TikTok reportedly wants to help its users find jobs. In a reaction Axios describes as "a top TikTok executive posted on LinkedIn that a Washington Post article about Gen Zers using TikTok to share career advice inspired TikTok executives to try to bolster their platform for job seekers", the company plans to develop what sounds like a job board.
Axios goes on to add that:
This isn't entirely shocking. Job services and job boards have been eyed by major online players for some time. Hire was Googles's ill-fated attempt to launch an ATS for SMBs. Google Jobs is essentially an attempt by the company to compete with Indeed. Microsoft has LinkedIn's Talent Hub - sort of. Facebook keeps trying to figure out what should be a layup for them. eHarmony made an attempt in 2016. This image sums up what seems to happen in many of these situations:
TikTok faces a complex competitive landscape, with an estimated 20,000 job boards in the US alone, and over 50,000 globally. They'll need to leverage scale, stickiness, and keep a focus on their demographic (primarily youth) to make this work.
To be fair, there is a great deal of career-focused content emerging from the TikTok community. From career advice, resume, and job search services - users have been exploiting the power of the site as well as extra free-time during the pandemic to build brands as career counselors and job search experts. Shadé Zahrai, a Melbourne-based career counselor has amassed 843,000 followers and posts regularly on the site - she created the account in mid-April of 2020, and had hit 225,000 followers by May. This video, about how to answer a very standard interview question, received 2 million views the week it was published, with 47,000 likes.
Speaking with Yahoo Finance, Zahrai said “The majority of people who use TikTok are of the younger demographic [and] their entire future is different now too. Typically in the past, you graduate and it’s relatively easy to find a job. Now the whole situation and the whole environment has changed."
The real question is, can the company turn this type of traffic and interest into a robust job service, or will they go the way of many other attempts. In the meantime, as Gerry Crispin noted in a comment on Talent Product Plays: "As long as the job board caters to employers (who pay) but allow abuse of 80% of the prospects that express an interest, the model will just be 'one more' place to look that is competing for my attention."
[RNN has reached out to TikTok for comment, and will update accordingly]
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