Social Media

Your online persona can land you a job where you ‘Belong’

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on May 29, 2017

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Hiring firm rewrites recruitment rules by sifting through social media profiles

Laughing at a weird profile or display pictures of people on their social media sites? Well, a creative image there could land you a plum job.

Take the case of a marketing expert who put up a visual of Spiderman hanging up his shorts on a web. His quirky humour marked him out — and caught a recruiter’s eye.

A tech-based services firm, which was not initially interested in the candidate for a high-profile job, zeroed in on him after hiring services start-up Belong provided it with a gist of his profile.

Another Twitter user once publicly flayed an e-commerce firm for a faulty payment process. What happened next was most unusual: he was asked to fix the problem, and then head the division that handles that process.

Welcome to the new age of hiring, where recruiters sift through your profile on social media and other online platforms and blogs and offer you a job — even if you haven’t applied for one! The process is called Outbound Hiring, which Belong defines as a “personalised, candidate-focussed approach.”

To identify potential candidates, Belong gathers all the publicly available data from the Internet and prepares a snapshot of people with a variety of IT skills.

Filtering thousands of applications to select a handful of candidates, it found, was a waste of time.

“We have developed a solution where the hunt is narrowed down to a few candidates,” Vijay Sharma, Co-Founder of the Bengaluru-based Belong, told BusinessLine.

“We trawl the web and harvest data that is available publicly on social media platforms, websites and blogs,” he added. The firm has so far raised $15 million in two rounds from Matrix and Sequoia.

“We don’t have plans to raise more funds at this point. We are planning to increase the employee base from 80 to 140,” he said.

Cheaper, easier

He said top IT companies, including multinational firms, pay up to 30 per cent as fee on each candidate. For top slots, they are supposed to look at hundreds of profiles.

Typically, this kind of recruiting happens for mid-level positions, Sharma said. But how reliable is a person’s online persona? Can’t it be faked?

Vijay Sharma says the chances of faking a profile are much less online than offline. “If you bluff, you are easily caught,” he points out.

Published on May 29, 2017
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