3 in 4 Singapore employers skeptical of information from professional networking sites

15 May 2013

[Singapore], 16 May, 2013: With the rise in the number of professionals using social networking sites in Singapore, many companies are also turning to social media for help in recruiting job candidates. However, many employers in Singapore still have doubts on the reliability of a potential job candidate’s profile on social media websites.

New research by specialist finance, accounting and technology recruitment firm Robert Half reveals that 75 per cent of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and finance directors in Singapore question the trustworthiness of the information presented by individuals when reviewing profiles on social networking sites for professionals. In fact, nine per cent believe they will never trust profiles that are posted by potential job candidates.

According to the survey, 82 per cent of Singapore respondents consider information from directly received resumes to be more trustworthy than online profiles. A similarly high number (85 per cent) of Hong Kong employers agree that the CV is more legitimate than an online profile.

The main reason for distrusting online career information is the lack of systems to check skills and experiences, a problem cited by 47 per cent of respondents. This is followed by the relative anonymity of social media (22 per cent) and the opportunity to exaggerate experience or skills (21 per cent).

Online profiles help employees and job seekers increase their visibility online, so it is important that information is complete and detailed to build a professional online profile.

Ms Stella Tang, Director of Robert Half Singapore said, "The reasons many employers have doubts about the reliability of a potential job candidate’s online profile have more to do with the nature of the internet rather than the integrity of the candidates. Employers can gain useful insight into a candidate through social networking sites, but they should also look beyond social media to assess and evaluate the value of this information, such as speaking to previous employers or working with a recruitment specialist who undertakes the necessary screening prior to putting forward a candidate.”

When asked what elements are important when reviewing profiles on social networking sites, the top three attributes are: experience (57 per cent), education background (43 per cent) and updated profile information (40 per cent). Interestingly, small companies (61 per cent) find the ‘experience’ element the most important to a profile.

“Whether you interact online or in person, it is important to be truthful and professional, and use technology so it has a positive effect on your relationships with colleagues, business contacts, and ultimately your career.” Ms Tang said.


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Gabrielle Nagy 
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