If you believe everything you read online or in the digital press you could be forgiven for believing if you’re not on social media then you are invisible to the rest of the world, as an individual, brand or organisation.
There are literally thousands of articles written by social media ‘gurus’ and the media about how important it is to have a presence on as many social media channels as possible. The press is awash with tweets and posts from celebrities and the man on the street. It has become such a hot and trending topic that many people are almost nervous not to have a social presence and have profiles across a range of social channels, even if they don’t really want to.
The majority of companies now use social media, in particular LinkedIn as part of their recruitment process, so should you ignore a candidate if they are not using LinkedIn?
It’s only fair to consider people as individuals, while the media world is talking about how vital social media is as a networking tool, quite simply some people do not like it for a variety of reasons, some are confused by how all the networks work, how much of their information will be shared and who with, some are concerned about security and perhaps rightly so. Here we look at a few scenarios we have seen from our candidates and clients to see if you should have reservations about a candidate just because they either have no LinkedIn profile or it’s not detailed enough for your requirements.
Remember at this stage in the process you don’t know anything about the candidate except the snippets you can glean from their CV. This may sound odd but we are personally aware of instances of cyber stalking. This has been a very real problem for individuals, with LinkedIn being the primary social target; it is more than understandable if people affected try to step away from using LinkedIn or all other social media platforms. If you do a search on the LinkedIn forums you’ll see how many people would like a ‘block’ feature or the ability to stop anonymous users from accessing their profile so it’s a common issue people are concerned about.
Although LinkedIn is a useful platform for those who have the time and ability to use it to their advantage. It doesn’t really have the same social interactions as other platforms like Twitter and Facebook so some people may just decide it’s not for them.
As much as the hype would like to have us all jumping on the band wagon it has to be said that there are many people out there who are managing just fine in their career and personal life without the interruption of social media. It does seem to depend on the sector in which you work, for example digital and IT people tend to be using several social platforms, possibly because they are more IT savvy and more trusting of the technology.
In some niche sectors people prefer to choose forums and sites which concentrate on their specialism only, they feel interacting with their peers on common topics is a more productive use of their time than the more scattergun approach of sharing an entire career history with LinkedIn.
Despite the average teenager not being able to survive more than 12 minutes without social media, we saw this last week when Facebook briefly had a technical issue, many people choose to manage their career in a different, more traditional way.
LinkedIn is huge, it’s the largest professional network in the world, there are literally millions of professional profiles on there but some people would rather be the shepherd than join the sheep. If you work in a crowded sector like design for example candidates may want to stand out from the crowd and use other social platforms like Pintrest or Instagram to showcase their talent and career highlights.
Let’s be honest updating, posting and interacting with everyone across social platforms is very time consuming, it has to be done continuously to stay ahead of the pack, especially on LinkedIn. Your candidate may quite simply enjoy their free time and face to face social activities more than being stuck behind a screen, this in itself can be a positive thing if you’re looking for an outgoing team player to join your team.
If it really is a concern, perhaps you should ask your candidate when you invite them for an interview, you may be surprised with the honest answers.
Adapted from an article from Applause IT “Should you be concerned if a candidate is not on LinkedIn?”
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