Tech

TikTok Resume wants to help companies recruit digital natives

Teens are using TikTok to give each other job advice. Companies desperate to hire them are trying to capitalize on the trend.

CHINA - 2021/04/23: In this photo illustration, a TikTok logo seen displayed on a smartphone with USD (United States dollar) currency in the background. (Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

The U.S. economy shed millions of jobs during the pandemic, many of which have yet to be refilled despite the best efforts of employers. That could be attributed to increased stimulus payments and other factors. That’s especially true in the service sector — the extra $300 per week from the federal government means unemployment payments equate to about $15 per hour — more than working a job in fast food might pay, and enough to buoy people pursuing better opportunities.

In order to fill the huge glut of openings, some companies are hoping they can hire teens by reaching them where they spend increasingly more of their time: TikTok. The social media company recently announced a program called “TikTok Resume,” a portal “coming soon” where users can search and apply for jobs with short videos showcasing their qualifications.

Gen Z — According to Axios, the portal isn’t integrated into the app but will instead live on a website accessible from the TikTok app. But you can expect employers will promote their listings heavily through videos on TikTok. Already, brands including Chipotle and the NBA have signed on to the program, with more than 200 job listings at launch expected to include everything from customer service roles to social media management. Many of the jobs will skew towards the entry-level or the social-media-savvy, matching TikTok’s core userbase.

Zoë Colivas, the head of user research at freelance platform Contra, told Forbes in an interview that she saw influencers talking about career advice on TikTok and decided to see whether she could find traction posting similar videos. Shortly thereafter she began raking in millions of views just making short videos showcasing unique job openings, like one at song lyric site Genius. You could envision how Chipotle might use video to sell teens on working at the fast-casual chain.

RIP LinkedIn — Video resumes sound like kind of a nightmare. Also, TikTok isn’t fundamentally a place where people show off their polished, employment-ready selves. But teens love TikTok, and video is second nature to the demographic that’s grown up with smartphones. The anecdotes suggest there’s obviously demand there for job advice where LinkedIn feels too dated and formal, like something better suited for motivational coaches and late-stage professionals building their networks. Though, LinkedIn has tried incorporating video into profiles itself.

Pew Research recently found that less than one-third of people ages 18-29 have used LinkedIn while about half have used TikTok.

TikTok Resume is just an experiment, but if it’s successful it could create a new avenue of revenue for the app and keep teens loyal. And of course, help Chipotle fill all its empty positions.