TikTok recruiting device rumors draw combined reactions
From Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat, companies have been experimenting with social media to attract and recruit talent.
The platforms provide an experience in some ways that is different from the more traditional job search methods that are more likely to be used by candidates. For example, a 2019 Clutch survey found that 41% of workers surveyed used a job board to find work, compared to 25% who did it through networking and 14% who did this on social media.
News reports over the past few weeks suggest that another platform will soon become part of the social media recruiting conversation: TikTok. The popular video app will launch a webpage accessible through the app where employers and users can post video résumés. Axios reported on May 11th.
The idea “makes sense for a number of reasons,” said Thibaud Clément, CEO and co-founder of the Loomly marketing platform. Applicants and job seekers mimick consumers when searching for various positions, Clément noted, and some seek employers whose values are in line with their own. This may be especially true of younger job seekers, a demographic that also makes up a large part of TikTok’s base; a survey of U.S. adults conducted by the Pew Research Center in early 2021 found that almost half of those questioned between the ages of 18 and 29 used the app.
“They want to work for companies that make sense to them,” Clément said of younger applicants. “They will go to the employers who best suit their values and whom they already know.”
But for all of the reasons employers might consider taking advantage of TikTok’s new job feature – which are currently limited in details – the question is whether the platform offers what both sides want from the recruitment equation. For one thing, it is not even certain that Generation Z members want to be contacted by employers on TikTok, according to Casey Welch, CEO of the Tallo employment and scholarship platform.
Which quotes a 2019 Tallo survey Out of 512 high school and college students who showed that while a majority of respondents agreed at least “somewhat” on the importance of building a personal brand online, only 9% thought TikTok was their most important Places counts – far behind competing platforms. And 14% said they would prefer employers to contact their personal social media accounts on platforms like Instagram, as opposed to the nearly 63% who said they would prefer employers to contact them through a professional Contact a social media site such as LinkedIn.
“It doesn’t work because it’s awkward,” Welch said of the Gen Z-targeted job posting on personal social media sites like TikTok. “It’s really attractive that you know this group is there, but they don’t want that kind of advertising there.”
Instead, Welch found that Gen Z members along with other audiences on TikTok have shown an interest in TikTok content that focuses on career counseling and counseling. TikTok accounts producing such content have received high profile media coverage, with a story in the Wall Street Journal describing: “a universe of career tips“available in the app.
Still, employers have caused a stir in the past, expanding their recruiting efforts to personal social media platforms. McDonald’s, for example, announced that it would be posting jobs ahead of the 2017 Christmas season Initiate the application process via Snapchat with a tool called “Snaplication”.
The feature may have paid off for the company, at least in the short term. An analysis by the Mobile Marketing Association found that McDonald’s had some 3,000 Snapchat applications within 24 hours, which generated a volume of applications “four times that of traditional methods in an entire week,” said MMA.
TikTok’s video resumes could also serve as an alternative to a recruiting process that is increasingly subject to practices such as keyword stuffing on resumes, Clément said. He described cases where engineering applicants included multiple keywords on their resumes to prevent artificial intelligence from hiding them.
“It’s a great opportunity for employers to change direction instead of going in a direction that is all about quantity [toward] slightly more qualitative and creative, “said Clément. Candidates, he added, could already familiarize themselves with using video to introduce and describe themselves thanks to the popularity of video chat tools at work during the pandemic.” TikTok won’t just serve to “trend … it’s actually improving.”
However, employers need to know how to approach Generation Z in recruiting before moving forward, Welch said. These workers are looking for employers who address key issues such as diversity and inclusion, he noted, and may be more interested in longer term employer commitments than previous cohorts.
“Generation Z aren’t millennials, and you can’t treat them the same,” Welch said. “You have to change your schedule if you want to hire them.”
Younger applicants want employers to get in touch, says Welch, “even if they don’t have the opportunity to do so.” And while Gen Z may not want employers to dig into certain online areas like TikTok, it can still be important for employers to be transparent about how they approach issues that matter to younger workers.
Similarly, Clément found that social media is “becoming increasingly important” for employer branding, especially in the recruiting context, as it provides potential talent with the opportunity to find out about current vacancies and other initiatives. “If you are invisible, your chance of getting this top talent is basically zero,” he said.