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3 considerations before using TikTok resumes for talent acquisition

August 5, 2021
iCIMS Staff
5 min read

Would you trust social media to find great talent? 30 companies already have as part of a new, hybrid talent acquisition tool: TikTok Resumes.  

The TikTok Resume pilot program officially launched on July 7, 2021. This unique program allows job seekers to create a short video that highlights their experience and qualifications (like a resume) and submit it to a job posting without ever leaving the social media app. 

The pilot includes a small group of enterprise employers, including Chipotle, Target, and Shopify. The participating employers post open roles similar to how they would on other third party job platforms. Then, job seekers search the list of open positions, record a short video, and submit the video to the job opening. 

This technology seems revolutionary. But as we’ll learn later in this article, TikTok is not the first social media company to offer talent acquisition software. 

Still, the release of TikTok resumes has stirred up quite the commotion in industries like recruiting and marketing. As you’ll see in the LinkedIn comments below, the sentiment is mixed. 

While it’s too early to tell how exactly video resume technology will impact the talent industry, here are some key points to consider as you navigate this new tool.

1. TikTok is mostly used by Gen Z

If your goal is to attract applicants under the age of 30, then TikTok is likely a great marketing choice. A 2021 Pew Research survey identified the following breakdown of U.S. adults who say they ever use TikTok.

  • 48% ages 18-29
  • 22% ages 30-49
  • 14% ages 50-64
  • 4% ages 65+

While it may not be a surprise to hear that Gen Z and Millennials are avid TikTok users, it’s important to identify the exact audience of your recruitment marketing channels. When you keep these numbers top of mind, your team can better align job postings to the most likely audience.

This tactic is already apparent in the pilot program. Many of Chipotle’s positions are for entry-level restaurant team members. Hometalk is looking for an Influencer Communications Manager. The NHL is hiring across the country for Live Social Contributors.

These positions reflect the experience level and skills many Gen Z and Millennial job seekers possess. As you consider using TikTok to source candidates, it may be a good idea to follow in the footsteps of these large companies and post select open roles that are relatable to the social media app’s biggest audience.

2. A strong foundation can support industry trends

Remember, TikTok isn’t the first social media company to explore talent acquisition software.

In 2017, McDonald’s, Australia’s biggest employer of young people, struggled to fill open positions across the country. The restaurant chain realized that their ideal candidates didn’t identify with the brand anymore, leading to their hiring struggles. So, McDonald’s Australia decided to reach job seekers where they spent their time – Snapchat.

The partnership between McDonald’s and Snapchat resulted in a video resume application called “Snaplications.” Users could submit 10 second video applications directly through the social media app. The program saw wild success, with nearly 3,000 “Snaplications” submitted in the first 24 hours! It only took a few days before the first crew member was hired.

Using social media to attract and engage job seekers was a successful strategy for McDonald’s. Yet even though they now use this tool in the United States, McDonald’s still uses various recruiting tactics.

In between the hype and the trends, your business can still rely on tried-and-true recruiting strategies. It’s crucial to have a strong foundation so you can be flexible when innovative or trendy technology (like TikTok resumes or Snaplications) becomes available.

3. Recruiting tools should support DEI best practices

There are many unknowns around the TikTok resume program, including their ability to mitigate implicit bias. Based on TikTok’s FAQ section, the application videos are reviewed manually by recruiters.

With manual recruiter reviews, implicit bias could rear its ugly head, and qualified candidates may be unconsciously overlooked based on how they speak, the color of their skin, or their physical ability.

The great news is that companies can request applicants to submit information into their applicant tracking system. In more modern recruiting software, like iCIMS’ applicant tracking system, each candidate’s application goes through an automated review enabled by artificial intelligence tools. The AI tools can automatically match job seekers to open roles and provide recruiters with a prioritized list of qualified candidates. This technology can help to reduce implicit bias by focusing solely on the hard and soft skills that make a great candidate match.

This is yet another example of why having a strong recruiting tech stack can allow companies to be more flexible with trends. A holistic recruiting software solution helps to ensure that candidates, no matter where they are sourced, receive an equitable experience.


TikTok Resumes are new, but social media recruiting is here to stay. Read 4 Tactics to Include in Your Social Media Recruitment Strategy to learn even more great ways to attract and engage candidates.

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