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TikTok: The organic engagement weapon you should leverage for your recruitment

With 800+ million active users worldwide, TikTok is taking the world by storm. However, despite its incredible organic reach and engagement numbers, the platform isn’t leveraged anywhere near enough for employer branding and recruiting. So how can you incorporate one of the fastest growing social media platforms ever into your recruitment strategy?

Jasper Spanjaart on November 16, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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TikTok: The organic engagement weapon you should leverage for your recruitment

It can be hard to stay up-to-date when it comes to the world’s wide array of social media platforms. Just when MySpace got hot, people flocked towards Facebook. When Twitter cooled off, your audience moved to Instagram… before a renaissance made the platform a viable option once more. Every company has a story to tell, but without a platform, your story will land in the worldwide web of nothing. 

Every company has a story to tell, but without a platform, your story will land in the worldwide web of nothing.

In 2017, the social media brethren introduced a new member of the family: TikTok. Originally launched in China a year earlier under a different name, it was described as a ‘mash-up’ of Instagram, Twitter and the now deceased Vine. TikTok’s entire business model revolves around short-form, music-focused videos. Short, snappy, and fun: just what the younger generation wants.

Be like Ed

On October 9th, 2019, Ed Selkow, a member of the Florida-based Janitorial Growth Solutions, posed a question on the company’s blog. “Anyone tried recruiting on TikTok? When new platforms show up do you take a pass and let others take the lead or do you dip your toe in the water early?”, he asked. “Oh, you haven’t figured out yet that recruiting IS marketing?” Now here is a man who isn’t part of recruiting’s top 500 list, nor have you ever heard of him — but he speaks the absolute truth. 

When ‘social media’ is considered the number one preferred channel for Generation Z to engage with a company, why are we still writing company blogs?

When ‘social media’ is considered the number one preferred channel for Generation Z to engage with a company, why are we still writing company blogs? One answer ensued in Ed’s discussion about TikTok on their niche janitorial-related website. Sharon Cowan added: “Marketing yourself to prospective employees just as you would to prospective customers! A strategy that works.”

Now, we may know what you’re thinking: ‘It’s just something young people use right now, they’re not my target group’. We have one simple counter-argument: don’t be that person. The same was said about Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. As we’ve seen with those platforms, it’s usually the younger generation that make up the majority of its audience to begin with — before a wider audience secretly downloads the app on his or her phone, and starts using it. It literally always happens. 

Use what already exists: #challenges

According to Johnny Campbell, an engaged workforce is the best type of employer branding. Campbell compares it to a situation where you’re 16-years-old, and you want to throw a party you want as many people as possible to attend. You’ve had your eye on Susannah for some time now, but she’s part of the school’s cool kids. How do you get Susannah to attend? “Should you make fancy flyers? Nope. The only thing you can do is make it an awesome party, and the rest will work itself out.”

“Take what is already proven to be a success on the platform, and give it a business-minded twist.”

If you have that party — well, working environment — in place, why not use TikTok to broadcast it? Much of TikTok’s model is based around the idea of challenges, and the best part: they’re all really simple to do. Whether it’s having your employees grab a random thing from the fridge, or doing the #TootsieSlideChallenge: use what you’re given. “Imagine a company having an internal hashtag challenge going around. It would create more buzz around your company, while aiming to encourage potential applicants to apply as well. Take what is already proven to be a success on the platform, and give it a business-minded twist”, Lorenz Esposito, digital marketing expert at Potentialpark, says. 

Let your employees (and even your CEO) take over

Similar to other video-based social media platforms, it works best when you focus on your people and work life culture. Why not display those two things to a broader audience? Several companies have let their employees take over the company’s account for a day. With its incredible organic reach, you have a unique opportunity to showcase your company’s culture, through your employees to potential candidates. 

Why not showcase to that wider, organic audience, that your CEO isn’t such a scary person?

“Job candidates like consumers, don’t want to be sold to”, employer branding specialist Joe Gill wrote. “They are looking for that human connection and want to make sure their needs are met. At end of the day, it’s not what they can do for your company. It’s what your company can do for them as well.” So why not showcase to that wider, organic audience, that your CEO isn’t such a scary person? If that audience then feels some type of connection to them, it will make for a much less daunting step to apply for a job. 

Keep it entertaining — but don’t hesitate to share knowledge and insights about your company. 

The highest engagement and organic reach

Like it or not, TikTok is here to stay. And no — it might not be the best way to reach a 55-year-old accountant. But for any company looking to diversify its workforce, and start the steady process of really recruiting long-term, it might be the best available option. With the hashtag #employerbranding only racking up nearly 57k views in total, it’s clear that TikTok isn’t leveraged anywhere near enough for employer branding and talent acquisition. 

‘Shouldn’t we be leveraging TikTok for our recruiting? It’s got the highest engagement and the best organic reach of any social media platform…’

Moreover, TikTok has the highest engagement rates per post of any social media platform, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. “While your competitors are putting all their employer branding eggs in the Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn baskets, lead the way and embrace TikTok to tell your company’s story”, Gill adds. So, perhaps you should ask your talent acquisition and employer branding teams — and even your marketing team. ‘Shouldn’t we be leveraging TikTok for our recruiting? It’s got the highest engagement and the best organic reach of any social media platform…’

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Editor-in-Chief and Writer at ToTalent.eu
Editor-in-Chief and writer for European Total Talent Acquisition platform ToTalent.eu.
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