Social media unpopular in job search

Despite the popularity of social media and the wide penetration of mobile phones, 54% of the working population considers it useless in terms of job search; rather, less than 10% said they will use venues like Facebook and Linkedin for career searches, according to the latest study by Ipsos.

Though 25% of the surveyed population said they will consider using social media in the future for job searches; more than half said it was not okay for a recruiter to contact them by Facebook. Thirty percent even went on to completely reject this idea.

"Social recruiting has not reached its full potential here compared to other job markets," said JB Aloy, senior vice president for Ipsos APAC Employee Research, adding that privacy is one of the biggest concerns in the city.

"In many countries, both candidates and employers focus on how best to use social media and manage their e-reputation, with one common goal: building relationships. In Hong Kong, a large number of people and organisations are still at the why use social media stage when it comes to recruitment".

A study like this is difficult to believe, given that LinkedIn just celebrated its 10th anniversary and a year-on-year global revenue growth of 72% in the first quarter of 2013.

A recent study by Robert Half UK, 82% of finance director questioned the trustworthiness and accuracy of candidates LinkedIn profiles, which don't have any system or procedure of verification: 14% even went on to say the profiles are never reliable.

So while scepticism exists on employers' part, the conservativeness of job hunters in Hong Kong can be attributed to information-leak scares from incidents such as Octopus Card selling personal data in 2010.

However, given that the population is getting increasingly acquainted to this platform, Ipsos managing director Darlene Lee said people in Hong Kong just need to accept recruitment formats past the traditional mail or email applications.

"The sign of how quickly social media is changing is demonstrated by the much larger population that intends to use it," she said.

"This will also require people being willing to be contacted by recruiters on social media sites."

Ipsos Hong Kong surveyed 1,000 people between the ages of 15 to 64 from 14 to 27 of March this year.