She awoke the next day with more than ten interview offers – recruiter jobs had seen her video and taken the bait. “TikTok changed my life,” Ms. Prigozhina, 22, tells the BBC, becoming the latest young person to benefit from a growing trend on the video-sharing platform known as “CareerTok.”

“CareerTok” is a TikTok subculture that features career-related videos brimming with job-hunting advice, CV tips, and TikTok job opportunities. TikTok has become a surprising lifeline for young job seekers amid isolation and soaring unemployment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The hashtag “CareerTok” alone has over 70 million views and is still growing.

However, the recent surge in job openings marked a sharp departure from the pandemic days when workers craved job security. Because of the national labor shortage, which some economists refer to as the “Great Resignation,” US retailers are having difficulty finding employees.

TikTok recognized the trend and launched TikTok Resumes in July 2021, a pilot program where users could create a video CV highlighting their experience and skills to send directly to participating recruiters. Even though the pilot only lasted a month, more than three dozen companies signed on as participants, including Target, a high-street retailer, Chipotle, a fast-food chain, and even World Wrestling Entertainment.

Job applicants used the hashtag #TikTokResumes and (which is no longer operational at the time of this writing) to showcase their abilities, providing something akin to a personal essay with a looped in-audio.

Though a TikTok CV is not a formal job application, it allows employers to screen potential candidates and invite them to connect and interview. Chipotle was one of the first restaurant brands to embrace TikTok recruiting, owing to an “extremely competitive labor market.” According to Tressie Lieberman, the chain’s vice-president of digital marketing, the chain has been experimenting with using the platform to hire staff since 2019.

While TikTok does not have up-to-date statistics on the number of hires, Elena Saavedra, the company’s global communications officer, told the BBC that the feature has been most successful in bringing users into sports and entertainment-related positions. Whalar, an influencer company that hired their associate director of creative and social strategy through TikTok, and the US National Hockey League, which hired an official photographer through the app, are two examples of successful TikTok recruitment.

According to LinkedIn, nearly 80% of hiring managers believe that video is more important than ever when it comes to interacting with or vetting job candidates. Some video recruitment experiments have yielded positive results for employers looking for new talent. For example, a virtual career fair held by the company in May on Discord, a gamer’s favorite chat and video call service, increased applications by 77 percent in a week.

Though law firms and investment banks are unlikely to use TikTok to hire, experts believe the platform can help with recruitment in fields such as social media, marketing, and customer-facing roles, where personality is essential for success.

Recruiters were also using the app to advertise over 50 manager and senior-level positions, according to Jonathan Javier and Jerry Lee, creators of the popular CareerTok account “Wonsulting.” Mr. Javier contended that using the app benefits older users because there is less competition in those age groups.

On the other hand, video resumes remove a level of anonymity, allowing employers to dismiss candidates based on how they look or act, potentially opening the door to discrimination. There’s also the issue of the TikTok algorithm. TikTok has been accused of moderating content based on race, which it denies.

According to Jackie Cuevas, a hiring manager with over 150k followers on CareerTok, video CVs will take some time to replace traditional resumes completely. However, TikTok, like LinkedIn, cover letters, and online portfolios, may become a more important consideration factor.

The rapidly changing job market will necessitate that both job seekers and employers stay abreast of industry trends, no matter how unconventional they may appear at first. The Great Resignation could pave the way for “TikTokfication” in the hiring process.

Source: BBC News

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