Chess Desert Game OverIdentified has billed itself as the replacement for LinkedIn when it comes to recruiting with claims of more than 1 billion profiles. But as one commenter points out, do these profiles include your neighbor’s dog?

According to its website, “Founded in 2010 and headquartered in San Francisco, Identified pioneered SYMAN (Systematic Mass Normalization), a proprietary technology that collects, standardizes, and organizes professionally relevant data from the social web in order to create new products and insights for companies and individuals. Identified harnesses the big data that resides on the social web to uncover powerful insights and relationships which have the ability to change the way companies pursue talent, manage their workforce and improve their competitiveness.”

In an interview with Adeyemi Ajao, the co-founder of Identified, said the company had announced the creation of “the largest database of job candidates, with one billion professional profiles and an algorithm that applies big data and predictive analytics to match recruiters with relevant, qualified candidates.”

The article asked and answered this question: So how did the startup get to a billion? It said, “Contrary to LinkedIn, Identified is not limited by a user base, where people need to sign-up to make an account and create a profile. Instead, Identified takes public data from nearly any social media site — Facebook, Twitter, GitHub and LinkedIn, among others — and organizes it into a searchable interface.”

But looming overhead, as the article points out, is the question of privacy. Sure, the information is online because the person puts it there (thanks to social media’s clever mining of our personal data) but how invasive is Identified? Ajao, the article says, “insists Identified’s aim is to make both recruiters and candidates feel comfortable, which is why a recruiter is able to see only a person’s professional background, not his or her name. If a recruiter is interested in someone, Identified sends the potential candidate a message through a publicly available email address or a social network, like Twitter’s direct message feature.”

As Carmel DeAmicis points out in a column at, “the data-driven job recruitment scene is a competitive one to break into. GroupTalent, WhiteTruffle, Apploi, Bright, TalentBin, Jobandtalent, it seems like every week there’s a new company launching claiming to fix the problem [of recruiting tough-to-fill jobs]. The job recruitment startup scene is increasingly fragmented. I can’t help but wonder if in the fight to the finish line, they’re all going to die?”

DeAmicis adds, “Identified might work well in its own niche, of helping employers of industries underrepresented on Linked-In with hard-to-find candidates. It also fits well in the increasing trend of employers using social profiles to vet job candidates. But I’m not sure it will be able to dominate the data-driven job recruitment scene. Its approach relies on the unpredictable external factor of people filling out their social media profiles with extensive career information. And even if people did that, I could only see a recruiter using Identified to fill hard-to-find roles.”

But Ajao, in the article, of course begs to differ. “One strategy Identified has for closing this talent gap is moving beyond just analyzing professional data. Ajao predicts within the next few months the company will begin taking personality traits into account as well. Seemingly random information about a candidate — his or her taste in movies, food and sports teams – could be revealing. For instance, Ajao discovered the best engineers at Identified all cited their favorite book as Enders Game,” the article said.

The article concludes, “Ajao is convinced that most people will welcome a highly targeted and relevant approach to recruitment. This strategy has been successfully applied to advertisements — think Google and Facebook — but not to hiring. If all goes well, Identified will permanently disrupt the current model. Otherwise, the company may have a rude awakening when people call foul over email messages telling them their love for pepperoni makes them a perfect fit for a job in analytics.”

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