TalentBin Takes On LinkedIn By Targeting Recruiters
By David Zax | January 14, 2013
.....That’s because TalentBin doesn’t compete with the services LinkedIn offers to the average user. Rather, TalentBin competes with the behind-the-scenes services LinkedIn offers a very specific, and lucrative, segment: recruiters.
You may not have known this, but LinkedIn makes the majority of its revenue by serving recruiters who want to scoop up talent for their companies. In the third quarter of 2012, fully 55% of the company’s revenue came from what LinkedIn calls “Talent Solutions.” (Premium subscriptions, by contrast, only make up 20% of revenue.) LinkedIn largely achieves this by digesting resumes into what Kazanjy calls “this master database that recruiters pay a pretty penny to essentially get God rights to.”
TalentBin digests data from ... many others. For hackers, it stalks sites like GitHub or StackOverflow; for designers, it scans the likes of Dribble and Behance. It even trolls the U.S. Patent Database, looking for inventive types. Most recently, says Kazanjy, the team “indexed the entirety of the PubMed Life Sciences Publication Directory,” some 20 million articles, to glean information about talented medical researchers and their interests. “It starts to show this approach doesn’t just work with software engineers,” he says. “It also works with physicians, researchers, biotech people, and so forth.” That project was just completed in December.
Gradually, TalentBin has built a “search engine for people,” as Kazanjy puts it, one which he charges $6,000 per year for the privilege of accessing (undercutting LinkedIn’s reported price tag, which can climb to $8,000).
While TalentBin may nibble at the edges of Linkedin to do specific, niche searches for gurus in the esoteric fields, Linkedin is a runaway train for talent search. The reason is that recruiters for less esoteric positions like the interactive search of Linkedin. They like being chased by candidates who may turn out to be a good fit for something. Recruiters like developing a "presence" online and a following. That makes future, non-esoteric, searches easier and quicker.
One of my executive clients literally went from 50 to 600 connections in less than a month by sending invites to recruiters in all of the 50 groups he had joined on Linkedin. Recruiters never turn down your offer to connect. We pushed him past the magic 500 number and made him look well-connected virtually overnight. Once he was over 500 then professionals he did not know more readily accepted his invitations to connect as they perceived him as a valuable networking contact.
People like communities, even recruiters, which explains why Linkedin groups, even with all their spam, are so popular. The only recruiting category killer lurking on the horizon is Facebook. And it's method for data capture has to be improved to give Linkedin a run for its money.