Game Changers, Red Herrings and Relentless Hype

Now that was a long blog break! No particular reason for it either, I wasn’t kidnapped by Monster and forced to write a nice article about BeKnown as ransom (see my last post) nor unfortunately did I spend the summer sitting on a beach drinking ridiculously named but reassuringly expensive cocktails. I’m back blogging again now though and thought it might be worth giving my verdict on a few things that have been going on over the summer.

Google +

Firstly I suppose I should say something about Google +. I like the interface but I absolutely hate the ridiculous bandwagon-jumping link baiting hype that has accompanied it. The Quora stuff at the beginning of the year was bad enough but some of the complete rubbish that has been written about Google + (some of it recruitment related) is really clouding the water when it comes to any actual usefulness the platform might have.  Yes Google+ does have some nice functionality but if that is your USP then it is easily copied. This is exactly what Facebook has done in the last week or so and in so doing has graphically illustrated that functionality alone will never make Google+ a Facebook killer.

Google’s actual USPs are its reach into the Gmail user base and an implied role in SEO. This it what has driven its growth and is also why there is very little content and engagement on there.  At the end of the day while people may join multiple networks they will only invest their time in places where their friends / target audience hang out. Google+ might get some traction in certain niches in the short term but will take a very long time to go mainstream, if indeed it ever does

My Verdict – Relentlessly overhyped, will have relevance moving forward but it is too early to say what that will be

Be Known

I know that I promised an in-depth review in my last post and I’m sorry if I’m disappointing anyone by not doing one. While I still think this is an incredibly significant move by Monster there really isn’t very much to review at the moment. In some ways I think the situation is similar to Google+, lots of people are joining, with Monster leveraging its enormous existing audience to drive this, but there is very little actually going on.

The “commercial talent community” space is an interesting and evolving one but platforms like BeKnown and Branchout have yet to prove that users join for any other reason than to look at job postings.  As it stands BeKnown is just another platform for job distribution and little else. That said though its mention (albeit just on a slide) in the recent F8 conference and partnership with Facebook to be one of the first new social apps could be very interesting indeed!

My Verdict – A Red Herring for now but watch this space!

The LinkedIn Apply Button

I’ve blogged about this before but it seems that lots of people got distracted by a summer long argument about the “death of the CV” that was quite frankly pointless. I really wish a lot of this black or white 140 characters powered thinking would just go away. Ninety percent of the time in has no foundation in the current realities employers are facing.

In an attempt to get closer to the reality of the situation I spoke to LinkedIn’s EMEA Marketing Director, Laurence Bret-Stern, earlier in September. When I asked her about the CV vs Profile debate she pointed out that thousands of companies have already voted with their feet and have installed the LinkedIn apply button! She also intriguingly hinted that there was much more to come as LinkedIn becomes an ever more open platform to “connect professionals with opportunities more efficiently and effectively”

I really feel this is the most under commented on story from the whole summer. Not only has LinkedIn launched an apply button but a significant number employers are now actively using it which, despite their user growth, is not an achievement Google+ or BeKnown can currently match.

My Verdict – The game changer of the summer and I’m amazed no one seems to have noticed!

5 responses to “Game Changers, Red Herrings and Relentless Hype

  1. Great to have you back Matt!
    Spot on re Google+ in the conclusion – but `hype`? – Not so sure. This thing has had a kicking from day 3 onward. I’m a pro-Google+, it’s worth sticking with – but I see it as a B2B tool, rather than the ridiculous suggestion of being a `Facebook Killer`.

    BeKnown – Can’t BeBothered to look at it. Jobsites trying to turn all social media by trying to turn CV databases into talent communities sounds a proper load of BeBS to me, and I never gave it the time of day.

    As for the `Apply with LinkedIn` button… I’ll be intrigued to see who these “thousands of companies” are that have installed it. It certainly is an excellent idea for an employer, but a TERRIBLE idea for a job-seeker; unless you are one of the <5% who actually keeps their Linkedin profile gleaming, informative, interactive and up to date at all times. And even then, why else would you want the impersonal clog of formulaic writing on a LI profile to be the first image of your talent to a potential new employer??

    So I say _
    G+ – potential Gamechanger if Google position it right.
    BeKnown – begone, and a total red-herring.
    Apply with LinkedIn – No hype, No substance, Little logic – and certainly not going to to change any games…

  2. I think the LinkedIn apply button could become useful if they could tie it in with mobile recruitment. Otherwise I don’t really see the difference between clicking to apply via LinkedIn or attaching/uploading a CV.

  3. Well Jobvite, Bullhorn and JobScience have already integrated the LinkedIn Apply into their ATS systems and Lumesse, Taleo and Kenexa will have it up and running by the end of the year. I know Harbour have also done an implementation here in the UK with Yell. That is a huge amount of reach into the market.

    I’ve just been looking at the way Netflix integrates it into their website and they are currently giving people a choice to apply by LinkedIn or upload a CV. Surely that is a good thing? Shouldn’t you let the best candidates apply for a job in the way they want.

    Whether it is a good idea or not, the fact of the matter is that an awful lot of companies are going to be using it in 6 months time and that to me makes it a game changer.

    Rob also makes a valid point about mobile recruitment, I have a hunch “Apply by LinkedIn” might just be the thing that moves the whole thing forward

  4. Although I agree that there may be many, many companies using the LinkedIn “apply now” button, is it really going to change things? I agree with Rob, why is that any different than someone applying via Monster or through a corporate website? Perhaps because there will be more people applying, as the corporation doesn’t have to pay for a job posting or try to drive people to its corporate site? Not sure that will necessarily improve the quality of candidates applying. A corporation may now just get more unqualified applicants to sift through to get to the good ones. Because ultimately, isn’t that what corporations want? More qualified candidates for less money. Not sure “apply now” accomplishes that.

  5. jane blackmore

    Welcome back….

    I think recruitment and social media are still only just coming together and the introduction of more channels in the form of beknown and Google potential may only serve to confuse already reluctant users.

    For me linked in is still very much the major force in social recruiting.


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