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Industry shake-up | 'Perfect platform' TikTok makes BIG move into recruitment market

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After long-time rumours, TikTok has finally branched into the recruitment market – in a ‘pilot’ move that could shake up traditional recruitment methods for HR and recruiters if successful.

The Chinese-headquartered firm, which has a major Generation Z and Millennial user base, is piloting the recruitment move by working with firms such as Chipotle, Target and Shopify, allowing candidates to send in video applications.

With one recruiter saying it ‘could be the perfect platform’ for recruitment – it could, as some predict, spark a slew of copycat moves from other social media giants.

What are TikTok doing?

In June, HR Grapevine reported on initial reports that the video platform was looking to create a tool for brands to recruit employees.

And now it has. The video-sharing social network – which shot to fame in lockdown with viral dance trends – is piloting a short-term programme dubbed ‘TikTok Resumes’.

This is said to have stemmed from organically-formed content on the platform such as #Careertok – The Verge reports.

How will this work?

Prospective candidates will have to create a video CV, post it to TikTok and then send that video to recruiters and employers via the app.

Applicants have been advised by an instructional video for the programme not to include personal contact details in the publicly-shared video.

More than 30 employers have signed up to accept resumes for the pilot – including Chipotle, Shopify, Target and Alo Yoga – which will last until July 31, 2021. Some of the roles currently listed include generating content for TikTok.

For example, Alo Yoga is hiring a social media manager through TikTok Resumes who will be tasked with developing a TikTok strategy for the brand and partner with influencers.

Writing on the company site, Nick Tran, Global Head of Marketing at TikTok, said: “TikTok Resumes is officially open and accepting TikTok video resumes.‘Showcase experience and skills’

“We’re humbled to be able to partner with some of the world’s most admired and emerging brands as we pilot a new way for jobseekers to showcase their experiences and skillsets in creative and authentic ways.

“#CareerTok is already a thriving subculture on the platform and we can’t wait to see how the community embraces TikTok Resumes and helps to reimagine recruiting and job discovery,” Tran added.

A shift in recruitment?

Although the pilot is temporary and is taking part in the US, the news of TikTok’s pilot programme could point towards a potential shift in the ways that employers endeavour to attract and recruit top talent.

Mandy Watson, Managing Director at East Midlands-based Ambitions Personnel, told HR Grapevine that TikTok’s move already dovetails with a big rise in video recruitment.

She said: “The rise of video applications is already here, even on a local level, so incorporating this onto one of the most popular video platforms in the world is also a great idea.

“The world is changing at a pace and disruption is happening fast, here's an example of it in action."

With labour shortages at a 20-year high in some sectors, Watson added that the move could come at a time that boosts employment in the right way.

She added: "Companies have a real challenge on their hands when it comes to candidate attraction and if they are focussing on a younger market, TikTok could be the perfect platform.

“The users of this platform only really receive highly targeted content, so the metrics for finding the right candidates with the requisite interests and skills is actually quite good."

“I'm not convinced this will reach many people beyond Gen Z, as it is still seen as a largely young person's app but it could lead the way for other social platforms to do the same."

Twitter’s #OneTweetCV 

While this is the most recent platform that employers are attempting to attract and hire talent through, employers have been known to use other social media platforms as a tool before.

In fact, Twitter UK previously launched an initiative called #OneTweetCV which offered five job hopefuls a unique work experience opportunity at the firm’s London headquarters.

The hashtag was hosted on its own social platform and meant that candidates had to sell themselves and what they can offer in a single tweet.

Anne Kiely, EMEA HR Lead Business Partner at Twitter previously told HR Grapevine: “The job at hand was for young people to apply for a job – a theoretical job at Twitter using a single tweet. So, the challenge was to be brief, concise and to be yourself. There was an extraordinary take-up and [level of creativity] using all different features of Twitter such as polls and gifs.”