Employers in Hong Kong question the trustworthiness of information posted on Linkedin

12 May 2013

Hong Kong, 13 May 2013 – With 600,000 professionals using LinkedIn in Hong Kong, the rapid rise in popularity and importance of social networking websites to the business world is expected to continue.  However, many employers in Hong Kong still have doubts on the reliability of a potential job candidate’s LinkedIn profile, according to a new survey released by leading finance, accounting and technology recruitment firm, Robert Half.

The research, which polled 150 Chief Financial Officers and finance directors in Hong Kong, reveal that over two-thirds (69%) of employers said they found the information posted on LinkedIn to be ‘sometimes’ trustworthy and/or reliable. A further 7% said they never trust profiles that are posted on the world’s largest professional networking site.

Directly-received applications for employment are still more widely accepted in Hong Kong as 85% of survey respondents consider this form of job application to be more reliable when recruiting professionals than through LinkedIn profiles.

When reviewing profiles on LinkedIn, how often do you think that the information presented by individuals is trustworthy and/or accurate?

Always 24%
Sometimes 69%
Never 7%

Among those who question the accuracy of a potential candidate’s LinkedIn profile, 51% of respondents are concerned about the lack of a system to qualify information. This is followed by the opportunity to exaggerate experience or skills (24%) and the relative anonymity of social media (17%).  

When asked about the factors that they consider important when reviewing profiles on LinkedIn, the top three most-selected attributes are: experience (60%), education background (45%), recommendations (31%) and updated profile information (31%).

Which of the following elements do you consider important when reviewing profiles on LinkedIn?

Experience 60%
Education background 45%
Recommendations 31%
Updated profile information 31%
References 24%
Endorsed skills 23%
Number of connections 21%
Status updates 14%
Groups 6%


Pallavi Anand, Director of Robert Half Hong Kong, said, “Social networking websites are among the most popular ways of nurturing professional relationships today. Whether you interact online or in person, showing respect to those you know, and helping them achieve their goals, is the ultimate way to network. Therefore, it is important to be truthful and professional, and use technology so it has a positive effect on your relationships with colleagues and business contacts and, ultimately, your career.”

Ms. Anand suggests the following tips on presenting oneself professionally on LinkedIn:

Complete your profile
Provide as much information in your LinkedIn profile as you can. This should include your professional summary, work history and education. Be sure to add key accomplishments so other users get a clear picture of your capabilities, and request recommendations from former colleagues and managers. They can endorse your accomplishments in a far richer and more credible way.

Request recommendations individually
Treat each request with the same respect you would in “the real world.” A generic message asking all of your connections to endorse you may fall on deaf ears. When appropriate (and if it’s permissible by your company), recommend those whom you know the best and trust the most. Be careful, however, of what may be perceived as quid pro quo recommendations. If you recommend someone just as he or she has posted some kind words about you, your kudos may be viewed as “payback”.

Be a joiner
LinkedIn offers many interest groups for members who share certain passions or interests, and these can be a valuable asset for keeping abreast of new developments in your industry. When participating in professional groups, provide useful information and input. Avoid sending direct messages to fellow group members unless you have established a personal connection beforehand.

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