Facebook and LinkedIn have completely transformed in the last year or so. Though the former is the undisputed king of all social networks, it has launched several features worthy of a high end professional network. Similarly, though the latter operated as a pure professional network earlier, it has been ringing in the changes to improve its social quotient. It’s an interesting battle and it’s hard to pick a winner.
While LinkedIn was the de-facto choice for online hiring till last year, an increasing number of IT-enabled businesses are flocking to Facebook for background checks and prospect verification. One thing is for sure – paper resumes will eventually be replaced by profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks.
OfficeTeam Survey Findings
OfficeTeam recently conducted an interesting survey amongst HR managers to evaluate the future of the resume. Telephone interviews were conducted with more than 500 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees and they were asked if profiles on networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, will replace traditional resumes in the future. Nearly 30 percent of the survey respondents believe that online profiles will inevitably replace conventional resumes. Though the other 70 percent rule out Facebook and LinkedIn profiles replacing resumes in the near future, they agree that social media is gaining acceptance in the hiring sector.
The survey also highlights a strong need for people to be careful on what they post on their Facebook profiles. Of course, it remains to be seen how social media profiles can be customized as people prepare to take on specific job responsibilities.
LinkedIn is booming
Facebook is the glamboy of social media and its growth has been well publicized in all quarters. Though LinkedIn has grown at a stupendous rate as well, it has done so rather quietly. Social platform Gigya reports a dramatic increase (20 percent) in the use of LinkedIn accounts to sign in to B2B sites between July 2010 and January 2011. In the past, LinkedIn accounted for a small percentage of all B2B logins, while Facebook ruled the roost. Things started to change when LinkedIn added several features such as Groups, Likes, and Comments on Updates etc.
Despite the growing use of Facebook for background checks, LinkedIn remains the most popular professional network. It is still the most trusted source for information on companies as well as candidates. With new innovative features such as Skill Search, LinkedIn has come a long way since it was conceived as a pure professional networking tool for individuals.
With a community of more than 600 million users, it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore Facebook in the hiring circles. It provides a sneak peek into a person’s background and can often prove to be a source of vital information for businesses.
So, who will emerge as the winner in this high stakes battle for online resumes? In my opinion, it would neither be LinkedIn, nor Facebook – the eventual winner has to be social media. Facebook and LinkedIn are not substitutes for each other. In fact, they compliment each other very well and should be used in conjunction with each other.