Facebook‘s 250 million members would be a recruiter’s gold mine except for one thing: there’s a bouncer at every entrance and there are 250 million entrances.
The analogy doesn’t hold up perfectly because friend collecting is a Facebook pastime, and if you ask around you can almost always find someone to let you into any network. But it’s still not recruiter friendly. Unlike LinkedIn, where the search tools were designed with recruiters in mind, Facebook’s tools seem intended to discourage sourcing.
Yet those millions of Facebook members are too tempting a target to resist. Since the beginning of the year Appirio and Jobvite have both come up with applications that connect HR tech systems of their own or their partners with Facebook. Both however, are intended for corporate recruiters using either Salesforce or Jobvite’s recruitment system. Both focus on referrals.
InSide Job is different. It’s a Facebook application that individual users choose to deploy, making them searchable and findable to other InSide Job users.
The idea came to Lorne Epstein, a career recruiter, as he tried to get contacts out of LinkedIn for free.
Says Epstein, “They charge $10 for an email (there are corporate accounts, but he’s talking about an individual search) and there’s 40 million profiles. Facebook has 250 million and it’s only getting bigger.”
So Epstein, author of You’re Hired! Interview Skills to Get the Job, came up with a simple way to connect recruiters with Facebook users, and job seekers with the people who might be able to help them get a job.
It’s called InSide Job and it’s an application that allows its users to search other InSide Job users.
The process is straightforward enough. You must choose to use InSide Job and allow it to import resume information from your Facebook page or enter it manually. Then sit back and wait for a recruiter to contact you or search for people in the InSide Job network who might be helpful in your job search.
Coincidentally, Epstein pulled together the people to develop InSide Job from his own personal network.
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Epstein freely acknowledges that the challenge for Inside Job is adoption. In order for it to be a moneymaker for Arlington Soho, the company he set up to manage and market the application, he figures the user volume would have to be around 100,000 or more. Considering there are hundreds of available applications, growing the 5,000 current users is no mean feat.
Flashmob marketing with musical chairs in Washington’s Dupont Circle can’t hurt, but the competition for attention is keen, and Jobvite and Appirio have a head start.
Still, InSide Job is further evidence that recession or not, there’s intense interest in leveraging the social media.