When building your employer brand strategy, incorporating TikTok might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But it might be the first thing that comes to your future employees’ minds. According to research from Glassdoor, 79 percent of job seekers take a scroll on their socials when searching out new roles.
TikTok isn’t just useful for attracting top talent, though. Retention is a vital part of employer branding, and this platform provides another way to highlight team members’ work and drive a stronger company culture. Convinced? Here are five tips to jumpstart your TikTok strategy:
1. Be authentically imperfect
Of all the parallels between employer branding and TikTok, cultivating a sense of authenticity is at the top of the list. In opposition to other social media platforms, more laid-back, informal content is expected on TikTok, which makes the bar for production quality very approachable. Generally, TikTok content that is highly formal seems less trustworthy to viewers. The key here is relatability—the audience wants a genuine look into the creator’s life.
This prioritization of authenticity over perfection gives brands an opportunity to show prospective recruits what working with the company is actually like, without the pressure of excessive embellishment. For The Washington Post, this idea comes across loud and clear on their TikTok page. Instead of renting out a studio and refining all the details, they go lo-fi and use their own homes and spaces—like any other creator on the app would. This approach lets their sense of humor and brand personality become the focus, while also letting them creatively share the news in bite-sized pieces.
@washingtonpost That’s 20,000,000,000,000,000, or 20,000 trillion ants. In a paper released Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of scientists from the University of Hong Kong analyzed 489 studies and concluded that the total mass of ants on Earth weighs in at about 12 megatons of dry carbon. ♬ original sound - brady 🚀
2. Showcase your values
Working at a company means becoming part of their mission. When candidates see communication that reflects their values, it increases their brand loyalty and makes them more interested in making that employer their goal. TikTok’s strength is short-form storytelling, which makes it one of the best places to tell a brand’s story and the core values at their base. TikTok is not only a great place to show your values visually, it can be a place to foster community. Two ways to build those connections? 1. Create content that is true to your ideals. 2. Engage with viewers by responding to comments.
One brand who leverages TikTok to shout their values is Reformation. The L.A.-based clothing brand puts a huge emphasis on sustainability, and the evidence of that ideal is sprinkled throughout their TikTok, whether it's the topic of a video or mentioned in a caption.
Another brand that has gone viral for how much they reply to comments is Slim Jim. As the self-titled “CEO of verified comments,” Slim Jim responds to as many videos as possible when tagged, reposts user-generated content regularly, and challenges followers to “summon” them. This strategy shows that they place a high value on building community.
@reformation Reusing packaging cuts waste and makes grandmas everywhere proud. #jointhereformation #sustainability #hacks ♬ original sound - reformation
@slimjim #answer to @slimjim Common Slim Jim W from @andrewscottbell 🎻 #slimjim #foryou #fyp ♬ Slim Jim Summoning Sound - Slim Jim
3. Highlight your impact
Every generation aspires to leave the world better than they found it. Millennial and Gen Z talent alike are looking for jobs that let them make an impact through their work. Take showcase your values one step further by demonstrating how you bring those values to life in your work. This might seem easier for brands that have a very obvious tangible impact. But every brand leaves some sort of mark—find a way to creatively tell that story.
4Ocean creates bracelets out of recycled waste. On their TikTok, they show the process of a beach cleanup and run through the numbers about how much plastic they’ve pulled from the ocean. Their concept is simple and their story is succinct: 1 pound of trash = 1 bracelet. They concretely show how they live out their values and accomplish the goals they set out related to those ideals.
@4ocean In 2018 we had a goal to pull 20 million pounds of trash by 2022... and today we officially hit 25 MILLION POUNDS! #4ocean #saveouroceans #cleanup ♬ original sound - 4ocean
4. Get employees involved
Foster creativity by giving your people the power to create. Here are three pros to leveraging your employees as content creators:
Back to our first point here, the more authentic, the better. Rather than the focus being on the leaders of the company, putting team members in front of the camera will allow people to see more sides of the business.
Employer branding isn’t just about recruitment, it’s also about retention. Lifting up the work that employees are doing simultaneously informs people outside the business and gives recognition within your walls.
Your team is a deep well of inspiration. They can help connect the dots between your company’s social strategy and relevant TikTok trends that would be useful to try.
TikTok’s own lifeattiktok page features all employee-created content from their offices across the world, sharing everything from tips for your first day on the job to tours of the different office spaces.
@lifeattiktok @nathanielong_ shows you his top advice for working at TikTok! What else do you want to know about working with us? #lifeattiktok #tiktoksingapore ♬ original sound - Life At TikTok
5. Give a glimpse into your day to day
Showing a true day-in-the-life dispels any mystery about the reality of working at your company. It can give prospective recruits clear expectations and an idea of the kinds of skills they’d need for the job, which could help speed along the process of finding the best fit for a specific role. And it can be another opportunity to cheer on your team’s successes. Bonus points for including the hiccups and mistakes, too. Folks want to see that fail forward mentality—and who doesn’t love a blooper reel?
A sweet example is Sticky’s TikTok. The Australian candy company gives viewers a look at their entire mesmerizing process of designing, mixing, shaping, and cutting candies (or, as they call them, lollies). They show the cutest candies as well as their failed attempts, explaining how the hot candy mixture can—and has—burned them at times. These TikToks give a crystal clear picture of what they do and what a new hire can expect (the good, the bad, the yummy).
@stickyaustralia Success? Or nah? ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show
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