Social media apps are good for more than trendy dance moves.
TikTok has spent a lot of time in the news this year, with multiple countries considering banning the short-form video app because of perceived security threats. None of that has done much to dampen the app's popularity, with 2023 data showing more than 113 million active TikTok users older than 18 in the US. Worldwide, the number of users tops 1 billion.
Recruiters have taken note, says Alexandra Anema, director of social media at Baynard Advertising. Anema told HR Dive that TikTok has become a recruitment tool for hiring managers. Companies using the platform are wide-ranging, too; Anema notes that companies from nationwide franchises such as Target to small mom-and-pop businesses all use TikTok.
Users gain attention and views by posting regularly to "feed" the algorithm, Anema explains. According to social media management platform Hootsuite, the TikTok algorithm is "a recommendation system that determines which videos will appear on your (unique and highly personalized) For You page." TikTok users want to get as many user interactions as possible to work with the algorithm and drive organic engagement.
How can companies drive that engagement? William Stonehouse, cofounder and president of Crawford Thomas Recruiting, suggests working with influencers to leverage a built-in audience. Hootsuite defines a TikTok influencer as someone with at least 1,000 followers on the platform.
However, the bar TikTok sets for influencers is much higher. The platform launched the TikTok Creator Fund, which pays creators for their content. To qualify for the program, creators must have at least 100,000 followers and 100,000 views in the previous 30 days.
Companies can also use paid promotions, although Anema says that can be limiting because the app only allows users to choose one interest for the promotion.
Finally, Stonehouse recommends that companies upload videos about their work culture to attract candidates; adults in their early to mid-20s look at brands' social media presence while doing their own research during the job search process. Those videos enable companies to showcase their strengths to potential candidates.