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TikTok reveals new job listing and video resume features. How will it work for gen Z employees?

By Malavika Pradeep

May 18, 2021

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Updates are an essential yet tricky responsibility apps have to undertake. While some bug fixes and improvements help apps stay relevant in the present times, others have the potential of redefining the platform altogether. Twitter, for example, announced its ‘Tip Jar’ feature in April, which allows users to tip favourite creators for their tweets. Although the feature was being tested to help creators monetise on the platform, the move has earned Twitter the label of being the “new OnlyFans.”

The latest on the list with its own set of updates seems to be TikTok—with a job listing and video resume feature all set to redefine the platform. Will it be for the better or worse? And will it actually end up being beneficial for young users on the hunt for creative jobs? Let’s dig in.

How will job listings and video resumes work on TikTok?

TikTok’s upcoming recruitment features seek to bridge the gap between participating companies and interested applicants. The pilot programme will provide users with ready access to job openings while offering companies a channel to recruit gen Zers into their workforce.

Primarily featuring entry-level jobs, the platform will let users apply by submitting a video resume rather than a traditional application. This video will act as an elevator pitch where users can creatively edit and summarise their work experience for the hiring company to review. While these pitches are shared privately with the company by default, TikTok will also prompt users to post them onto their profile to help publicise the new service.

Apart from this cross-posting prompt, however, the entire recruitment businessalong with all of its featureswill be kept off the core TikTok app. The platform will instead offer a dedicated webpage for job listings and applications, which will be accessed via the app. So, you sadly won’t get to witness a user Bussin’ it right after a mini Ted Talk about their work experience.

According to Axios, TikTok is currently beta testing the service with a group of companies, with several others in the talks about participating including various sports leagues.

Will TikTok be the future of job recruitments?

On 14 January 2021, the recruitment team at °1824 promoted an open role at the company through a TikTok video, inviting viewers to apply. However, the recruitment process had a jarring twist. Interested candidates had to apply using the hashtag #1824Next with a video showcasing why they were a good fit for the team. Similarly, HBO amassed more than 300 applications for a summer internship using the hashtag #HBOMaxsummerintern. With more than 10.5 million and 2.4 million views on the respective hashtags to date, °1824 and HBO essentially signalled the onset of a new generation of recruitment channels via TikTok.

The overlap of careers with TikTok, however, isn’t a new frontier of job recruitments. According to ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, #careeradvice gained serious momentum in the first few months of 2021—growing to more than 80 million views per day by mid-February. The popular hashtag features tons of ‘career babes’ sharing tips for landing internships, acing job interviews and improving resumes.

@jackiecaves

Recruiters can scan through a lot in just 6 seconds 👀 Make the most of it! #HorrorTok #resumetips #jobsearch #jobs #careeradvice #recruiter #resume

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In March 2021, The Washington Post went as far as declaring TikTok to be a “fast-emerging force in the job search ecosystem at a time when unemployment remains high, a new generation looks for their first jobs and pandemic isolation leads to hours of mindless scrolling.” The publication further highlighted the company’s efforts in cultivating career-related videos along with other how-to content areas such as financial advice, skills and home DIYs. TikTok also announced a $50 million Creator Fund last year, in support of educational content creators.

“We want people to turn to TikTok not just for entertainment, but to learn something new—to acquire a new skill or simply get inspired to do something they’ve never done before,” TikTok wrote in a blog post in June 2020, embarking on an interesting evolution by leveraging its heritage of entertainment to make the platform more useful to the lives of its users. “People are already doing this, and it’s a trend we want to get behind and accelerate,” the company added.

This shift, however, isn’t free of hiccups. If a company chooses to recruit via TikTok, as °1824 did with its call out, critics expect various biases to come into play. “If your skin is a different colour or English isn’t your first language, those are potential areas that companies can discriminate on,” said Natasha Makovora, a recruitment marketing specialist at The Employer Brand Shop. In an interview with Rewire, Makovora highlighted how this would be an important consideration although various organisations are being trained on unconscious bias and racism.

Another con, in this case, would be users losing out on opportunities over ‘unprofessional’ posts in case the employers decide to snoop into their public TikTok accounts. It may be worth setting up a secondary account for professional purposes only on TikTok—there goes a piece of advice you probably never thought you’d hear before.

Although the upcoming features in this regard render TikTok as a dubious pioneer of the next generation of recruitment, let’s not forget how 62 per cent of TikTok users are gen Zers who spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the platform. With video resumes offering the epitome of relatability on a video-first entertainment platform, TikTok might just prove to be a great way for brands to reach the demographic they’re increasingly looking to hire. And with new trends in the making as we speak, I bet witnessing gen Z pitching themselves to a recruiter on TikTok will be as entertaining as the content we currently watch on the app.