Social media profiles – the least influential element in hiring process: survey

According to Robert Half research, social media profiles are not perceived as the most important factor impacting hiring decisions. Read more here. 

  • Social media profiles are not the most crucial factor that impacts hiring decisions for HR managers.
  • 40% of Australian hiring managers say a candidate’s CV is the most important factor influencing hiring decisions for management-level positions, slightly dropping to 37% for staff-level positions.
  • 37% point to a candidate’s interview performance as the most crucial factor for management-level positions, dropping to 25% for staff-level positions.

While we are increasingly living in a digital world, social media profiles are not perceived as the most important factor impacting hiring decisions. Instead, jobseekers in 2017 aiming to give their career a fresh beginning should start by polishing up their resume and job interview skills, as independent research commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half reveals the key factors which influence the success of a job interview. 

Only 1% of hiring managers say social media profiles are the most important factor when hiring staff-level candidates. Fundamental elements of the job search, such as CVs and interviews, still determine if a candidate gets the job.

Two in five (40%) HR mangers identify the candidate’s CV as the most important factor when recruiting for management-level roles, a figure that drops to 37% for staff-level positions. A candidate’s performance during the interview is seen as almost just as important, as more than one in three (37%) HR managers say it has the most impact for management-level roles, followed by one in four (25%) for staff-level positions. 

Nicole Gorton, Director at Robert Half Australia said: “2017 is shaping up to be a competitive employment market. Candidates applying for jobs are likely to face tough competition, and knowing what influences the hiring decision can mean the difference between being offered the role and being passed over.”

“The traditional elements in the hiring process, being the CV and the interview, are still considered to be the most important. It’s therefore crucial that jobseekers stand out from the crowd by not only having a stellar CV, in print and online, but also excelling during their interview(s).”

“While social media profiles might not be considered to be the most important element in the hiring process, recruiters and hiring managers generally check online profiles before extending an offer, so jobseekers should not underestimate the importance of having a professional online profile. In the digital age, it is imperative that jobseekers maintain their professional persona through their social media accounts – whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. While it’s good to showcase some personality, jobseekers should always maintain good conduct on social media, even when profiling and discussing their private lives.”

“Businesses need to take on an encompassing approach during the hiring process, which not only includes checking resumes and doing job interviews. Other elements such as checking references and social media profiles can reveal significant information about the candidate which can in turn influence the hiring decision,” concluded Nicole Gorton.

HR managers were asked: “What are the most important factors impacting your hiring decision?”

  Management-level positions Staff-level positions
CV 40% 37%
Job interview performance 37% 25%
Candidate testing 11% 18%
Reference checks 6% 15%
Recommendation from network/staffing agency 6% 4%
Social media profile 0% 1%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 100 HR Managers. 

Five tips for writing a compelling CV
1.    Keep it professional – Avoid using emoticons, slang words or amusing lines such as “strong coffee-making abilities”. Maintain a professional tone, and always proofread and spellcheck the document.
2.    Highlight soft skills – Communication, leadership and interpersonal skills are very important to employers today and should be highlighted in a CV. Substantiate soft skills with examples of how they have applied in the work experience section of your resume.
3.    Be precise – Tailor your resume to each role you apply for, in particular noting the experience and/or technical skills you have that satisfy the job criteria.
4.    Eliminate unrelated skills – Avoid adding a laundry list of skills, which may be irrelevant or outdated to your CV. By focusing on the skills that are relevant to the role, candidates maximise the response of hiring managers.
5.    Do you research – A quick google search will give you enough background on the interviewer which could serve as a great way to break the ice.

Job interview tips – dos and don’ts
•    Dress to impress. Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and presentable.
•    Make eye contact, and begin with a strong handshake. This will signal your confidence when you meet your interviewer for the first time.
•    Sit still, with your feet firmly on the ground. This will help you maintain your posture and avoid fidgeting.
•    Remember your CV details. In particular the experience most relevant to the role you're interviewing for.
•    Make a note of your questions. Bring a note-pad if you feel you might forget important points.
•    Remember: it's just as important for the interviewer to sell the benefits of working at their business, as it is for you to impress your next potential employer.
    Turn up late to the interview. If for some reason on the day it's unavoidable, call ahead to let your interviewer know your expected time of arrival.
•    Dress sloppily or inappropriately. Not sure what to wear? Read our guidelines.
•    Smoke before your interview. Whilst a quick cigarette might seem like a good idea to calm your nerves, the smell will be noticeable and unpleasant for your interviewer.
•    Volunteer your weaknesses. Whilst honesty is always the best policy, there is no need to volunteer your shortfalls unless asked directly.
•    Criticise your current or previous employer. Doing so could give your interviewer the impression you're difficult to work with.


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted in April 2016 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 Australian HR managers. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]