BranchOut: How the New Facebook App Could Aid Online Recruitment

4th April 2014

Trying to get the younger generation excited about work and job prospects can be a hefty task, particularly in the face of an economic climate that’s still not fully recovered. Facebook has recently decided to combine its youth-friendly reputation with a more professional veneer and has introduced a recruitment app called BranchOut. Here we look at the pros and cons of this new app and how it could potentially help dispell the old-fashioned nature of job hunting, bringing it forward to the next generation.

What is Branchout?
Currently Facebook offers users the chance to post pictures and videos, share stories and statuses, and play games, however its reputation as a network solely for sharing aspects of peoples personal lives may change with the introduction of BranchOut. This new app is designed for recruitment purposes and has been cited as having similarities to professional social networking giant LinkedIn with the main difference being that BranchOut is fully integrated into Facebook.

The Main Features
The idea of using social networking for recruitment is not a new one - as we already know many recruitment agencies are based solely online... (ahem!). These online-based companies offer ways of finding work for those who have become accustomed to living large parts of their lives through the internet. Social networking sites concerned primarily with the sharing of personal opinions, feelings and interests have become hugely popular and BranchOut looks like it is attempting to make the transition from social to professional networking using a simply-styled interface with features that echo the style of its parent platform, Facebook.

The app combines elements from the user's active Facebook account such as work history and educational affiliations as well the user’s current profile picture. This technique of grabbing information allows for a quick set up of a BranchOut profile - although any information can be edited or rewritten completely if one wishes to create a more professional semblance.

Does it Work?
BranchOut's main drawback seems to be its various similarities to the larger and more established LinkedIn network. Having said that, LinkedIn's reputation as a purely professional networking platform may alienate younger people getting in to the world of work from joining.

BranchOut works without the need to leave the initial Facebook page too, allowing users to combine their daily visit to their social networking profiles with their BranchOut activities. This ability to stay within the same platform is a plus for those who may think that setting up a new LinkedIn profile is somewhat time consuming.

Nowadays, using social media for recruitment is big business and a step in the right direction when it comes to nurturing a younger, internet-savvy generation of future talent. For a more personal insight into BranchOut from someone who’s set up a profile, check out this blog post from UndercoverRecruiter.

Jamie Mistlin find me on Google+.