Expert Interview with Karalyn Brown About Social Media and the Job Market

By Cheryl Morgan

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Karalyn Brown of InterviewIQ knows that social media plays a large role in today's world of hiring top candidates for jobs.

Here, she shares information that employers and those in the job market should know about what to say online, how to keep social media profiles fun and professional, and how employers can mine social media profiles to find the best candidates for available positions.

How do recruitment agencies help Australians find work?

Recruitment agencies in Australia generally charge a fee to the client (the employer) and fill the vacancy with suitable candidates. Agents are paid either on successful placement, or retained on various arrangements with the client.

With social media and a number of disruptive recruitment services, their business model is increasingly challenged, so there has been a major market shake up since the GFC. Agencies are becoming specialists and working on the higher end of the market in the retained model, or looking at volumes and different ways to service clients. The day of an agency working to find lower-level and mid-range skills on a fee-per-service basis is disappearing.

Why should an individual use a recruitment agency?

If an individual finds an agent who has a strong understanding of their career space or industry, and they are fortunate to build a relationship with them, the agency can help with their career planning to some extent.

This scenario is not that common. Relationships between individuals and agencies tend to be based on a transaction of a single placement, since the agency works on behalf of the client, not the individual candidate.

In what ways does social media help those looking for work?

People can use Google, Twitter, Linkedin and many other platforms to be found, to stand out, to represent themselves as experts in their field, and to not have to work as hard in finding a role.

There are many internal recruiters hired by large corporations whose only task is to find "hidden talent" online and offline. Social media is the secret sauce for this; if job seekers use it correctly, they can position themselves to appear in searches and stand out.

How can those on both sides of the hiring process benefit from social media?

Employers can brand themselves and create a sense of openess around what it's like to work for them, thus attracting the right talent. They can build candidate attraction channels via groups, forums, and having people follow them for example. This helps reduce reliance on agencies and lowers costs. Many organisations set their teams up with solid LinkedIn profiles, let them know of jobs so they can refer their friends, and offer referral incentives. That's one basic way. Obviously there are others.

Candidates can get closer to people within organisations that may actually make a hiring decision, and avoid third parties such as external and internal recruiters. LinkedIn is a powerful tool in that respect. Candidates can ensure they are active and findable, which saves them time applying for jobs. If they want to take it further, they can create their own personal brand based on sharing their expertise and be known as an expert in a particular area.

In what ways do you see social media impacting the hiring process in the future?

I see it as already having a massive disruption impact in that the traditional database of a recruiter is now online, and organisations are looking for faster and easier ways to hire through using online channels.

I see response channels between candidate and employer being faster and faster, and tools being used in more creative ways rather than employers using passive adverts.

Longer term, I see people's online data being mined, analyzed, and matched against employers and role requirements. This is happening already with sites that aggregate people's information, but this will become far more sophisticated.

I see more and more skills marketplaces where employers demand flexibility by the job and by the hour. So work is becoming more transactional - like the elance model, where people bid on single jobs and projects. The challenge will be for employers to retain top talent to grow, and for people looking for jobs to brand themselves beyond the price they charge and have to compete on if they place themselves in a marketplace as such.

How do you help people searching for a better job?

I am the founder of and my team and I help individuals with online marketing, LinkedIn profiles, social media strategies, and interview and career coaching. I run webinars and workshops. I have an app called myPitch which helps people come up with a powerful elevator pitch for networking and interviews.

What should people avoid on social media?

Talking about how fabulous they are instead of demonstrating it. Posting too many silly selfies. There will be a whole generation where what's on social media about them becomes their resume of regret, as hiring decisions become far more automated using data and social media mining.

My rule of thumb is that you can be personal, but not share your entire life story. And whatever you say or do, be mindful that someone may find it.

How will hiring change over the next three years?

It will become far more focused on Google mining, social channels and using the disruptive technologies we already know about.

Please share anything additional you would like readers to know about Interview IQ

. We're proudly based in Australia, but happily work in a global marketplace. Visit our site at

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