Career and Jobs

TikTok Is Testing A New Gen-Z Friendly Résumé Video Feature: Will Gen-Xers And Baby Boomers Feel Excluded?

TikTok is evolving and expanding. While it’s best known for its fun, quirky and creative short bursts of video entertainment, the platform is growing up. 

The social media app, predominantly used by Gen-Z and Millennials, may be branching out to a larger audience. The site already has workplace, career and job-related creative content at #CareerTok. The next step for TikTok is testing a “channel for recruitment.” This feature will allow for “short, creative videos, combined with TikTok’s easy-to-use, built-in creation tools” and the ability for companies “to discover talented candidates and career opportunities.”

A company blog post laid out its vision, stating, “We’re excited to launch ‘TikTok Résumés’ as a pilot program designed to continue expanding and enhancing TikTok as a new channel for recruitment and job discovery.” The social media site is “teaming up with select companies and inviting job seekers to apply for entry-level to experienced positions with some of the world’s most sought-after employers, including Chipotle, Target, WWE, Alo Yoga, Shopify, Contra, Movers+Shakers and many more, with a TikTok video résumé.”

The platform is encouraging job seekers to “creatively and authentically showcase their skillsets and experiences, and use #TikTokResumes in their caption when publishing their video résumé to TikTok.”

Searching for a new job is mostly mundane and monotonous. You mind-numbingly scroll through job postings on LinkedIn, Indeed and ZipRecruiter for hours. Maybe it’s time for spicing things up.   

Nick Tran, global head of marketing at TikTok, said,TikTok Résumés is officially open and accepting TikTok video résumés. 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 job seekers to showcase their experiences and skillsets in creative and authentic ways.” 

The new feature could be accessed at #TikTokResumes and at www.tiktokresumes.com. People who are looking for a new job can search through job listings. To help you get started, there are examples of  video résumés and profiles of TikTok creators who already create career and job-related content, and easy access to respond to the job listings with your own unique video résumé.   

Marissa Andrada, Chipotle chief diversity, inclusion and people officer, gave reasons as to why the restaurant chain is electing to post its jobs on TikTok, “Given the current hiring climate and our strong growth trajectory, it’s essential to find new platforms to directly engage in meaningful career conversations with Gen-Z.” Andrada added, “TikTok has been ingrained into Chipotle’s DNA for some time and now we’re evolving our presence to help bring in top talent to our restaurants.” 

According to Business Insider, “As of this year, there are more Gen-Z users on TikTok than on Instagram—over half of the app’s user base is younger than 24 years old. Comparatively, only 19.3% of LinkedIn users belong to Gen-Z.” 

Some could say that this app may not be fair to older workers. We’ve already seen a strong trend of corporations seeking out candidates with three to five years of experience, in an effort to save money. You don’t see too many ads asking for workers with 20 to 30-plus years of experience. Not to generalize, but the Gen-X and Baby Boomers may have a harder time navigating this new terrain. It’s natural for young adults who grew up with technology and making videos of themselves. Folks in their late 30s and older may feel self-conscious and awkward. 

There are also concerns of discrimination and unconscious biases. Companies may exclude people based on factors other than their work experience. Dorothy Dalton, a global talent management strategist, executive search consultant, certified career coach and trainer, says about the new feature, “Video has the potential to tap into many biases. They favor the tech-savvy extrovert, as do all video submissions and can have negative implications based on appearance, race, age and physical ability.”  

On the positive side, Dalton points out, “What is interesting about TikTok is that 41% of users are aged 16 to 24, so they are unlikely to be on LinkedIn.” With respect to recruiting, “this allows sourcers to tap into another pool to widen their reach” of a large and growing segment of the workforce and serve as “part of an integrated diversity hiring strategy.”  

Kamara Toffolo, is an executive résumé writer, LinkedIn consultant and job search strategist. Toffolo said, “As a YouTuber and video creator, I think video can be powerful, and something that has the potential to supplement a job application or online profile, like with LinkedIn Cover Stories.” However, she expressed her apprehension, “Where video is the job application, I think there will be issues. When it comes to #TikTokResumes, my concerns are with the nature of the platform and that it will reduce diversity in applications. It has the potential to create a barrier to job applications for professionals who don’t use the platform or prefer to not be on video.”

Toffolo is concerned about older generations of workers. “Yes, Gen-Xers, Boomers and even older Millennials may feel left out in the cold or discouraged from applying to roles that accept #TikTokResumes. Roughly 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 32.5% aged between 10 and 19. 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24. But the issues don’t end at age, but diversity on all levels. TikTok was exposed by the Intercept for [allegedly] encouraging its moderators to discriminate and suppress visibility of videos made by creators who were deemed ‘unattractive.’ They’ve also been called out for [allegedly] suppressing Black creators’ content. What does this mean for #TikTokResumes? We’ve seen issues with asynchronous interviewing and bias; I predict #TikTokResumes will encounter similar issues.”


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