Bernd Slaghuis, Karriere-Coach
Career tips

HR survey: Social media profiles are becoming increasingly important for HR professionals

Applicants not only have to shine with good grades and a complete résumé, but should also pay attention to their social media profiles . Two out of three companies (63 percent) use social networks to find out about job prospects. The focus is primarily on professionally oriented platforms such as XING or LinkedIn (53 percent), followed by more privately oriented social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (30 percent). That is the result of a current survey by the digital association Bitkom among HR managers in companies. “The times in which social media appearances merely complement a classic application are coming to an end,” says Bitkom managing director Bernhard Rohleder . “More and more companies are primarily looking for new employees via social networks and are content with the information stored there to start an application process. Those who can present themselves well in social networks definitely have advantages when looking for a job. ”Over time, it has been shown that HR professionals attach increasing importance to social media : In 2015, only 46 percent found information on applicants in social networks In 2013 it was only 23 percent.

Every fourth HR manager sorts out applicants because of certain social media content

When doing online research, HR professionals prioritize professional issues over private ones. Eight out of ten (81 percent) pay particular attention to technical qualifications, two thirds (67 percent) to comments on specialist topics and a good half (53 percent) to comments on the company or competitors. One in three (34 percent) pays special attention to hobbies and private activities, and one in six (16 percent) to political views. “The social media self-portrayal can also be a brake on one’s career “, says Rohleder. Every fourth HR manager (24 percent) who looks at the profiles of applicants in social networks has either not hired applicants or shortlisted them because of individual entries. So if you present yourself too often at a boozy party with buddies, you may not be invited to the hoped-for interview. Network research by HR staff is legal: In principle, employers are allowed to obtain generally accessible data, provided that there are no conflicting personal rights of those affected. This applies, for example, to content and information freely available via search engines that can be called up in social networks without registration. * The representative survey was carried out on behalf of the Bitkom umbrella organization in June 2018 – among 304 HR managers in companies with 50 or more employees.

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