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Turn Your 400 Facebook Friends into 20,000 Professional Connections

Young Americans are struggling to find jobs in a difficult economy; the Millennial (18 – 29yrs) unemployment rate of nearly 14 percent is approaching levels that the US has not seen since the Great Depression (Labor Bureau stats). Even students at HBS are affected by this with many of our peers not getting the jobs and internships they were hoping for. With a dampening economy, banking and PE jobs may not be so appealing anymore and many HBS grads are looking to alternative paths.

Summer intern at Identified.com
I’m sure everyone can agree that the most effective way to find jobs is through networking, and more importantly using your existing network. Two weeks into the summer break I still hadn’t found an opportunity I was excited about until my flat mate forwarded me an internship at Identified. Excited by the startup I reached out to friends of mine that knew the founders to learn more. After a few phone calls and, ironically, the founders phoning the same friends I had reached out to, I was on my way to NYC for the summer. The amusing thing is that this very experience I just described is exactly what Identified is trying to solve, with the crux being how can we use our existing social network to find a job?

Facebook with over 500 million users is the network we should be leveraging rather than trying to recreate networks on new platforms. I hear you all say – “No one wants to be doing their recruiting on Facebook” and I completely agree. I, more than most, have photos that do not need to fall into the public domain! However, I also have over 800 friends with incredible backgrounds and connections that I want to be able to use to get the job I want. The problem is there is no way for me to consume this information in a useful and effective manner. That is until now.

Identified provides an interactive online platform for users and companies to communicate, connect and ultimately find jobs, transforming a user’s existing social network into a professional recruitment tool. Identified is a recruiting website that aims to open a direct channel of communication between companies and job-seeking users. Gathering professional information from users’ existing Facebook profiles, Identified provides a clear and interactive view of users’ entire professional network, including the companies and professionals they are connected to. Identified also empowers companies to search the same data to find their ideal candidates.

How Identified Works for Users
Identified transforms the social information embedded in users’ Facebook profiles into professional data points in just one click, allowing users to identify and contact existing friends and friends of friends to get advice, referrals, and jobs from companies of interest

The explorative features of Identified allow users to connect with companies where their Facebook friends and friends of friends know employees; companies are hiring people with similar backgrounds; users’ friends are recruiting with those companies; users’ interests and profiles are particularly well-matched to those companies

Powerful search functions allow users to quickly find the ideal company from Identified’s extensive database that spans hundreds of companies in a variety of industries, from large conglomerates to innovative startups

Users can apply to a company by simply clicking a button that allows recruiters and HR professionals to see the user’s full Identified profile, download their formatted resume, and facilitate direct contact

A dynamic discussion forum allows users to ask career related questions and get answers from a community of peers and companies

How Identified Works for Companies
Identified enables companies to find ideal candidates by providing a simple, interactive platform to search and filter all user profiles. The users’ privacy is of utmost importance to Identified, and users manage the amount of professional information companies can view

Resource limitations will no longer restrict the reach of companies because Identified enables them to establish a virtual presence accessible to all users and allow them to use their employees’ existing social networks to gain referrals

Identified eliminates the need for multiple job boards, piles of paper resumes and attending crowded job fairs by providing a direct channel of communication between companies and candidates

Companies can create an online community around their brand and keep users up to date with company news and job opportunities

Identified is now live and hundreds of companies are recruiting on the site. The power of Identified really lies in the way it breaks down the traditional brick and mortar model of recruiting. Companies with limited resources can reach quality candidates anywhere in the country and students can learn about companies that may never come to their campuses. Underpinning this we can all learn from and leverage our existing network to get referrals and land that dream job we’re all here to get!

If you have any questions/feedback about identified feel free to reach out to Francois (fdelame@mba2011.hbs.edu)

Frequently Asked Questions
What information does Identified pull when I connect via Facebook Connect?
When a user connects to Identified via Facebook Connect, only three pieces of information are pulled from his/her Facebook profile: Where a user went to college; what a user’s major is/was; any listed work experience. Identified pulls this information from the user, as well as from the user’s friends network, in order to help guide the user through the career discovery and job-seeking process on Identified. Identified serves as a filter between users’ personal and professional lives, allowing them to take full advantage of all the professional data embedded in their Facebook networks without exposing strictly personal information. You can even upload your existing PDF resume – signup literally takes a few minutes!

Who’s behind Identified?
Identified was founded by Adeyemi Ajao, founder of Tuenti.com, the #1 social network in Spain (recently acquired by Telefonica for $99 million), and Brendan Wallace, a Princeton grad who worked at Goldman Sachs and The Blackstone Group.

Can Identified really help you get a job?
So this all sounds good in practice but can Identified really help you get a job? We have a proven success of placing candidates during Beta testing. To read about Nicole Stiffle, the first person to be hired through the Identified network, check out “Tapping Identified for a job at Tapulous,” at //blog.Identified.com.

What if I’m not looking for a job?
Identified is not just about getting jobs. The dynamic Q&A platform allows you to weigh in on professional conversations. Following companies means you will be kept up to date with any news they release – both recruiting and informational. Most importantly your friends will be able to reach out to you if they need some help getting a referral. If you have a job and your company is on Identified they will be able to see how you are connected to applicants and can reach out to you to learn more about them.

What is Identified’s view on Privacy?
At Identified, privacy is at the forefront of any decision we make with regards to product development. We believe the user should have full control of what information they choose to share and what companies can access. We will never share details with companies or users without your permission. Any time there is a question about information that will be used or shared, the user will be prompted and will always have the option to opt out.

The same is true for companies. We know companies want to leverage social media to manage their online brand and enhance their recruiting efforts. We also know the hesitation around social media and privacy concerns. We give companies full control of their professional presence on Identified, and will never share your private online interactions with users or other companies.

Any information that is used is always at an aggregate level and is designed to enhance the experience for both companies and users. We house our own servers to ensure the information on Identified is protected.

October 4, 2010
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