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Personal vs. Professional

5 Jan 2015

Are personal and professional lines being blurred? According to reports, Generation Y see their professional life as part of their personal life and do not separate the two.

Social media is claimed to be the instigator in this change. Now more than ever, you are able to share all aspects of your life across social networks. From updating the world on what you had for lunch, to business networking, social media allows you to amplify your personal brand and converse with people across the world.

However when asked, most people are keen to separate their social media networks for different purposes. Facebook is regarded as the ‘personal' network where you connect with friends and family, and LinkedIn is the ‘professional' network, to network with business leaders, recruiters and industry contacts.

Social media has also opened up doors for recruiters to network and engage with job seekers. LinkedIn has long be regarded as the destination for this type of discussion, however with the launch of Facebook Graph Search, recruiters can now use sophisticated search techniques to find candidates suitable for a certain role.

However are we really ready to blur our social media personal and professional lives? We asked 100 candidates for their opinions.

Being Approached on LinkedIn

Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents were happy for recruiters to approach them on LinkedIn about roles. 70% of people were open to hearing about new opportunities that might benefit them.

22% of those surveyed were only happy to hear about roles that were relevant to them. Whilst LinkedIn is a great tool to reach a wide audience, some candidates had been approached by recruiters for roles that were either too junior for them, or were for a completely different industry.

Only 8% of respondents did not want to be approached on LinkedIn. This group specifically omitted "searching for new opportunities" from their profile and used their profile mainly for connecting with people for business opportunities, or for engaging in industry discussion in LinkedIn groups.

Recruiting on Facebook

Whilst there may be a shift towards blurring the personal and professional social media boundaries, our survey highlighted that people still value distinguishing between the two.

62% of jobseekers do not want to be approached by a recruiter on Facebook, most people do not want potential employers from seeing their personal conversations with family and friends. They felt that recruitment, business and professional discussions and interactions should be limited to LinkedIn only.

With that said, almost a quarter of respondents would be happy for a recruiter to speak to them about a role on Facebook. Whilst this is down to certain industries, if confidentiality is upheld, then jobseekers are open to being approached on a more personal social network.

The Future

The personal to professional journey is an interesting space to watch. Facebook's Graph Search will likely revolutionise the social platform in more ways than just for recruitment purposes.

However Facebook's popularity is declining. Studies show that younger generations are using the network less and less, seeing it more as a contact book than a social network.

Social media is ubiquitous, however more and more of us are now savvy to what we share on our social networks.  Facebook's Graph Search may help bridge the gap between personal and professional, or this may happen organically over time.

Still, never say never to Facebook recruiting.

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