Identified is a new professional network that builds candidate profiles using relevant Facebook biographical data but doesn’t give recruiters access to sensitive social data. Recruiters can search all candidates by a variety of requirements such as GPA or school attended.
It’s yet another contender in a wave of startups that are trying to create a viable competitor to LinkedIn off the Facebook platform. By combining easy profile creation with passive recruiting functionality for employers, Identified could have a shot. Its service is especially attractive to users who don’t want to recreate their existing social network in a professional context.
Identified launched in October and quickly added 20,000 candidate profiles thanks to partnerships with the career centers of 25 top universities. The site now has 374 companies with recruiting profiles including Google, Accenture, Disney, and at one point Facebook, though its profile is now absent. Identified has secured $5.5 million in funding from angels including Google’s Eric Schmidt and Bill Draper of Sutter Hill Ventures. It plans to apply some of the funds towards a major user acquisition push this year.
The site is aiming to diverge from the job board model popular with other social recruiting sites and apps like Work For Us, and Pursuit, which recently shuttered after its founders were hired by Facebook. It’s more similar to BranchOut, but with a focus on forging connection with companies rather than between users.
When job seekers create their free account, Identified pre-populates their profile with their Facebook data such as their employment and education history, and profile photo, but none of the social data such as tagged photos or status updates that job seekers might not want recruiters to see. LinkedIn job descriptions and specialities can be imported, and a resume can be uploaded.
Users can then browse companies, including a set of “Recommended Companies” at which users have first- or second-degree contacts. They can click “Apply” buttons to notify companies they’re interested in being contacted about jobs there, but users don’t submit full-fledged job applications unless a company directs them to an offsite job listing. They can also browse discussion topics such as “What’s the corporate culture like at Genentech?”, message other Identified users who are their Facebook friends to ask for referrals, or browse a feed of company updates that clients can publish to announce openings and other recruiting news.
Identified account executive Lucas Loeffler tells us companies aren’t forced to contact candidates through the site’s internal messaging feature, and can choose to download resumes and reach out via the contact info listed in user profiles because Identified “just wants to facilitate hires” in whatever way provides value to its clients.
Recruiters can refine searches for candidates by job title, employment history, education, minmum GPA, location, proximity, whether they’ve used the Identified “Apply” feature, know an employee, were referred by an employee, and more. The company earns revenue when recruiters purchase a Hiring Solutions “Pro” Subscription for $500 per month to be able to contact an unlimited number of users. Identified plans to raise this price in the future, though there are cheaper plans available.
Identified’s VP of Sales Erik Kostelnik tells us that the company is banking that the definition of a Facebook friend will continue to expand. Eventually, it will encompass more and more professional contacts, thanks to more robust privacy controls that let users hide sensitive content from these contacts. He says “Why create a LinkedIn profile if I can enter my work and education history on Facebook?” This makes sense especially considering Facebook’s larger total size and the higher average number of friends on the site — which is also compounded at the second degree level.
Soon Identified will be launching a ranking system that assesses users by their work and education history as well as the rankings of their friends, scores companies by the quality of their employees. This will allow the site to suggest users companies that are the right fit for them, so those who’ve worked at top companies and have friends that have too are shown the most prestigious employers, while those without higher education will see employers with less-skilled positions.
These improvements could make Identified an alternative or complement to LinkedIn for those who want to be matched with employers and passively receive offers rather than spend their time sending invites to build a redundant network.