The social recruiting start-up wars heat up

With Microsoft’s billion-dollar acquisition of Yammer, it’s clear that even the stodgiest corners of the business world are starting to come to terms with the idea that social has arrived and organizations need to find ways to leverage personal networks in innovative ways. And apparently what goes for internal communication goes for recruiting as well.
On Forbes recently Josh Bersin, president and CEO of HR consultancy Bersin & Associates, laid out the feverish start-up scene in the realm of social recruiting, ticking off an impressively long list of young companies hoping to leverage our social graphs “to make the ‘job matching game’ easier for job-seekers and recruiters.” Here’s a small fraction of the companies Bersin mentions: and Bright:  These companies try to mine your social graph and “find jobs” for you. So far they’re just getting started so the matching isn’t very good yet, but the potential is big.  Think e-harmony for the job seeker.
TalentBin:  Gives recruiters an intelligent tool to find people through their social graph.  Kind of the opposite of and Bright.
Jobvite: A fast-growing company which delivers referral recruiting tools, applicant tracking, and advertisement management tools for recruiters. Gooodjob is a startup building a similar offering.
Bullhorn: one of the biggest end-to-end social talent acquisition solutions (recently acquired by Vista Equity).

For the rest of the extensive list, check out the complete article. Why such a wild frenzy of activity in the space? American corporations spend $140 billion a year on recruiting, Bersin points out, and 40 million of us change jobs each year regardless of how lousy the economy might be. Add to this the huge amounts of data available through the Facebook and LinkedIn APIs and that’s rich pickings for startups who are bringing a wide array of approaches to bear on the challenge of applying social to recruiting. These include “recruitment advertising, job boards, candidate relationship management, assessment, interview automation, applicant tracking, recruitment analytics, and job-seeker services and tools,” according to Bersin.
Which approach (or approaches) are you betting will emerge victorious from the social recruiting start-up wars? 
Image courtesy of Flickr user Daniel Paquet