“We have to stop optimizing for programmers and start optimizing for users.” – Jeff Atwood, American Software Developer
Yes, the title does seem almost laughable, doesn’t it? What a preposterous idea it is to think of a silly dancing app as a potential platform for the future of hiring. Well, that couldn’t be further from reality. Before we present the argument for TikTok recruitment, let’s explore a simple question. What comes to mind when you think about it? For most of us, TikTok is a collection of videos showing people dancing, copying trends, and trying to stay relevant. While that may have been true when it was established in late 2016, it has since changed into something more.
But, as with all things that see a change, TikTok too had its catalyst. Most social media platforms saw a change. This catalyst was the COVID-19 pandemic. As Viktor Petrov, from House of Cards, played by Lars Mikkelsen, said, “Revolutions sneak up on you, one small step at a time.” I can’t ignore the smallest step.” And we didn’t ignore it when it came to the small moments of joy that social media brought us during lockdown periods. Social media became more than just an addiction at that point for many humans.
It became a way for us to stay connected with our loved ones and to see the world when we couldn’t do it for obvious reasons. That’s beside the point, though. The point is, people have even started sharing their daily lives and their work. Whether they were frontline doctors beating back the disease or a single mom working from home with four kids to take care of, it was shown and seen. TikTok became a part of the workforce. As a result, the possibility of it serving as a future recruitment app is not as far-fetched as one might think.
In this blog, we will break it down and explore some facts, figures, trends, and possibilities concerning how TikTok recruitment might be able to take place.
Around 1.2 billion people were using TikTok by March 2022. A perfect example of how popular the platform is becoming.
The Appeal of TikTok
To understand why TikTok recruitment has so much potential, we need to look at some facts and numbers. As of March 2022, the total number of monthly active users stood at 1.2 billion people. And according to research, roughly 43% of the global audience on the platform is between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. An additional 32% of users were between 25 and 34. Only 3.4% of users were over the age of 55.
This tells us one simple thing: the majority of users are increasingly younger and younger audience members. The younger the demographic, the more frequent they are on the app. This also hints at another possibility. If we look at Gen A (Generation Alpha), who were born post-2010, all they know is a world with iPhones, Snapchat, and now TikTok. These are the people who are going to age into the workforce of tomorrow, and these are the people who will need to be recruited by companies.
You also have to keep in mind that Gen A and Gen Z view the world in completely different ways. The way they interact with the world is more tech-savvy and digital-oriented. Who could blame them, with all the advancements we have made in the last 15 years alone?
We would have laughed if someone had told us ten years ago that Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook would be so important in today’s job markets. Platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are considered dinosaur technology by the younger generation.
It's Getting Difficult to Find Talent
It’s no secret that sourcing and hiring top talent is becoming more and more challenging. In addition to it all, as we saw with the data, potential hires are moving away from the traditional job platforms. The high competition and the ever-changing candidate pool together make for a very inhospitable scenario for recruiters.
The data tells us that the majority of TikTok users are between the ages of 18 and 34. You also have to keep in mind that the majority of modern-day hourly workers are young people. They are at the start of their careers or just getting into the “seasoned” category. If they are the ones recruiters want, then recruitment teams will have to go to where they are most active.
It makes more sense to get on their level and engage them where their attention is, rather than smashing your head against a brick wall. To give you an idea of how effective it could be, look at this. The average TikTok user spends around 95 minutes on the app. In contrast, the average Indeed visitor accounts for a visit duration of 6 minutes and 25 seconds. TikTok is holding audiences’ attention nearly 15 times more effectively than traditional recruitment platforms.
"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well."
- Brian Reed, Senior Product Designer and Developer
Social Media Is Not Professional
It is more than likely that you will come across this argument at least once. A decade ago, one would tend to agree with this point of view. However, in today’s world of digital consumption, it is hard to dispute that platforms have a central role to play. Yes, TikTok is a platform for sharing videos of yourself drinking with friends, trying crazy pranks, and just expressing yourself in general. We act as if work is the social pariah in the mix, as if it were meant to just sit isolated in a corner of the room.
In reality, work can be fun; it should be fun. The very concept of work culture is changing by the day. So, why shouldn’t recruiters and candidates alike take advantage of the benefits of TikTok as a recruitment platform? For one, it would allow people to express themselves more freely, giving the recruiter a better idea of whom they might be hiring. More than that, it is also a great way for companies to breathe a little personality into their brand, which we will get to in a minute. Before that, we need to explore how one might use TikTok as a recruitment platform.
How to Use TikTok for Recruitment
Given the wide array of workers and potential candidates present on TikTok, there are several different ways in which you could approach recruitment. Having said that, here are our top 5, which might yield some good results. But keep in mind that nothing is ever guaranteed.
- Recruiter Engagement: Encourage your recruiters to participate in communities and become more active on the platform.That is how you build connections. This is especially useful when searching for entry-level positions.
- Share Content: Your employees most likely already have TikTok accounts.Get your recruitment marketing team to repost that content on the company profile. It can go both ways. You can encourage them to share company content on their accounts with relevant hashtags. If it works, it will make creating a community that much easier.
- Inspire New Content: Creating challenges and getting them trending is one of TikTok’s most popular features. This could be a dance, a prank, a challenge, or any number of things. If you have a budget, you can even leverage TikTok’s paid ad option to boost engagement. The point is to get people involved. And at the end of the day, isn’t that the point—to reach new talent?
- Turn to Influencers: Like any other social media channel, this too has its fair share of influencers. Use their reach to your advantage. You can either reach out to them and get them on board for collaboration, or bring them into the office for the day and ask them to post about it. Another thing you could do is turn your employees into influencers by getting them to take the wheel of your company account. It might even resonate better with jobseekers since it is coming from one of them.
- Leverage Recruitment Ads: TikTok Ads Manager allows you to create and manage ads on the platform. Use this to spread branded, business-relevant recruitment ads. If you do already have a significant community or an outreach structure in place, then the reach will be impactful.
Companies Will Always Need A Resume
While that may be true as an idea, it doesn’t mean companies are still looking for an A4 format resume. These days, that is considered rather archaic. Employers are more into using databases and innovative formats when getting to know their candidates. One of the more popular forms is video. And where did you get the video? That’s right, on TikTok!
A video resume not only helps employers get the facts about the candidate’s work and study history but also gives them a sense of the candidate’s personality. It is agreed that the way the current infrastructure is set up, resumes play a dominant role for now, but that isn’t necessarily true for the future.
One of the best advantages of TikTok is the ability to express one's brand value.
To sum up, TikTok holds a lot of potential as a recruitment app. It favors both employer and employee by giving each a brand to stand behind and a community to be a part of. It is also a place where expression takes center stage, which makes for a more transparent and humanizing recruitment process. Speaking of change and social media platforms, another app known as Discord is also making the rounds as a potential professional hiring tool.
Considering the vast amount of competition out there in the job market, it only makes sense to go to the candidates rather than expect them to find you in a sea of other brand names.
As the famous naturalist and evolution theorist Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, but rather that which is most adaptable to change.”