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I’ve grown highly skeptical of Pallet’s paid influencer model in recruiting.
(If you’re not familiar with Pallet, go here first.)
Before getting into why I'm a skeptic, let’s break down this influencer model that’s gaining popularity in the recruiting space:
A professional builds an industry-specific audience on social media.
After accumulating a bucket of followers, it’s time for the influencer to monetize their audience. To turn their network into cash, they set up a Pallet.
A Pallet is basically a hub where an influencer's followers can submit their professional profiles anonymously with the intention of being marketed to employers. Identity and contact information only becomes visible to the employers who pay a monthly fee to the influencer in exchange for access to their network.
(What a profile looks like before paying to unlock a full resume.)
From there, it’s simply a numbers game for the influencer: increase follower count to continually fill their Pallet with job seekers while simultaneously marketing their available network (their Pallet) to employers who can pay for access.
(Example of a Pallet pricing)
Observationally, it feels like this is how the Pallet model is being used on LinkedIn:
1. Virtue signal on current topics in the recruiting/hiring/business space.
- Example: “Employers are bad! Hey, poor laid-off employees, I’ve got your back.”
2. Build a following.
3. Drive your followers to your Pallet job board.
- “Remember how I said I’ve got your back!? Follow me this way :)”
4. Make money off those whom the big, bad capitalists have wronged.
Here’s why this influencer model won’t work:
Typically, an influencer's followers are not at the level of the influencer. A follower is aspiring to reach the level that would make them the type of candidate that employers are looking to source through a personal network. Aka, the most qualified of the qualified.
But the reality is that the majority of followers are largely unqualified to do the work that the influencer appears to be qualified to do themselves.
I think it's just a matter of time before the holes in Pallet's model get exposed.
In the meantime, virtue signaling will only increase on LinkedIn. There will always be business bad guys to invent whom influencers can protect workers from. We will see Pallet’s increase like Substacks did—because desperate employers will pay to access so-called “qualified” networks in hopes of finding an alternative to tried and true sourcing motions.
Fun times. For now.
FTR, I’ve played a role in promoting some pretty dumb recruiting ideas. Trust me, the pot knows its color.
Final note: Gergely Orosz seems to be an outlier here. I’ve found few people who create content as high-quality and as useful to a specific industry as he has. What he’s built with his The Pragmatic Engineer brand is incredibly impressive.
I'm sure there are others. If so, they're certainly rare birds.