Hiring Excitement: TikTok Helps Ensure Dedicated Applicants with Social Video Skills

July 30, 2021

Even before AI assistance, employers were considering applicants’ social media presence in the hiring process. According to Fast Company, that may be a good thing for companies and workers alike. Writer Tomas Chamorro-Premuzik describes “How Social Media Data Secretly Reveals Your Personality to Hiring Managers.” The premise is that embracing the phenomenon can lead workers into more satisfying careers. We’re told:

“A constant feature throughout this time has been organizations lamenting their inability to find the right talent, and, on the other side of the problem, too many talented people complaining about meaningless or uninspiring jobs. … Our notions of talent have not evolved to keep up with the times. When university credentials have become disconnected from job-relevant knowledge, hard skills quickly become outdated, and what we know is less important than what we can learn, organizations are often left looking for talent in all the wrong places. This also harms their desire to create a diverse and inclusive workforce. When your main talent currency is still the resume, and the value of a resume depends on outdated talent currencies like college qualifications or past experience, it is hard to avoid hiring the same type of people over and over again, optimizing for ‘culture fit’ rather than diversity. In this context, social media emerges as a promising alternative to the dominant currency for talent. Its data acts as a talent bitcoin capable of redefining human capital more inclusively and meritocratic. Our social media activity already reveals a great deal of information about our deep character traits, precisely the type of stuff employers need to know (and at times also want to know) before they decide to hire us.”

Chamorro-Premuzik gives some examples to support his premise, from Facebook and Twitter to TikTok and Spotify. He admits to the ethical and legal issues here, but suggests they could be addressed with transparency and an option for applicants to opt in. We wonder, though, how optional would that really feel (or be) for most job hunters. We are reminded this use of data is happening anyway, so we might as well welcome the process and make it official. It is true that old hiring methods are woefully out of touch, but the idea that this trend is the best solution may be a stretch.

Cynthia Murrell, July 30, 2021

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