December 4, 2021

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TikTok Is Expanding Into Job Recruitment — What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY / Contributor (Getty Images)

TikTok — a social media platform best known for its sober, academic exploration of the heady subject matter frequently tackled by its user base — is currently rolling out plans to establish itself as a presence in the job recruitment space.

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Surely Gen Z will use this as a moment to conduct itself with decorum and maturity, and not as an opportunity to troll Fortune 500 companies.

According to a new site sponsoring the endeavor, known as TikTok Resumes, the app now allows users in the U.S. to apply for entry, associate and senior level positions by tagging videos their videos using the hashtag #TikTokResumes. The initiative is part of a pilot program that currently has about three dozen companies participating, including Target and Chipotle, as well as select media companies, including Meredith Corporation, ATTN and PopSugar.

While the pilot initiative’s intentions seem honorable enough — the company wants to help “support our community members who are looking for job opportunities” by “encouraging our users to turn their traditional paper resume into a digital video resume or elevator pitch,” per its website — the (temporary) foray into job recruitment seems to have enough awkward speed bumps embedded in it to at least give some prospective candidates pause.

On the TikTok Resumes website, for example, the platform specifies that, yes, video resumes will need to be public in order for participating companies to view them — adding a complicated and potentially embarrassing wrinkle for anyone who is either looking for work without the knowledge of their current employer or simply not a total exhibitionist.

TikTok also notes that the hiring system is not uniform among the participating companies, meaning that it will be potentially difficult for prospective hires to track where their applications are within the hiring pipeline or if their resume has even been received or viewed at all.

A spokesperson for TikTok told Engadget that the company “… believes there’s an opportunity to bring more value to people’s experience with TikTok by enhancing the utility of the platform as a channel for recruitment.” And while it’s true that many of the platform’s Gen Z user base is currently struggling with a shortage of employment opportunities — particularly given the devastating global pandemic we’re still army crawling our way out of — perhaps its considerable reach and influence would be better served boosting causes and campaigns its users care about.

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Interested applicants will have until July 31st to submit their video resumes for the first round of jobs posted to the platform.

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