Beware the hidden bias behind TikTok resumes


Nagaraj Nadendla

Nagaraj Nadendla is SVP of improvement at Oracle Cloud HCM, the place he leads the event of cloud recruitment options together with Oracle Recruiting and Taleo.

Social media has served as a launchpad to success virtually so long as it has been round. The tales of going viral from a self-produced YouTube video after which securing a document deal established the mythology of social media platforms. Ever since, social media has persistently gravitated away from text-based codecs and towards visible mediums like video sharing.

For most individuals, a video on social media received’t be a ticket to stardom, however in latest months, there have been a rising variety of tales of individuals getting employed primarily based on movies posted to TikTok. Even LinkedIn has embraced video property on consumer profiles with the latest addition of the “Cowl Story” function, which permits staff to complement their profiles with a video about themselves.

As expertise continues to evolve, is there room for a world the place your major resume is a video on TikTok? And in that case, what sorts of unintended penalties and implications would possibly this have on the workforce?

Why is TikTok trending for jobs?

In latest months, U.S. job openings have risen to an all-time excessive of 10.1 million. For the primary time for the reason that pandemic started, obtainable jobs have exceeded obtainable staff. Employers are struggling to draw certified candidates to fill positions, and in that gentle, it is smart that many recruiters are turning to social platforms like TikTok and video resumes to seek out expertise.

However the shortage of staff doesn’t negate the significance of discovering the precise worker for a job. Particularly necessary for recruiters is discovering candidates with the talents that align with their enterprise’ objectives and technique. For instance, as extra organizations embrace a data-driven method to working their enterprise, they want extra individuals with abilities in analytics and machine studying to assist them make sense of the information they gather.

Recruiters have confirmed to be open to innovation the place it helps them discover these new candidates. Recruiting is not the handbook course of it was, with HR groups sorting via stacks of paper resumes and formal cowl letters to seek out the precise candidate. They embraced the ability of on-line connections as LinkedIn rose to prominence and even discovered the best way to use third-party job websites like GlassDoor to assist them attract promising candidates. On the again finish, many recruiters use superior cloud software program to kind via incoming resumes to seek out the candidates that greatest match their job descriptions. However all of those strategies nonetheless depend on the normal text-based resume or profile because the core of any software.

Movies on social media present the power for candidates to display comfortable abilities that is probably not instantly obvious in written paperwork, corresponding to verbal communication and presentation abilities. They’re additionally a method for recruiters to study extra in regards to the character of the candidate to find out how they’d match into the tradition of the corporate. Whereas this can be interesting for a lot of, are we prepared for the results?

We’re not prepared for the close-up

Whereas innovation in recruiting is an enormous a part of the way forward for work, the hype round TikTok and video resumes may very well take us backward. Regardless of providing a brand new method for candidates to market themselves for alternatives, it additionally carries potential pitfalls that candidates, recruiters and enterprise leaders want to pay attention to.

The very factor that offers video resumes their potential additionally presents the most important issues. Video inescapably highlights the individual behind the talents and achievements. As recruiters type their first opinions a few candidate, they are going to be confronted with data they don’t often see till a lot later within the course of, together with whether or not they belong to protected courses due to their race, incapacity or gender.

Variety, fairness and inclusion (DE&I) issues have had a serious surge in consideration during the last couple of years amid heightened consciousness and scrutiny round how employers are — or usually are not — prioritizing range within the office.

However evaluating candidates via video might erase any progress made by introducing extra alternatives for unconscious, and even acutely aware, bias. This might create a harmful state of affairs for companies if they don’t act fastidiously as a result of it might open them as much as penalties corresponding to harm to their repute and even one thing as extreme as discrimination lawsuits.

An organization with a poor observe document for range could have the truth that they reviewed movies from candidates used towards them in court docket. Recruiters reviewing the movies could not even concentrate on how the race or gender of candidates are impacting their choices. For that cause, lots of the companies I’ve seen implement an choice for video of their recruiting movement don’t permit their recruiters to look at the video till late within the recruiting course of.

However even when companies handle essentially the most urgent problems with DE&I by managing bias towards these protected courses, by accepting movies there are nonetheless problems with range in much less protected courses corresponding to neurodiversity and socioeconomic standing. A candidate with exemplary abilities and a robust observe document could not current themselves effectively via a video, coming throughout as awkward to the recruiter watching the video. Even when that impression is irrelevant to the job, it might nonetheless affect the recruiter’s stance on hiring.

Moreover, candidates from prosperous backgrounds could have entry to raised gear and software program to document and edit a compelling video resume. Different candidates could not, leading to movies that won’t look as polished or skilled within the eyes of the recruiter. This creates one more barrier to the alternatives they’ll entry.

As we sit at an necessary crossroads in how we deal with DE&I within the office, it’s important for employers and recruiters to seek out methods to scale back bias within the processes they use to seek out and rent staff. Whereas innovation is vital to transferring our business ahead, we’ve got to make sure high priorities usually are not being compromised.

Not left on the slicing room flooring

Regardless of all of those issues, social media platforms — particularly these primarily based on video — have created new alternatives for customers to broaden their private manufacturers and join with potential job alternatives. There’s potential to make use of these new methods to learn each job seekers and employers.

Step one is to make sure that there’s all the time a spot for a conventional text-based resume or profile within the recruiting course of. Even when recruiters can get all the knowledge they want a few candidate’s capabilities from video, some individuals will simply naturally really feel extra snug staying off digicam. Hiring processes should be about letting individuals put their greatest foot ahead, whether or not that’s in writing or on video. And that features accepting that one of the best foot to place ahead is probably not your personal.

As a substitute, candidates and companies ought to think about using movies as a spot for previous co-workers or managers to endorse the candidate. An out of doors endorsement can do much more good for an software than merely stating your personal strengths as a result of it reveals that another person believes in your capabilities, too.

Video resumes are scorching proper now as a result of they’re simpler to make and share than ever and since companies are in determined want of sturdy expertise. However earlier than we get caught up within the novelty of this new method of sharing our credentials, we have to make it possible for we’re setting ourselves up for fulfillment.

The aim of any new recruiting expertise must be to make it simpler for candidates to seek out alternatives the place they’ll shine with out creating new limitations. There are some severe kinks to work out earlier than video resumes can obtain that, and it’s important for employers to think about the repercussions earlier than they harm the success of their DE&I efforts.

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