My friend and top UK Sourcer Martin Lee, who runs the cool free tools group on LinkedIn sent me over a link to a new app recently to have a look at, and when I took a peek, I was impressed with what I saw. Whenever I look at a new tool or app, and I probably look at about 100 a week, I use a simple criteria to judge it:

> Does it do something I can’t do now or does it improve on what I already have?

> Is it simple to use and follow without instruction? I like my tech to be intuitive needing limited support.

> Is the navigation easy and logical?

> Can I export data to work with my existing tech?

> Can I track what is going on in one screen?

> What analytics come out of the back-end?

Pealk stands up really well against all this criteria, and the version1 beta has just become available.

Pealk are another of the great start-ups coming out of Paris at the moment. I know from #TruParis, there is some very interesting work going on in the recruiting space at the moment in this region. If I was a VC, I’d have my eyes firmly on this community right now, and Pealk is the latest product from this area to catch my attention.
Pealk bill themselves as the number 1 search app for LinkedIn. It’s a big claim, and one I thought was worth checking out. signing up for Pealk is easy, it’s a one click sync of your LinkedIn profile, and it’s free, even if just for the moment.
The search screen gives you the option to search using the following fields:
> Search criteria (and this supports boolean logic)
> Company (with a filter option for only current companies)
> Position
> industry (with drop down choices)
> Education
> Location

Theres a simple tick box option to filter out your LinkedIn connections in results, if you want the search to be for people you don’t know.
Once I’d put in some test criteria, the search was incredibly quick. Much quicker than LinkedIn’s own search, and the results come back in a very clean format that is easy to scroll through. It’s also easy to go back to your original search and reset the parameters if you want to change the result for any reason. I like the app’s I use to have very simple navigation and a logical interface. This is one of the best apps I’ve seen in this regard. It is incredibly simple to use.
The results come back in a business card view showing photo, name, professional headline,number of connections, sector and location. Another great feature of this app is that the results are very easy to organise. You can select a profile by tick box, drag and drop the profile in to the side bar for export to another folder, messaging or saving as a result, select a profile by tick box for another action or star a profile for more attention. Another neat feature is how easy it is to view the whole LinkedIn profile even if you are not connected. It’s one click and opens in a separate window with the close option. There is no need to navigate back and forth and risk losing your way. You can also browse all the profiles you’ve selected to your” cart” one after another using the profile flow feature. When you view the full profile there is a simple 4 button bar that allows you to select the profile, star it, add a note to the profile, open the profile in LinkedIn or take it out of the search, and they are all one click functions.

When you’ve got your results in the cart, you can message people individually or collectively using a free text message template. Again you can do this without the need to leave Pealk and go in to LinkedIn. Working in one place on one screen is a lot more efficient for recruiters. Each user gets a really simple dashboard that gives you all your analytics you need, so you can track all your interactions and results in one place, and make changes where you need them.

Having tested a few searches in Pealk, I’ve got to say that I’m really impressed. The search results are accurate and returned lightening quick, and they are very easy to organise. You don’t need to be a great sourcer or understand boolean strings to make this work for you. Although I tried, I couldn’t find anything I didn’t like. With even a basic knowledge, you can make it work for you.

I’ve not spoken with the guys at Pealk to know what their relationship is with LinkedIn, though they display the LinkedIn logo next to powered by, on the opening screen, so I’ve made the assumption that there must be a relationship. The app is very close to LinkedIn Recruiter, so I have some concern about whether this has not come up on their radar yet, or if an agreement exists. If it doesn’t, I have a concern about how long they will have access to the LinkedIn API before they are seen as being a direct competitor. That said, using it now is a bit of a no brainer, it is that simple to use.

My other big concern is over the messaging within Pealk to non first level connections. The messages go out in invites, although the messages are different to the standard LinkedIn invites because you get an extra 100 characters and you can include a link. LinkedIn invitations prohibit this in the normal invite. My worry is that these invites go out as friends, and that is clearly not the case. There is a big risk of getting reported for spam or “I.D.K.” and then it’s not long before you get blocked or stopped from inviting people without e-mail addresses, which creates real problems. If your going to proceed with using Pealk anyway, I’d recommend taking time on each individual invite to show why the target has come up in the individual search and the relevance of the job according to their profile. A bit of extra time to show this makes the message personal and less spammy. (I know I recommend not personalising invites normally, but when you are using the invite as a means of messaging a job, I think you have to.)

Hats off to the 4 guys who have developed Pealk, Nicolas Lemmonier, (Co-Founder and Business Development Director) Anthony Simon, (Co-Founder and Marketing Director), Yann Hourdell ( Technical director)and Boris Golden (Co-founder and Lead Product Director).  If there are no API issues, I think they are on to a real winner because of the simplicity of use, navigation, speed, analytics and results. It’s in my toolkit already!

Thanks also to Martin Lee for another great spot and share, go join his group to keep up with more.

Bill

Pealk

CoolTools group