Were TikTok and LinkedIn to attend the same party, you’d assume they’d spend the evening avoiding each other. The former is perceived as jokey and inconsequential, though filled with a joie de vivre, while the latter is seen as serene and unfailingly earnest.
However, the overlap is there: Career advice is a growing category for TikTok videos. That’s how influencers like Cynthia Huang, careerbabe on TikTok, who works in fashion marketing, and Rob Cancilla, a career coach, share tips for landing internships, acing job interviews, and finessing resumes, with their tens of thousands of followers.
In March, the Washington Post declared that TikTok “is fast emerging as a force in the job search ecosystem at a time when unemployment remains high, a new generation looks for their first jobs and pandemic isolation leads to hours of mindless scrolling.”
Now Axios is reporting that TikTok is officially encroaching on LinkedIn’s territory, piloting a recruitment service that will allow companies to find potential candidates on the platform, through—what else?—short video introductions. The recruiting product would exist as a separate page and feature mostly entry-level jobs, Axios said, citing unnamed sources. (Quartz has contacted TikTok to confirm the details and will update this story with any response.)
Recruiters had already gravitated naturally to TikTok and its 700 million global users (100 million in the US alone). Recently, the marketing agency Recruitics suggested several ways brands could find job seekers across industries, in education, deliveries, marketing, or healthcare, by both engaging with the site and placing targeted ads. It recommended following your own employees to see which work-related hashtags they’re using, which in turn might provide a way to finding others in the same field. For example, the hashtag #nursesoftiktok had 1.2 billion views.
ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, told the Post that the hashtag #careeradvice took hold in a big way in 2021 and had attracted 80 million video views by mid-February. That presumably doesn’t include career-adjacent content, too, like this recent post:
Video interviews are also gaining currency through companies like HireVue, MyInterview, and Willo—though the format is not without its critics.
One problem with video interviews is that they instantly reveal previously hidden features of a candidate, like age and race, creating an opening for unconscious bias. They also might appeal more to one demographic, like 20somethings who grew up producing slick videos of themselves for social media, while discouraging those who are more accustomed to in-person meetings or written introductions.
Nevertheless, if TikTok expands into job recruiting services, it’s safe to say that video interviews are only going to become more popular, hopefully as just one tool of many.