’s known for its purely social aspect.

    I’ll have a hard time taking someone seriously who posted a faux pas last week regarding a news item, political cartoon, or wild party they attended. And I WOULD check out their social profile as well as the progessional one.

  • http://www.bersin.com Josh Bersin

    BeKnown is still new, so the number of jobs available will grow quickly over time. The real value will be leveraging your Facebook network and gaining access to the vast array of jobs posted on Monster and available through the Monster network in one place.

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