Credit: TikTok

Not Your Father’s Job Market

Kim Bellard


If you, like me, continue to think that TikTok is mostly about dumb stunts (case in point: vandalizing school property in the devious licks challenge; case in point: risking lives and limbs in the milk crate challenge), or, more charitably, as an unexpected platform for social activism (case in point: spamming the Texas abortion reporting site), you probably also missed that TikTok thinks it could take on LinkedIn.

Welcome to #TikTokresumes. Welcome to the Gen Z workplace. If healthcare is having a hard time adapting to Gen Z patients — and it is — then dealing with Gen Z workers is even harder.

TikTok actually announced the program in early July, but, as a baby boomer, I did not get the memo. It was a pilot program, only active from July 7 to July 31, and only for a select number of employers, which included Chipotle and Target. The announcement stated:

TikTok 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. Short, creative videos, combined with TikTok’s easy-to-use, built-in creation tools have organically created new ways to discover talented candidates and career opportunities.

Interested job-seekers were “encouraged to creatively and authentically showcase their skillsets and experiences.” Nick Tran, TikTok’s Global Head of Marketing, noted: “#CareerTok is already a thriving subculture on the platform and we can’t wait to see how the community embraces TikTok Resumes and helps to reimagine recruiting and job discovery.”

Marissa Andrada, chief diversity, inclusion and people officer at Chipotle, told SHRM: “Given the current hiring climate and our strong growth trajectory, it’s essential to find new platforms to directly engage in meaningful career conversations with Gen Z. TikTok has been ingrained into Chipotle’s DNA for some time, and now we’re evolving our presence to help bring in top talent to our restaurants.”

Chris Russell, managing director of RecTech Media, also told SHRM: “Video is eating the world. It has become so pervasive in our lives that the next generation of job seekers has no qualms about showcasing themselves in a 30-second clip.”

The New York Times observed: “In modern job searches, tidy one-page résumés are increasingly going the way of the fax machine.” Karyn Spencer, global chief marketing officer at Whalar, added: “Hiring people or sourcing candidates through video just feels like a natural evolution of where we are in a society. We’re all communicating more and more through video and photos, yet so many résumés our hiring team receives feel like 1985.”

Farhan Thawar, vice president of engineering for Shopify, which was one of the pilot TikTok resume companies, believes: “We have this thing where if you can’t explain a technical topic to a 5-year-old, then you probably don’t understand the topic. So having a medium like TikTok is perfect.”

Try explaining why COVID vaccines are safe.

The Wall Street Journal is also watching the trend: “Video résumés are fast becoming the new cover letter for a certain breed of young creatives…For some brands, soliciting video résumés on social media is a way to meet more young, diverse job candidates.”

As it turns out, even Gen Zers have misgivings about the idea. A survey by Tallo found them fairly evenly split:

Credit: Tallo

The survey did find, though, that extroverts liked the idea more (65%) than introverts (40%), which probably shouldn’t be surprising. There was widespread agreement (72%) that a video resume would be more effective for demonstrating creativity/personality, with traditional resumes better for professional summary, experience, and hard skills.

A bigger concern, though, was the possibility of bias:

Credit: Tallo

Nagaraj Nadendla, SVP of development at Oracle Cloud HCM, raised the same concerns in TechCrunch:

The very element that gives video resumes their potential also presents the biggest problems. Video inescapably highlights the person behind the skills and achievements. As recruiters form their first opinions about a candidate, they will be confronted with information they do not usually see until much later in the process, including whether they belong to protected classes because of their race, disability or gender.

Lest you think this is not important to your organization, that Gen Z’s needs don’t really matter, Morten Peterson, CEO of Worksome, writing in Fast Company, calls Gen Z the “new disruptors,” pointing out: “The overwhelming majority of today’s graduate pool come from Generation Z and will do so for the next decade at least.” If companies don’t adapt to their needs, he warns, “10 years down the line they will find they have been left behind by competitors far more open to change.”

And they vote with their feet. Research from Amdocs found they, along with Millennials, are much more likely than Baby Boomers or even Gen X to have considered leaving their job within the last year:

Credit: Amdocs

Every industry is having a hard time recruiting, and keeping, workers these days, and healthcare is no exception. Between normal burnout, pandemic-related burnout, vaccine mandates, and the lure of jobs that offer more opportunity for remote work, most healthcare organizations are struggling to have enough staff. When the current Baby Boomer doctors, nurses, technicians, and aides retire, there better be Gen Z replacements ready to step in.

Some healthcare organizations are already starting to use TikTok for marketing, others are trying to combat misinformation, but most healthcare organizations are probably not just behind the curve when it comes to recruiting workers using TikTok; they may not have yet realized there is a curve. If, as NYT said, one page resumes are gong the way of the fax machine, well, in healthcare those fax machines haven’t gone very far.

RecTech Media’s Mr. Russell said it: “video is eating the world.” Healthcare’s world too.

TikTok resumes may not take off. Tallo’s survey found it low on the list of sites Gen Zers felt comfortable posting a resume on (perhaps not coincidentally, Tallo’s site was rated the highest, followed by LinkedIn). Video resumes more generally may not become the norm. Those bias concerns with video resume are real and must be appropriately considered.

But Gen Zers are different, and healthcare organizations, like other organizations, better be thinking about how to best recruit them.



Kim Bellard

Curious about many things, some of which I write about — usually health care, innovation, technology, or public policy. Never stop asking “why” or “why not”!