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The Transition Between Social Network and Professional Network

The Betts Team
July 11, 2011

This past week, Monster launched a new Facebook app called BeKnown that is being marketed as “The Professional Networking App on Facebook.” However, the use of the term ‘the’ here may be a little questionable to some, because it implies that it is the only professional networking app, when this is definitely not the case (i.e. BranchOut, as well as numerous professional networking ‘groups’). As a recruiter, it’s good to have feelers out there in as many social and professional networks as possible, but what can BeKnown bring to the table that other resources can’t?

In addition to many of the features available on LinkedIn and BranchOut, BeKnown has an arsenal of new features that are made to target the 600 million Facebook users that are not on LinkedIn, especially the younger generation. This includes the ability to easily create a separate profile from your social one (appealing to any college student who wants to keep his partying past from future employers). It also starts connecting you instantly by extracting contacts from “Gmail, Yahoo, Twitter, and of course, Facebook” (Source 1). BeKnown offers some pretty tempting features for recruiters, such as free job postings and incentives for referrals, as well.

But how can BeKnown succeed in a world that is already flooded with networking opportunities? Here are my thoughts:

BeKnown clearly has some drawbacks:

  • Creating a profile that is directly connected to Facebook requires the mixing personal and professional life. Besides being disagreeable to many users who don’t want to mix the two, it also calls up questions of privacy.
  • There may already be too many apps that target the same audience. With each new networking opportunity that pops up, this audience becomes more dispersed (because really, who wants to be checking six different profiles every day)

But it also has some great benefits:

  • BeKnown offers simplicity of use for the user; you only have to go to one place to check for updates both social and professional (versus logging in to a profile you rarely check and seeing that you missed an awesome opportunity from a recruiter a month ago).
  • Simplicity of use for users, employers, and recruiters also means faster communications, more deals closed, more opportunities for everyone involved simply because the pool is much bigger.
  • Younger individuals are able to build their professional network much earlier, a smoother transition from social to professional networks.

We’ll have to keep watching to see how BeKnown does in its first few weeks. It very well may be that before we know it, BeKnown will be “The” professional networking app for Facebook.