Technology

How TikTok influencers are helping companies recruit new workers


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On TikTok, Emily Durham is a content creator with over 200,000 followers. She also works as a senior recruiter for Intuit. Durham’s following on the social platform and her success show how influencers and content creators on TikTok can strengthen a company’s recruiting efforts.

“Having a social presence has been a game changer for me from a professional perspective,” Durham said. “Probably half of the candidates that I reach out to have responded with, ‘Oh my god, I follow you on TikTok,’ especially with early career talent or when I’m recruiting for other HR roles at Intuit.”

Durham said while she doesn’t post Intuit-specific content, the company’s trust and open-mindedness about her TikTok presence allows her content to be mutually beneficial for her and Intuit. Her TikTok presence gives potential candidates familiarity and recognition that often leads them to apply and be interested in roles at Intuit.

TikTok influencers help recruit desired candidates

When you think about how people previously searched for jobs, it’s most likely they turned first to their local newspaper for open roles. When the internet came onto the scene, people began searching on sites like Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and eventually LinkedIn.

Now, especially with younger audiences, companies can use TikTok to advertise open roles and reach candidates, like Gen Z and millennials, said Erin Lazarus, director of solution architects at SHL, a data and insights platform for talent acquisition and management. An influencer promoting open roles can help increase the impact of a company’s recruiting effort.

“Gen Z and millennial audiences, from a value perspective, appreciate authenticity. What we used to think of social content, which was previously over-edited, commercial-like content, doesn’t resonate with those audiences,” Durham said. “In fact, you have about two to four seconds before a millennial or Gen Z social media consumer will scroll past your video.”

Durham said companies can hire influencers, who are real and authentic, to post content about what it’s like to work at a company and why someone should work there.

“Influencers have trust and credibility with their audiences, and they’ve become what I think of as the signal through the noise,” Lazarus said. “In the digital world, opportunities are nearly endless, and that level of choice creates so much noise around us.”

Lazarus said influencers help employers increase the signal of their opportunities and cut through the noise to reach a more targeted audience, and TikTok is one of the mediums to reach audiences the fastest.

Finding the right type of TikTok influencer

Lazarus said companies interested in using TikTok influencers to promote jobs, must first distinguish between the different types of influencers and which ones have the right following to reach ideal candidates.

“The first category is celebrities, and there are fewer celebrities promoting jobs than other types of influencers. Another type of influencer is content creators or bloggers, like who we follow on TikTok and Instagram,” Lazarus said. “A third category, where most influencers are likely living for recruitment efforts, is industry leaders and thought leaders.”

These categories are not siloed, and influencers can exist across these distinctions. Influencers can have large or small followings, they can be community leaders, and they can specialize in a specific topic or niche area. With Durham’s specialty in career coaching and job searching advice, she can be described as a thought leader in that area on TikTok.

“Thought and industry leaders could be local from a geographical perspective or from an industry perspective,” Lazarus said. “These are also influencers that can operate both online and in person in a professional setting to help with recruitment efforts.”

It’s also important to ensure that your company’s TikTok influencers have a following relatively located to the locations you’re hiring for, said Daniel Blaser, a senior content manager at Workstream, a recruiting and hiring platform for local businesses and restaurants to fill hourly and deskless roles.

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Blaser said companies, especially local businesses, don’t necessarily need to tap into influencers with millions of followers to recruit for open jobs. Companies can engage with influencers, of any scale, that can reach their targeted group of potential employees.

“Anyone can be an influencer if they have an engaged following, and there are people that have an engaged following for whoever you want to connect to, as a business, and in your hiring efforts,” Blaser said.

Blaser added that companies can even have their existing employees post videos or content on TikTok and become an influencer for their business. The focus should be on how well the content resonates with audiences.

How to start leveraging TikTok influencers

Influencers can be hired, if a company is looking to reach an existing following from a content creator like Durham, or influencers can be created, like Blaser suggested, from existing employees who may find a new following.

Lazarus said influencers on TikTok, and all social platforms, can advertise your company’s recruiting efforts in their short videos, in sound bites on podcasts, or in advertisements in newsletters, wherever the influencer’s following reaches.

“A company should ask: Who is my target audience? What kind of candidates am I looking for? How do I reach them? What media are they consuming?” Lazarus said. That helps you figure out: Who are the trendsetters in the areas I’m recruiting for? How do I get in touch with them?

Lazarus said this is a growing and exciting trend in recruitment and talent acquisition. Social media recruiters play a strategic role in the talent strategy of an organization, she added, and it can help ensure they’re bringing in the best talent and lead them to get creative in approaching talent.

“There are so many different ways you can get creative, as long as you’re highlighting the voices of the authentic people at your organization,” Durham said. “That’s where you’re going to see impact and benefit. You’re going to see absolutely nothing if you’re an organization first and a people-company second.”

Lazarus said TikTok influencers can also help companies increase diversity and reach underrepresented populations, because this type of recruitment reaches candidates through their trusted sources that they’re already consuming.

“We have an opportunity as organizations to really compete for the best talent out there to increase diversity, create more inclusion, and bring ourselves to where those pipelines are,” Lazarus said. “These platforms help us create a diverse, enriched pipeline of candidates from every walk of life.”

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