TikTok: is everyone’s favourite video platform now influencing recruitment?

From viral dances to #storytime, to… recruiting candidates? Here’s what you need to know about TikTok and video as a recruitment platform.

At its start, TikTok gained recognition for its dance trends that had grandma trying her, uh, hand at twerking and accountancy offices showing off their take on the Harlem Shake. However, the social media platform has grown exponentially as a modern-day advice column thanks to content creators offering their own take on a range of subjects: everything from vegan smoothie recipes to sharing shopping spree try-ons to tips on raising backyard chickens and, now, guidance and best practices for job seekers and hiring managers alike.

The organic growth of viral videos, combined with the rapid digitisation of content as a result of the global pandemic necessitating social distancing, has created a perfect opportunity to reimagine recruiting. Remote recruitment options, such as video interviews, have quickly become the norm and, with TikTok leading the field when it comes to user-produced video, we have to wonder: should job seekers and hiring managers add TikTok to their recruitment strategy?

Well, TikTok is answering the question for us: TikTok Resumes has already launched and is set to grow exponentially in 2022.

Let’s dig into the details…

Launched as a pilot program in July 2021, TikTok Resumes is a space for users to create a video CV detailing their experience and skills. These videos can then be sent directly to participating recruiters; in the first month of its launch, TikTok Resumes had more than three dozen global brands sign up for the programme including Target, Chipotle, and even the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)!

Additionally, the site has robust, career-oriented channels with creators offering resume and job search advice in a refreshingly upbeat and enthusiastic manner. TikTok has reported that the hashtag #careeradvice “gained serious momentum in the first few months of 2021, growing to more than 80 million video views a day by mid-February.”  And so, as a platform that is directly influenced by its users, TikTok Resumes has emerged to continue to capture user interest.

While TikTok Resumes is that platform’s response to an evolving interview and hiring process, the job market overall is revamping to capture the interest of both the Gen-Z demographic – a generation raised online – as well as the increasing availability of remote career opportunities which duly necessitate remote interview processes.

Though remote work and video interviews certainly speak to the current state of the world, they are also new territory with regard to etiquette both during the hiring process (can a group thank you email be sent after a group video interview?) and in the brave new world of work from home (do I need to turn on my video for every meeting?). To this end, the advice-focused creators of TikTok Resumes combine user-driven data with common sense to guide Gen-Zers and those of us who are now remote after decades in an office, alike, on emerging best practices.

(As an aside: speed and sincerity is the key to a great thank you following an interview and, yes, you should join by video if that’s what the rest of your team is doing…)

So what does the drive to video mean for candidates?  Does a pulled hamstring from doing that catchy Sleigh Ride dance count as workers comp?  And do you need to hire your 12-year-old niece to manage your online presence…?

First things first: don’t panic!  We all – candidates, clients, and recruiters alike – are still figuring out which online, app-based, or remote tools are best for hiring, and how to use them.  But keep in mind, each new platform or process is an opportunity to showcase *you* – your personality, your skills, your experience – in the best possible way. TikTok creators excel at being TikTok creators but hiring managers are only looking for the best possible fit for their role. An online presence can help more and better opportunities find you, in the same way that you were able to find more and better job postings when LinkedIn, Indeed.com, and the like launched.

At this very moment, TikTok has over 213.4 billion views of the hashtag #LearnOnTikTok – so see…?, we’re all figuring this out together. And, in response to this voracious interest in mastering the art of the online presence, TikTok themselves have pledged an investment of $50 million for a Creative Learning Fund to forward educational content.

Reimaging recruitment and the hiring process is something we at RGC are equally invested in, and we learn by doing.  You can find us initiating outreach via LinkedIn videos and recipient-specific video introductions via Hintro. Clients come to us to facilitate and guide them through a more effective remote hiring process, including sharing answers to employer-specific questions via video as part of the candidate submittal process. We always encourage video interviews early in the interview process, if not as a first step. Additionally, we prefer to ‘meet’ our candidates for the first time via video. This benefits everyone: in an increasingly remote world, being able to see people fosters connection and adds to a sense of shared purpose and ease of conversation.

Just don’t expect us to master the Fancy Like dance or invite you into our kitchens for a grocery unpacking any time soon!

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