Social media site set to 'Branch Out' into crowd sourced recruitment

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Imagine you’re in the running for your dream job – who do you think would give you the best reference? Your current boss? Maybe it’s your mum who’s your number one fan? What about your Facebook friends?

The latter is becoming a reality with the launch of an interesting social network, BranchOut. The new site is where Facebook meets LinkedIn. Users join the website by linking their Facebook profiles and can also import their CV from LinkedIn.

I’m sure you’re thinking this is all well and good, but if it’s just a hybrid then really what’s the point? This is where it starts to become a bit more interesting. BranchOut has special features, such as ‘social score’ which will ask Facebook users which of their friends they’d rather work with. The results will then generate a database in which people are ranked by their so-called employability.

It’s not supposed to be fun, but rather the ultimate in crowd sourced recruitment. If it works, this will be gold dust for headhunters and may save employers a headache or two as they’re able to quickly work out which individuals have already gained validation from their peers. (I should mention quickly that flogging this data to recruitment bods is how the site plans to make its millions.)

There is, of course, an element of danger that the recruitment process will become a popularity contest in which people are judged on likeability rather than on genuine skill and their own merit. I think the key here is that we’re being asked which friends we’d rather work with and not who we like the most. My friend, Laura* is one of my favourite people in the world and absolutely adorable to boot, but I’m afraid you’ll see pigs flying before I’d put her forward to take the desk opposite me. Only time will tell whether this will become as useful as it sounds. I’d be very interested to hear from any recruiters or employers with their initial take on it.

* Name has been changed to protect identity.