HR + TikTok = True?
Will we all need to do silly dances?
Welcome to the 72 new FullStack HR subscribers that found their way here during the summer! If you are not yet subscribed and want to join like-minded, future-thinking people, make sure to subscribe.
I hope you all had a great summer!
I had a fantastic summer and feel recharged and ready for full-packed autumn.
Speaking of the fall, FullStack HR will continue as before, trying to unpack the future of work, HR, and leadership. As per usual, there will be highs, and there will be lows. But the common denominator will (hopefully) still be the future of work in that phrase’s most broad meaning.
But enough of all of this, let's dive into...TikTok!
(Not the app but the article about the app.)
The TikTok-HR-Rabbit Hole.
I have to admit one thing. I've spent way too many hours on TikTok this summer. I've checked out content on TikTok before, but it got me hooked this summer. The algorithm is incredibly accurate in serving me content I enjoy. (I don't like to think about how they do it.)
Naturally, I've been drawn into the HR/work/leadership part of TikTok, which is not surprising.
But surprising is the amount of crappy advice/guides people have been putting out. People are saying “truths” and telling people “how it is” in the corporate world. Exaggerating and sometimes straight-up misleading people. It’s everything from how recruitment works to how performance reviews work. And these are people with obviously no or minimal experience in HR. Still, they rack up views and engagement.
To be fair, there are great people on TikTok, and here I’d like to give a shout-out to my old colleague Danie Space, aka @Dan From HR on TikTok. He gives sound advice and insights and constantly tries to combat people who don't know what they are doing in this space. (Which seems like an endless battle.)
But then again, we have the bad and ugly ones that take advantage of TikTok's quick, dopamine-driven, short videos and create content that satisfies that need but doesn't add value.
I get it. You have to hook people and find topics that resonate with the broader community on TikTok. Many people on the platform give career advice and tips on negotiating your salary. And most do it poorly and very generically, and with no experience from actually setting salaries.
What will it mean for HR?
Ah, my go-to question in life.
In the short term, some of us will meet the results of these videos in our everyday working life as employees and candidates nudge us about the "hidden job market," for example. People will feel educated and entitled. People will listen if a video racks up views and the influencer seems legit.
In the long term, one can only speculate what TikTok will mean for us, but let's just put it this way: the trend of communicating through video, with relevant content served at the right time, that is curated to you and your interests will probably not fade away.
This impacts all aspects of how we communicate in our companies, and I've said this before, and I ain't afraid to say it again - we need to do better here.
We can't expect people to sit through boring town hall meetings. We can't expect them to put up with irrelevant training. People will, and to some extent already are, used to being served relevant content that resonates with them. And we need to resonate with our people to keep them engaged.
I'm not suggesting you should drop everything and start an HR TikTok account; I know I won't. But it's essential to see the more prominent trends in society, and the video-content trend is strong. And we need to think about what kind of expectations this will infuse in our future employees. And adapt and develop accordingly.