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A Look at LinkedIn Profile Dishonesty

October 08, 2013

LinkedIn is now an indispensable part of every recruiter’s tool belt. However, it suffers from the same affliction as all social media sites; it may end up telling you more about what the profile owner wants you believe than about who they really are. The stakes for both recruiter and job seekers are very high in the face of LinkedIn dishonesty, and it is another issue to take into account when finding talent online.

Fortunately, despite real worries, some research has shown that the situation is better than it may seem.

Employer’s Concerns
It is a given that employers look upon LinkedIn profiles with a healthy amount of skepticism. For instance, a survey from Australia showed 82% of respondents believed that LinkedIn profiles of job candidates contained lies and exaggerations. Furthermore, 67% did not believe that they could trust the job titles and responsibilities listed in previous positions.

More than Just Unprofessional, It Can Damage a Company Brand
There is legitimate cause for such concern as LinkedIn dishonesty is not only an embarrassment for the person who tries to get away with it; it is a real problem that has burned even some of the most seasoned hiring managers. This account from an established marketing manager tells of personal assistants who have embellished their LinkedIn profiles with ridiculous boasts such “developed and managed the … brand, building the company’s marketing strategy and executing it.”

More importantly, it relates the story of new hire who had great qualifications on paper as well as a strong recommendation from her previous “supervisor.” The person turned out to possess no marketing skills at all, and ended up damaging the company’s reputation.

Still, Cornell Study Suggests that LinkedIn is More Reliable than Resumé
However, there is some hopeful news. A recent study from Cornell researchers suggests that the public nature of LinkedIn has actually made it a more reliable source of candidate information that the traditional paper resumé. Prior work experience and responsibilities tended to reflect truth much more accurately on LinkedIn, though fudging hobbies and interests tends to be higher.

Whether you trust more in LinkedIn or in traditional candidate evaluation methods, a list of work history and responsibilities gives an incomplete picture of a potential new hire. This is where SwoopTalent comes into play. Through an aggregated social profile, an image of a candidate comes through that is constructed from all available channels, giving you the highest level of trust possible.

Tags social sourcing candidates social profiles