Recruiters and hiring managers are just too darn busy these days to read résumés on Monster or to scour professional profiles on LinkedIn to find hot talent. But hey, no problem! Everything they need to know about a prospect's potential can be automatically extracted from his or her Facebook profile and reduced to a numeric rank between 0 and 100.
That, at any rate, is the promise of a new social networking site called Identified, which left beta yesterday. The idea is that you let it connect with your Facebook account, and within moments, it spews out your Identified Score based on information you've given Facebook about your education and work history, as well as where your Facebook friends who use Identified work or study.
The value of the service may be questionable -- but you just know it'll catch on. People will pretend not to take it seriously, and those with high scores will mention them with air quotes. But ultimately, inexorably, it's going to affect people's employability, and one of the key reasons it will likely gain traction is the clout of the backers who have poured $5.5 million into the service, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, venture capital gurus Bill and Tim Draper, and Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya.
At least Identified works both ways. As a job hunter, you can look at companies' scores (which are based on the scores of their employees who are Identified users) and view, for example, what schools its employees attended, what they studied, and how long employees work there on average. Recruiters and companies worldwide can view your score and use it as a prescreening tool.
Naturally, I was very eager to learn my value according to what Identified dubs "the world's first Professional Stock Market." The whole experience proved to be illuminating, despite the fact that I have a dismal score of 22. I've long thought that recruiters and hiring managers were interested in knowing more about prospective employees than the bare-bones work and education information you can feed into Facebook. It never occurred to me that being Facebook friends with a lot of different people at a lot of different organizations would make me a more promising prospect -- regardless of those people's job titles or what their organizations did.
Adventures in Identified land
I started my quest for my Identified Score by going to the Identified home page, which features a drawing of a skeptical-looking recruiter gazing at his laptop screen. To the right, in bold text, it asks the ominous and far-reaching question, "When companies search for you, what do they find?" I dutifully clicked the big green "Connect to Facebook" button to find out.
Into Identified's hopper, compliments of Facebook, went my email address, education history, and work history, as well as my Facebook friends' birthdays, education histories, and work histories (their privacy settings permitting). It's a small price to pay, I guess, for the professional equivalent of my credit score.
I was then invited to click a green button to see my rank -- almost missing the tiny prechecked box telling me I would be sharing my rank on Facebook when I clicked the button. I was then presented with my score -- a whopping 22! -- and was told where I stood among my Facebook friends' rankings.