Beware the hidden bias behind TikTok resumes

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Social media has served as a launchpad for success for as long as it has been around. Stories from a self-produced YouTube video going viral and then securing a record deal set the social media platform’s mythology. Since then, social media has steadily shifted away from visual means such as text-based formats and video sharing.

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For most people, a video on social media won’t be a ticket to stardom, but in recent months, such incidents have increased. number of stories Number of people hired based on videos posted on TikTok. Even LinkedIn recentlycover storyThe feature, which allows workers to supplement their profiles with a video about themselves.

As technology continues to evolve, is there room for a world where your primary resume is a video on TikTok? And if so, what kind of unintended consequences and implications could this have on the workforce?

Why is Tiktok trending for jobs?


In recent months, job opportunities in the US have hit an all-time high 10.1 million. For the first time since the pandemic began, available jobs have exceeded available workers. Employers are struggling to attract qualified candidates to fill positions, and in that light, it is understandable that many recruiters are turning to social platforms like TikTok and video resumes to find talent.

But the staff shortage doesn’t negate the importance of finding the right employee for a role. Especially important to recruiters is finding candidates who align with their business goals and strategy. For example, as more organizations adopt a data-driven approach to operating their business, they need more people with skills in analytics and machine learning to help them understand the data they collect. .

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Recruiters have proven to be open to innovation where it helps them find these new candidates. Recruitment is no longer a manual process, with HR teams sorting through piles of paper resumes and formal cover letters to find the right candidate. He embraced the power of online connections as LinkedIn rose to prominence and even figured out how to use third-party job sites like Glassdoor to help him attract promising candidates. On the back end, many recruiters use advanced cloud software to sort through incoming resumes to find the candidates that best match their job description. But all of these methods still rely on the traditional text-based resume or profile as the core of any application.

Videos on social media give candidates the ability to demonstrate soft skills that may not be immediately apparent in written documents, such as oral communication and presentation skills. They are a way for recruiters to learn more about a candidate’s personality to determine how they will fit into the company culture. While this may be tempting for many, are we prepared for the consequences?

We ain’t ready for close-ups

While innovation in recruitment is a big part of the future of work, the hype around TikTok and video resumes may actually be holding us back. Despite offering a new way for candidates to market themselves to opportunities, it also has potential pitfalls that candidates, recruiters and business leaders need to be aware of.

The video resampling element also presents the biggest problems given their capability. The video essentially highlights the person behind the skills and achievements. As recruiters form their first opinion about a candidate, they’ll be faced with information they usually don’t see until much later in the process, including whether they’re because of their race, disability, or gender. belong to protected classes or not.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) concerns have gained attention over the past few years, amid increased awareness and scrutiny of how employers are – or are not – prioritizing diversity in the workplace.

But evaluating candidates via video can erode any progress made by providing more opportunity for unconscious, or even conscious, bias. This can create a dangerous situation for businesses if they do not act carefully as it can damage their reputation or open them up to serious consequences such as discrimination lawsuits.

A company with a poor track record for diversity may have the fact that they reviewed candidates’ videos used against them in court. Recruiters reviewing videos may not even be aware of how candidates’ race or gender is influencing their decisions. For this reason, I’ve noticed that many businesses have implemented an option for video in their recruitment stream, not allowing their recruiters to watch video until late in the hiring process.

But even though businesses address the most important issues of DE&I by managing bias against those protected classes, there are still issues of diversity in less protected classes, such as neurodiversity and socioeconomic status, by accepting videos. A candidate with exemplary skills and a strong track record may not present himself well through a video, which is awkward for the recruiter watching the video. Even if that perception is irrelevant to the job, it can influence the recruiter’s stance on hiring.

In addition, candidates from rich backgrounds may have access to better tools and software to record and edit compelling video resumes. Other candidates may not do so, which could result in videos that may not look polished or professional in the eyes of the recruiter. This creates another barrier to the opportunities they can access.

As we sit at a critical crossroads in handling DE&I in the workplace, it is important for employers and employers to find ways to reduce bias in the processes they use to find and hire employees. . While innovation is the key to moving our industry forward, we have to ensure that top priorities are not being compromised.

not left on the cutting room floor

Despite all these concerns, social media platforms – especially those based on video – have created new opportunities for users to expand their personal brands and connect with potential job opportunities. These new systems are likely to be used to benefit both job seekers and employers.

The first step is to ensure that there is always room for a traditional text-based resume or profile in the hiring process. Even if recruiters can get all the information about a candidate’s abilities from the video, some people will naturally feel more comfortable staying away from the camera. The hiring process should be about letting people put their best foot forward, whether in writing or on video. And that includes accepting that the best foot forward may not be your own.

Instead, candidates and businesses should consider using video to support the candidate for past coworkers or managers. An outside support can do a lot more good for an application than simply stating your strengths because it shows that someone else believes in your abilities as well.

Video resumes are hot right now because it’s easier than ever to create and share them and because businesses are in dire need of strong talent. But before we get caught up in the novelty of this new way of sharing our credentials, we need to make sure we’re setting ourselves up for success.

The goal of any new recruitment technique should be to make it easy for candidates to find opportunities where they can shine without creating new obstacles. There are some serious kinks to work through before securing a video resume, and it’s important for employers to consider the repercussions before they hurt the success of their DE&I efforts.

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