Dice's Open Web spawns dossiers about IT pros from social networking data

Service generates profiles about job seekers, active or passive -- and shows how an online trail could end up in front of an employer

Whether or not you're an active job seeker, hiring managers can now access a dossier describing your professional experience, work history, skills, passions, and interests, built from data culled from dozens of social networking sites. The information gets compiled by IT job site Dice's new Open Web service for recruiters, which scours some 50 social and professional networks -- including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogger, Quora, GitHub, and Stack Overflow -- and "billions of Web pages" to generate "super" profiles of would-be job candidates.

Like Facebook's newly unveiled Graph Search, Dice's Open Web should serve as reminder that anything you post online -- a tirade against a particular vendors' product, a rant about a co-worker or boss, an off-color joke on a friend's Facebook wall -- could show up on the screen of the job recruiter or your company's own HR rep.

Dice's Open Web spawns dossiers about IT pros from social networking data

It's no secret that job recruiters aggressively perform background checks on candidates using Google and other tools. That can be a time-consuming endeavor, however. "Open Web makes it easy by consolidating all kinds of public information about technology candidates in one place," Scot Melland, CEO of Dice. "In a few seconds, employers get unique profiles, allowing both an understanding of the candidates' qualifications and how to approach tech professionals on a more personal, direct level."

The fact that Open Web not only pulls in information about candidates' professional experience but also about their "passions and interests" make it "a versatile tool for judging cultural fit," per job recruiter Jeff Winter, who is highlighted in a Dice-provided case study about how he used Open Web to track down a candidate for a chief architect/big data job opening.

But all that makes the tool a wee bit creepy and potentially worrisome to anyone who is being job-hunted. It's tough to know whether an autogenerated dossier built from your social networking profiles and posts will portray you in a positive or flattering light.

Dice subtly acknowledges that the service could make prospective job candidates feel uneasy. "[The candidate] didn't have a LinkedIn profile, but he was active on some sites aggregated by Open Web," Winter said. "He was surprised that I could find him and maybe a little mad."

Fortunately, said candidate wasn't so surprised or mad as to decline the opportunity to interview for the position.

Open Web is included with Dice Recruitment Packages at no additional charge during the beta test. In the near future, we will have a professional-facing product where individual tech professionals will be able to see their Open Web profile and understand how hiring managers see their digital footprint," a Dice representative told InfoWorld.

This story, "Dice's Open Web spawns dossiers about IT pros from social networking data," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.


Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.