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2011 Top Product Winner: BranchOut

See all of the winners of the Top HR and Training Products of 2011 in Ahead of the Pack .

Sunday, October 2, 2011
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What It Is: BranchOut is a professional network on Facebook that leverages "friends" to find jobs, recruit talent and strengthen professional relationships. BranchOut offers SocialJob posts that are shared on Facebook and Twitter, and displays an individual's "inside connections" in the job post. It also offers CareerConnect, for publishing job postings on a company's Facebook page. The product is free for individuals. For companies, SocialJobs are $49 each, with discounts for bulk orders, and CareerConnect is $5,000 per year.

Why We Like It: With its focus on both individuals and companies, BranchOut is an innovative way to use Facebook to find a new job or a new employee. Signing up to BranchOut appeals to individuals because it's easy to seek, and possibly find, inside connections at desired companies -- and, as everyone knows, an inside connection greases the application wheel. Another plus is that companies can only see work history, education and endorsements, so no need to worry about the risqué pictures. BranchOut also appeals to organizations, allowing them to not only post their open positions on their Facebook pages to find top talent among their many "fans," but also to access friends of friends of friends when searching for passive job candidates.

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