People might find it a bad idea to connect with co-workers and supervisors on Facebook in the past, but survey findings from recruitment firm Robert Half indicate that this has already changed.
Nearly two in three (64%) HR directors in Hong Kong surveyed by the firm said they feel comfortable friending or connecting on social media with their bosses, and their colleagues (85%).
"The findings suggest that social media platforms, such as Facebook, are no longer only used for personal connection with family and friends, but are increasingly important for professional networking as well," said Pallavi Anand, Director of Robert Half in Hong Kong. "As some industries or companies are more engaged in digital networking than others, one can take cue from others before sending out "friend" requests.
She also advised professionals to focus on activities that are business-related. "For example, one may write a post about a new accounting mobile app that he or she's testing at work, tweet links to articles on industry trends, or use Facebook to connect with a contact who will attend the same seminar event," Anand noted. "These activities can help boost one's professional reputation, grow his or her network and advance his or her career."
When asked about the comfort level of being "friended" on Facebook by people they manage, 73% of the respondents said they are either very comfortable or somewhat comfortable, according to the findings.
With the lines between professional and personal life becoming more blurred, Anand said it's important to give careful consideration on social media interaction as inappropriate online behavior could harm one's professional image.
Creating separate profiles for social and professional purposes could be an option to consider for keeping one's Facebook profile away from the public eye, she suggested.