Professional networking is one of the best ways to hire and be hired online, but it’s also one of the hardest. San Francisco-based startup Identified tried coaxing more young professionals into filling out their profiles completely by awarding them points. Eight months later, the network has 10 million registered users.
Identified appeals to young professionals and students who are new to the job market, according to a report the company released earlier this morning about its user base. In fact, 90 percent of the network’s members are under the age of 29. They’re not quite experienced enough for LinkedIn, but they still need a way to keep their personal lives and their professional lives separate. Identified has kept them busy with a number of internships, service jobs, and entry-level positions that work well for people who are fresh out of college.
The network connects through Facebook so that new users can transfer their basic information quickly, filtering out the unnecessary personal information before adding new accomplishments and experiences to create a well-rounded profile. Private Facebook activity, like status updates and photo albums, are not included.
All users are given scores to rank them among their peers. Rather than giving people credit for having attended a top-tier school or for interning at a Fortune 500 company, Identified awards its members points for filling out their profiles completely and for working at companies where other employees are also active on the site. As they click around the site, users can see which companies are hiring and where other people from their schools or with their majors have landed.
Identified is still a fairly small network compared to LinkedIn, which has 161 million members in more than 200 countries and territories all over the world, but it’s growing at a faster rate. In October 2004, more than a year after its launch, LinkedIn had 1.2 million registered professionals compared to Identified’s 10 million users in 2012.
It’s worth noting that Identified had a more robust social landscape to work in at its launch. The company has poached engineers, product managers, and data scientists from companies like Zynga, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Salesforce.com to help build out the site. Identified now has more than 50 employees and expects to reach more than 75 by the end of June.
To better accommodate its growing team, the company has moved its San Francisco headquarters from a 5,000 square-foot office in the SoMa district to a 17,000 square-foot space in nearby China Basin.
“We are thrilled to be expanding our team to focus on building a product that empowers young professionals in their careers in a way that has never been possible before,” said Brendan Wallace, co-founder and co-CEO of Identified in a statement. “We’re also excited to stay in San Francisco, where we can work in a collegial technology ecosystem.”
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