LinkedIn could have a competitor in the form of professional startup BranchOut - after the company successfully raised a $25 million third round of funding.
Whilst LinkedIn and BranchOut offer the same service (matching job candidates to potential employers), the former is a standalone site with the latter operating as a Facebook application. However, BranchOut is positive that the company will be able to topple LinkedIn off the corporate social networking top spot - simply due to Facebook's immense customer base.
“Online networking is not just for managers and executives. New college graduates, retail workers, nurses, software engineers and military veterans re-entering the workforce can all benefit substantially from having strong professional profiles on Facebook,” explained founder and CEO Rick Marini in a statement. “We’re making it easier for our users to find jobs through their established and authentic Facebook relationships.”
Marini emphasised how much of a positive impact LinkedIn has made within the recruitment sector, but believes that BranchOut has the upper hand due to Facebook connections allegedly being more genuine than those established through LinkedIn.
He said: “LinkedIn is somebody I meet at a conference for 5 minutes. Facebook are (sic) my real friends and family, my supply network. These are people who will go out of their way to help me get a job.”
It's always been said never to mix business with pleasure, but perhaps the alliance of BranchOut and Facebook could prove the exact opposite.