According to the Ma Foi Randstad Workmonitor 2011 survey, over 80 per cent of Indian employees are confident social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can help them find jobs.
This trend has lured leading online recruiting portal, Monster.com, which boasts of nearly 27 million registered users in India, to launch BeKnown, a professional networking app for Facebook.
With a dedicated team of 20 people from India, Monster.com claims it has customised the platform for the 36 million Facebook users from India.
Sanjay Modi, managing director, Monster.com (India, West Asia and Southeast Asia), says, "Personal branding is the new route to marketing your skills, and increasing your chances of being employed BeKnown is an attempt to address the social search needs of both job seekers and employers."
Monster, along with job aggregators like Indeed.com, Naukri.com and Careerbuilder.com, has seen business lag because of the growth in social networks and vertical job boards on social networks.
Professional networking sites like LinkedIn.com, which has over 10 million users in India, has introduced features like LinkedIn Today, a customised news offering, based on members' choice of industry and relevance, and LinkedIn Skill, which helps members stay ahead of the competition.
Another application is LinkedIn Poll, which helps companies conduct business and market surveys by targeting users, based on demographic and professional orientation. Such new features have boosted LinkedIn's monthly page views.
Modi admits social media recruiting is a growing market and adds competition like BranchOut, another professional networking app on Facebook, does not bother the company.
"We have a huge database of over 20,000 employers and 27 million users. BeKnown has dozens of powerful features for professional networking, and many extend beyond where LinkedIn is today. For instance, not only can one build a professional profile (which is different from a personal Facebook page), one can also leverage his friends and connections. The members can access all Monster.com postings from Facebook."
According to the Workmonitor survey, 87 per cent of Indian employees use the social media to find information on an organisation's work culture, 75 per cent track movements and events of their favourite companies to be up-to-date for job interviews, and 75 per cent are skeptical about joining a company, if their co-workers have given negative reviews about it.
Modi says BeKnown gives users the ability to carefully control what information they share. "It's been designed to keep these two distinct networks separate from each other. So, you can keep your social activity with family and friends separate from career-related activity," he says.
Eager to tap into the 850-million mobile subscriber base, the company has also launched Android and WAP apps that allow users to connect to Monster.com.
Globally, BeKnown is already available as a mobile application. Modi says, "We will launch the BeKnown mobile app in India too, but we need to custom-fit the platform to reflect mobile users' needs and how employers can tap this before we launch it here."
Also on the cards are premium features (premium listings and resume showcase) that would be available to BeKnown users in the next few months.
BranchOut, which has 250,000 users globally, up from about 10,000 in December last year, is eyeing revenue streams through premium subscriptions, services for recruiters and job postings.
LinkedIn, which opted for an initial public offering earlier this year, has diversified its business model to include revenues from member subscriptions, advertising sales, and hiring solutions.
According to filings, LinkedIn derives only 25 per cent of its revenue ($61.9 million last year) from premium subscriptions, 33 per cent from text and display advertising, and 42 per cent from LinkedIn Jobs, a job-matching or automated headhunting service.