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More Than Eight in 10 Finance Directors Question the Trustworthiness of LinkedIn Profiles

Ref. PR-03583

  • Four in 10 (39%) finance directors cite 'opportunity to exaggerate experience/skills' as the main reason for lack of trust
  • Experience (65%), references (38%) and education (37%) deemed the most important elements in a LinkedIn profile
  • Directly received employment applications considered more trustworthy than LinkedIn profiles

London, April, 2013 – More than eight in 10 (82%) finance directors question the trustworthiness and accuracy of a potential candidate’s LinkedIn profile, according to new research from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half UK. When questioned, more than two thirds (68%) said that they found the information ‘sometimes’ and ‘never’ (14%) reliable.

The research reveals several reasons for this lack of trust, with nearly four in 10 (39%) finance directors concerned about the opportunity job seekers have to exaggerate experience and skills, followed by lack of systems/procedures to qualify information (37%), relative anonymity of social media (15%) and lastly the lack of regularly updated profiles (8%).

Social media usage in and out of the workplace has grown enormously in recent years, with more and more people relying it as a core networking tool. LinkedIn profiles help employees and job seekers increase visibility online and help build a professional profile, so it’s important that information is complete and detailed.

When asked what elements are important when reviewing LinkedIn profiles, nearly two thirds (65%) of finance directors consider the experience field as the most important, with references (38%) and educational background (37%) in close second and third. Interestingly, large (78%) and publicly listed companies (72%) find the ‘experience’ element the most important to a profile.

However, the findings further reveal that more than eight in 10 (82%) finance directors find directly received applications for employment more trustworthy and accurate than LinkedIn profiles, with nearly one in four (23%) saying they are ‘much more trustworthy’.

200 UK Finance Directors were asked, ‘Which of the following elements do you consider important when reviewing profiles on LinkedIn?’ Their responses:

Experience 65%
References 38%
Education background 37%
Recommendations 31%
Updated profile information 30%
Endorsed skills 29%
Number of connections 22%
Status updates 10%
Groups 2%
Other 1%

Multiple responses permitted

Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, Robert Half UK said: “With over ten million people in the UK currently using LinkedIn, it is important for professionals to keep their networks informed, whether they are using the site for recruitment purposes or as a general networking tool. However, with the majority of hiring managers questioning the trustworthiness and accuracy of LinkedIn profiles, candidates should manage their online reputation by ensuring their profiles remain complete and updated with the appropriate information.

"Despite the popularity of LinkedIn, hiring managers still prefer more traditional recruitment methods, such as employee referrals and recruitment consultancies. It seems most employers still believe this to be the most effective approach for screening candidates and assessing competencies."

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