Receive daily articles & headlines each day in your inbox with your free ERE Daily Subscription.

Not logged in. [log in or register]

Marc Drees

Marc Drees is founder of RecruitmentLab, a consulting practice on candidate experience. He also is owner and blogger at RecruitmentMatters, a blog on all subjects related to online recruitment.

Marc Drees RSS feed Articles by Marc Drees...

BranchOut Keeps Falling Down, Down

by Jun 23, 2012, 10:44 am ET

It has been nearly three weeks since I wrote about BranchOut’s meteoric rise and subsequent fall here on ERE. But because of the speed at which this LinkedIn clone continues to disintegrate, an update seems to be in order. It is actually very impressive to see how fast things can unravel when a service apparently doesn’t deliver any real value and initial growth was only fueled by spammy registration tactics.

Since June 1, BranchOut is losing an average of 4.1% of its remaining monthly active users every single day! Its monthly active users currently stands at 3 million; less than two months ago it peaked at 13.9 million.

BranchOut monthly active users April 29 – June 23 Source - AppData, Facebook

Notwithstanding this impressive arterial bleed, BranchOut’s CEO Rick Marini continues to talk up his book and promotes BranchOut as a LinkedIn for the masses. Only the masses are running away from BranchOut, not toward it. In an interview on CNBC the question of plummeting numbers was asked to Marini, to which he responded that when you have success there always will be criticism … great deflection, but no answer. The guy clearly has had his fair share of media training. Sadly enough my inquiry of May 29 to BranchOut regarding this massive loss of users still remains unanswered.

What Is Exactly Happening With BranchOut?

This is a short history of BranchOut from the perspective of its monthly active users: keep reading…

The Illusion That Is a Transparent Labor Market

by Jun 21, 2012, 5:24 am ET

As long as I can remember, there has been an ongoing discussion about the lack of transparency in the labor market. An improved transparency should lead to suppliers (job seekers) and buyers (employers) of labor being able to find each other easily. However, improved transparency will remain an illusion until we realize that the dominant recruiting model is precisely what makes for a non-transparent labor market. For the record, this is the passive model of recruiting where we publish a job opening and then wait for applications (post and pray).

Why Put the Burden on an Amateur?

Passive recruitment has the implicit expectation that job seekers are able to find the right job opening(s). But job seekers are certified amateurs when searching for and finding the right opening(s). Why? Because they only once look for a new challenge every two to five years. At this rate, they act like explorers that without any preparation go looking for the source of the Nile. Indeed, life-threatening.

Meanwhile, on the other side we (should) have a professional, the recruiter — who regularly has job openings and whose mission is to find the right people to fill those vacancies. But instead of going out and looking for people themselves they place vacancies on their own career site, on commercial job sites, with staffing agencies, on social media, and even in newspapers. To add to the complexity from the perspective of job seekers, job aggregators collect online job openings and starts front-running all previously mentioned sources … in other words, the jungle where the unprepared explorer must try and find his or her own way.

As a result, passive recruitment has a built-in guarantee for a very inefficient process with an unpredictable outcome. After filling the vacancy the gnawing question remains: Have we found the “ideal” person? And that while the same question doesn’t need to be asked if the recruiter would engage in active recruitment — going out to find the “right” person themselves.

keep reading…

BranchOut’s Trip to the Stars and Back to Earth

by Jun 5, 2012, 11:59 am ET

Way, way back, on April 192012, BranchOut impressed the online recruitment community with incredible growth numbers. CEO Rick Marini boasted 25 million people who signed up for his service and mentioned a growth rate of three new users signing up per second! No wonder he could also proudly mention another round of funding, a stunning $25 million, bringing the total to $49 million … all-around impressive.

Monthly average users, April 19 – June 5. Source: AppData, Facebook

However, the world of BranchOut looks completely different today, at least according to the data provided by AppData and Facebook. They present what is called the monthly average users number. And when we look at the development of this figure since the date of Marini’s moment of glory, we get this picture:

BranchOut peaked in the period of April 27-29 with a total MAU of 13.9 million. Today that number is just 6.5 million, a loss of a staggering 7.4 million MAU in just 37 days. That relates to a loss of 2.3 MAU per second! At this rate BranchOut will hit zero MAU in just over a month, or 33 days.

How is it possible that at one moment a site can grow so fast only to suddenly reverse course and plummet nearly as fast? keep reading…