Research of 121 HR employees at technology companies across Europe revealed that 57 percent search for potential candidates on LinkedIn, prior to interviewing or hiring them.

Although it’s not surprising that firms are looking up candidates on LinkedIn, they need to be very careful about how much trust they put in these sources. The reliability of social media is flawed because it is difficult to verify, and users are essentially free to write whatever they like on their profiles. Of course these sites have value for networking and building contacts, but shouldn’t be overly relied upon while evaluating potential job candidates.

The research also revealed that 5 percent of those surveyed will hire new personnel via social networking sites such as LinkedIn. In comparison, 19 percent of respondents stated that they primarily hire personnel via recruitment firms, with 76 percent preferring to use specialist agencies.

Finding a top quality candidate for any role is always a challenge, and there are currently many ways to promote vacancies and identify new talent. Although it’s perhaps surprising that significantly fewer companies are looking up candidates on websites such as LinkedIn, such research is still only partially useful.

It’s only by utilising all of the job hunting tools at your disposal and making sure that candidates are fully reference-checked that employers will be able to determine which candidates they should consider – and this is where specialist recruitment agencies come in.

The survey also showed that just 9 percent of respondents believe that Europe leads in terms of technology innovation, while 73 percent believe that there is some form of risk of another tech bubble burst.

However, a recent announcement stating that the number of businesses in London’s Tech City had risen from 200 to 600 in one year, indicates that Europe’s technology profile is continuing to grow at an impressive rate. Finally, the survey reveals that 43 percent of those surveyed believe that the cloud is currently the hottest technology trend.

The fact that such a large number of those in the tech industry do not see Europe as a technology leader is disheartening. This is a really exciting time for tech companies in Europe. Tech City is continuing to thrive and with new initiatives being made all the time, there are no signs that this is going to peak any time soon.

Growing trends such as cloud computing, virtualisation and SaaS are playing a key role in this technology growth, which is only going to continue to flourish if technology companies carry on taking advantage of specialist recruitment agencies’ expertise in hiring first-class candidates