As brands scramble to find savvy young talent that can crack the code of a successful TikTok strategy, they’re heading straight to the source to recruit them.
In the past four months, Gen Z-focused beauty brand Lottie London has filled three marketing positions by advertising them on TikTok and Instagram’s Reels. It asked candidates to apply via TikTok and Instagram DM with their portfolios — with no cover letter required, of course.
Amid the Great Resignation, “lots of people are rethinking their careers or looking for different kinds of roles or jobs,” said Nora Zukauskaite, marketing director at Lottie London. “We started thinking in line with that, given that people are looking for a different meaning of work-life in their lives. We [started considering], ‘How does that affect recruitment? And how do we talk to these communities?’”
Alicia Connolly, social media assistant at Lottie London, was hired earlier this year after seeing one of the recruitment videos and applying through the brand’s DMs. “It was such a cool way to move away from the traditional job sharing and recruiting process,” she said.
Connolly and the other two hires filled social media marketing roles. Part of their jobs includes filming behind-the-scenes office life videos for TikTok.
Brands have been more enthusiastic about hiring on TikTok. CeraVe has also been recruiting on TikTok for a marketing role for the platform, said Adam Kornblum, the brand’s vp and head of global digital marketing, at the Glossy TikTok Strategies event in June. And teen-focused retailer PacSun hired a store associate to work full-time in its corporate office after seeing their viral TikTok content.
LinkedIn had previously been Lottie’s primary social platform for announcing new job posts. But “Gen Z will see LinkedIn as much more corporate and official, and more stuck up, because it has the corporate boundaries,” said Zukauskaite. “It’s a generational thing.”
LinkedIn parodies have proliferated across TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, with posts saying, “LinkedIn influencers be like…” going viral that show the most absurd forms of corporate hustle culture propaganda on the platform. TikToker Pasha Grozdov (379,000 followers) has received millions of views for his absurdist LinkedIn parody posts. This week, a LinkedIn video by Hyper Social CEO Braden Wallake crying about laying off his employees was widely mocked online for not only being tone-deaf, but also incredibly cringe. The account “Best of LinkedIn” has garnered over 26,000 followers on Instagram with its curation of unintentionally humorous LinkedIn posts.
TikTok has already recognized its potential as the next big jobs platform, launching a #TikTokResumes pilot program a year ago.
Though Lottie London has not abandoned LinkedIn and posted its jobs there, as well, TikTok “triggered the most” applicants, said Zukauskaite.
“Telling the story visually is much more powerful, especially when you’re talking about Gen-Z audiences and Gen-Z employees,” she said of why the posts were more effective for recruiting young talent. She said that, in order to remain competitive with recruiting, brands should think outside the box.
“It’s a whole shift which needs to happen throughout the industry,” she said.
For now, the brand is focusing exclusively on creative roles for its TikTok recruitment, and still relying on LinkedIn for other corporate positions such as finance or supply-chain manager. It plans to use TikTok in the future for more hiring. And it’s not just entry-level jobs that will be part of the recruitment strategy.
When asked if the brand would ever do a C-suite search on TikTok, Zukauskaite responded, “For a creative director, yes.”