TikTok, the video-sharing social network popular with Gen Z (ages 6-24), is testing a pilot jobs program to help its users and brands find each other. TikTok’s jobs tool will allow users to post video résumés that are meant to be more of an “elevator pitch” than a summary of their accomplishments.
This could make entry-level employment seem more accessible to Gen Zers, who are the slowest generation to enter the workforce early in life, according to BuiltIn. Only 58 percent of Gen Zers ages 18 to 21 are employed, which is significantly lower than the 72 percent of millennials who were employed when they were in that age range.
There are potential drawbacks, though.
TikTok Helps Appeal To A Broader Audience
One positive is that TikTok’s jobs tool could help brands reach more interested entry-level candidates than they would normally reach by posting on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has just under 700 million users, and only 16 percent of them are under the age of 26, according to Hootsuite. Two-thirds of LinkedIn’s users are over 45, and only 12 percent of U.S. users visit the site daily.
TikTok, on the other hand, has more than a billion users, and 60 percent of them are Gen Zers, according to Wallaroo. TikTok users spend an average of 52 minutes per day using the platform, while LinkedIn users spend an average of only 17 minutes per month using LinkedIn.
One caveat to this analysis, however, is that LinkedIn users primarily use the platform for job-searching and networking, while TikTok users primarily use the platform for entertainment.
Time Constraints With Video Résumés
For certain companies and positions, especially those where the job involves video editing or content creation, it could make sense to use TikTok’s tool. Last year, HBO and Hollister recruited interns and social media workers using TikTok, asking them to post a video with their respective hashtags to apply.
For recruiters and hiring managers, video résumés are not easy to scan through compared to traditional résumés. Eye-tracking data has shown that recruiters spend an average of just 7.4 seconds looking at each résumé. TikTok videos can be up to 60 seconds long.
With hundreds of applicants, that could mean hours of work for recruiters that would have been a matter of minutes. This may prevent companies from wanting to use the TikTok jobs tool to recruit.
Does Video Really Reinvent the Resume?
Video résumés have the potential to serve as an initial screening interview, which could be helpful. But they would still be unlikely to function as a substitute to the traditional résumé, just a complement, like a cover letter in a different medium. Additionally, there are already programs that allow applicants to upload a video introduction with their application.
One thing is clear—if TikTok video résumés are to replace the traditional résumé, they can’t just be a one-minute video summary of everything one would typically include on a résumé. They must add something more to be useful.
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