As social media is taking an increasingly big bite of our daily lives, its importance is also growing when it comes to work force selection and job seeking. Recruitment via social media has even become a tendency on the rise.
“An impressive profile on LinkedIn, for example, can be a good entry for good future positions,” Csaba Greguss, client relationship manager at recruitment agency Grafton pointed out. If containing a detailed list of professional skills, former positions and also an impressive contact list, such profiles can serve as a public and internationally available CV. “Having your LinkedIn profile attached to your CV might be captivating,” Tammy Nagy-Stellini, head of recruitment agency Hays said, adding that as HR recruiters closely follow such websites, even those who are currently not seeking a new job might get good offers. “The more platforms you are present on, the better the chances you have.”
From the job seekers’ point of view, social media is also of increasing importance. A recent survey conducted by recruitment agency Randstad found that some 15% of Hungarian employees reported that when it comes to finding new employment, they prefer social websites to the regular job seeking platforms. Still, the majority of those polled admitted that they mostly share personal information instead of building a professional profile. “The reason is that in general Facebook or IWIW are still far more popular in Hungary than networks such as LinkedIn, which purely aims to gain professional contacts,” Balázs Varga, the head of marketing and PR at Randstad explained, adding that as a result, he forecasts LinkedIn-like pages to rule social recruitment in the future for both employers and employees.
However, Varga admits that Facebook-like social websites might come to the fore when employers have to choose from several candidates of exactly the same professional level, something that has previously been done by regular selection methods such as job interviews or professional tests. In such cases, the personality and, as such, the impression given by social websites might become a decisive element.
Professional vs. private
Although Hungary is still far from some extreme overseas examples when companies ask for the candidate’s password to fully check their social website content, including private messages and photos that are not visible to the public thanks to privacy settings, private-focused social websites such as Facebook are of increasing importance in the recruitment method here. However, while professional-focused social media is useful in the process of hunting out the proper workforce, Facebook profiles have the tendency to affect the decision of whether the person fits the position and the company profile.
Private life-focused social media websites might weigh even more when personal aura is an important aspect for the position sought. This might be an administrative job, a sales position or anything where teamwork is required. “It counts less in the case of trained workers, and when it comes to management positions, the importance of such sites is almost fully eliminated as only the professional experience and previous achievements are in focus,” Randstad’s Varga pointed out. Hays’' Nagy-Stellini somewhat disagrees, saying that nowadays social media profiles might be checked for any kind of position, including managers. “Maybe only for the sake of curiosity, but there is always a chance that it will be checked.”
Still, HR experts warn that our private life being on display can easily turn into a disadvantage if someone shows too much. “Provoking pictures of hard-core parties should be removed for the period of job seeking and also for the probationary period,” suggested Grafton’s Greguss.
Most HR experts polled by the Budapest Business Journal share this idea, with Nagy-Stellini even saying that one of their clients had rejected a candidate because the pictures on their profile were found to be far too provoking.
However, showing one’s real face, even if it includes somewhat hard-core elements, might have its benefits as well. “We can never know what comes off as negative or positive for someone else, so it is pointless to give the impression of being someone else,” Varga pointed out. Once, he explained, Randstad was recruiting for a junior sales position where the client had specifically requested they find someone who had partied from Monday to Sunday throughout their university years, as only an outgoing type of personality could have the skills they were looking for in that given situation.