Use of Social Networking sites among HR personnel

02 May 2010

The expansion of Social Networking has been constant for years. There is a growing number of different new websites. The classic IWIW revived a few month ago, so they were able to get back some of their lost users.  No doubt that Facebook is also gaining ground in Hungary. Twitter, MyVip, Myspace and many more community pages, are trying to encourage their members with different extra services.

Linkedln has been operating since 2003, and they are specialized for care and build of business relationships. The job-seekers completed profile is detailed as a CV, and their network of connections can serve as reference. This site after the success in western countries is becoming increasingly popular in Hungary as well. It is unusual, if someone cannot be found on one of these pages.

It is said that nowadays, HR specialists, headhunters, recruiters started to use social networks in practice. A growing number of professionals admit, that the applicants IWIW profile has influence on the chances of getting the job or even at the interview.

Often a simple Google search can provide a lot of information about an applicant's professional background and personality as well (frequent comments in professional forums, publications, blog writing, etc.) However social networks count as real „gold mines”. IWIW specifically facilitates with it’s information-filtering system the job of specialists.

We can filter by language skills, occupation, current or previous jobs and so on.

Previously, we were able to send messages to these filtered groups. This was used by many companies and individuals to advertise themselves , or for marketing purposes, and perhaps this has led to the point that this application is no longer available.   Realizing the popularity of the website, started to advertise its services on IWIW.

During the selection process in addition to personal competence, the candidates’ personality matters as well. The candidate has to fit in the future team, he/she will have to be able to control or support the team. Is it possible to make decition based on some photos or the profile? Does it help or shorten the process of cognition? Are we allowed to refuse someone due to a bad picture or a comment?

It’s a trendy topic lately, that in the United States Microsoft carried out a survey asking 2500 people in this regard. The survey showed that 70% of HR managers already rejected candidates on the basis of their online appearance (mostly because of pictures).

Apart from the U.S. on behalf of Microsoft, HR professionals were asked in 3 different counties. The results showed that 43% of European HR specialists regularly check the candidates online appearances before they w decide the admission. 59% of the German, 47% of British and 23% of French employers, use the information available on the Internet to assess candidates. Microsoft published a short presentation on its website about the topic. Unfortunately we can not serve Hungarian data yet.

On the user’s side beside all the positive circumstances we should not forget that these profile’s are completely open to the public. Anyone can access and, indeed, in many cases people are doing so, with all its good and bad consequences. In many cases from the candidate’s side, it is also true that they can look up the interviewer of their prospective supervisor. Therefore we should set up these profiles wisely, bearing in mind our goals.