The guys at Superfan, made up primarily of former Tickle founders and employees (which was acquired by Monster for a gazillion bucks), have launched an interesting Facebook app that I like. It’s called BranchOut and if it catches on among the FB masses I think it could really be useful. Similar to LinkedIn, BranchOut is a business networking tool. It basically allows you to figure out what companies your FB friends work for so that you can network. If your friends are using the app, then you can also see who their friends work for, and so on. So, to put it simply, if you are interested in potentially getting a job working for widgets.com, you can do a search and find out which of your friends work there and then reach out to them directly to try and network your way in.
I downloaded the app this morning. The interface is clean and easy to navigate. I was immediately prompted to put my employment history in – just my job titles, company names and years of employment. When I go to my BranchOut profile, there is a complete list of all the companies where my friends work. The number of friends I have that are employed at each company are listed below. If you click on each of the company names, you get a list of jobs that are open as well as a list of my friends who currently work or have worked for the company in the past. (If the friend was a past employee, their dates of employment with that company are listed.) So, for example, I have one friend who works at Apple (sad, I know). When I click on Apple, I get five pages of of job listings that the company is advertising. It’s well organized and intuitive.
There is also a tab at the top that says “Friends.” When I click on this, I can see a list of all my friends, along with a synopsis of where they work and have worked in the past.
When I was recruiting, Facebook was a key tool in my arsenal for finding people. If I needed to hire someone with experience, for example, in selling mobile advertising, I would go to FB and do a search for friends I had who worked for mobile companies. Then I’d do a similar search regarding my friends’ friends. If I found candidates, I’d send them an introductory email through FB. With BranchOut, it makes it that much easier for recruiters to do this kind of research and outreach.
It seems as though I’m not the only one who thinks BranchOut has got something here. Since launching in July, 2010, they have raised $6M in Series A funding from Accel Partners. Check out the video below and download when you get a chance. I think, if you are looking to make a career move, you’ll be using it quite a bit….
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