8 in 10 Hong Kong directors still hesitant over recruiting on social media

22 July 2012

Hong Kong, 19 July 2012 – Although it is estimated that Hong Kong has more than four million combined Facebook and LinkedIn users, HR Directors in the city still have reservations about using social media platforms as a recruitment tool. This is according to new research revealed today by finance, accounting and banking specialist recruitment firm Robert Half.

Robert Half’s research, based on a survey of 200 HR Directors across Asia, found that 76% of the respondents in Hong Kong believe social media platforms are ineffective as a recruitment tool or are unsure about the effectiveness.

Less than a quarter (24%) of the HR Directors in Hong Kong think that social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are effective in hiring, indicating a relatively low favourability when compared to China (64%), Singapore (56%) and Japan (30%).

Social Media as Recruitment Tool

The survey also revealed that the traditional recruitment approach is still highly favoured by HR decision makers in Hong Kong as 60% of the respondents do not believe social networking sites will replace traditional CVs.

Pallavi Anand, Director, Robert Half Hong Kong, said: “The growing popularity of social media is changing the way companies do business and how they interact and
communicate with their target audiences. However, our research shows that the likelihood of social media profiles replacing traditional CVs remains low. While some organisations have leveraged social media as a successful commercial or employer branding tool, its effectiveness in recruitment has not been realised or fully utilised by many employers in the Hong Kong market.”

When asked how they are using social media in the recruitment process, 24% of the HR Directors in Hong Kong said they use it to source candidates, 18% use it to communicate with candidates and 12% check online profiles for behaviour and suitability.

“Although penetration of social media in recruitment is still low, nearly 1 in 4 employers in Hong Kong are still using it. We would therefore advise candidates to keep their profile on professional networking sites, like LinkedIn up-to-date. Candidates should also be aware of their online reputation by ensuring that their profile looks as professional and polished as possible. There is a chance that a potential employer could look you up on LinkedIn and request to connect with you. In addition, posting newsworthy articles, participating in relevant discussion groups and conducting periodic online audits will definitely help raise both personal and corporate brand images”, Ms. Anand said.

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