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Employer Brand Leaders, Get on the Right Side of #WorkTok

3 min read.


Lois Payne Lois Payne



Employer Branding

The hashtag WorkTok has amassed 2 billion views at the time of this writing. But what is #WorkTok? And why the buzz?

The Rise of #WorkTok

WorkTok is a tag used for any kind of work-related video on TikTok. There’s the good side: employees sharing “a day in my life” style videos, helpful career advice, swanky office tours and relatable workplace skits.

And there’s the, erm, not so good side, where disgruntled workers vent their frustrations, or even show the real-time moment they quit - hence #Iquitmyjob and #QuitTok are going strong at 100 million and 53 million views respectively. 

Once a platform for lip-syncing and dancing tweens, TikTok has been gradually broadening its appeal to a more professional audience.

In a post-pandemic world, where many are still dutifully working from the boxroom/home office/in bed with slipper socks, water cooler catch-ups are getting rarer. As are opportunities to whinge with colleagues over an after-work pint. So increasingly, young talent is flocking to TikTok for an easy outlet and sense of community.

With the popularity of the platform, and the ease with which its users can share their thoughts and get feedback from perfect strangers at a touch of a screen, your organisation’s culture has never been more exposed to outside scrutiny.

As such, strong employer branding is becoming vital for a company's survival. When you understand the unique ecosystem of values, culture, and behaviours at your organisation, you can begin to set clear expectations from the beginning of a candidate’s journey and uphold your end of the bargain right through the lifecycle.

The result? Happy employees. Loyal alumni. Minimal rage-quit streams and TikTok tantrums.

Of course, even with the best brand in the world, you’re never guaranteed to fully avoid negativity online - hell hath no fury like an employee scorned – but this type of backlash will always affect companies who have tenuous reputations to begin with, far more than companies who have a galvanised workforce who both trust in, and advocate for them.

Harnessing the Power of WorkTok to Create Positive Sentiment

TikTok’s users are largely younger - 70% being between the ages of 18-34 - so it makes sense that some older managers prefer to approach the platform like they would an unexploded mine, i.e. not at all.

Its demographic is expanding, however, and TikTok’s light-hearted, informal feel in comparison to LinkedIn gives it a serious edge with today’s talent who value authenticity above corporate stuffiness.

In fact, many managers are already leveraging the platform to increase company awareness, haul in new applications, showcase their culture and access an abundant pool of scrolling talent.

Here are some popular frameworks you can use to cultivate positive sentiment and show off your employer brand. While not everyone in your company will be comfortable sharing things online, there’s no harm in encouraging those who are interested.

1. Office tour videos

Got a quirky office? Why not show talent what they’re missing? Everyone loves to nose around a building they wouldn’t normally see, as evidenced by #officetour having more than 225 million views.

2. Employee takeovers

Allow a different employee free reign over the company’s career TikTok for the day, so talent can see the company experience from different lenses. Unpolished content is good; your audience want to see your real culture, not a manicured version of what you think they want to see.

3. "A day in my life at _ company"

This format, where an employee documents themselves going about a regular day at work, tends to get a lot of engagement. It’s social proof, convincing because it comes from an authentic source, and it helps talent to visualise what it would be like to work for you.

4. Skits

Humour is a great hook in TikToks and there’s no end to the different trends you can jump on to create engaging content that captures your audience’s interest. Like showing the different types of employees, or what time different people arrive in the office.

Key takeaway: Sharing workplace gripes online isn’t going anywhere, but if you build a solid employer brand that your people believe, and leverage the positivity of the platform, you can be confident that your organisation will end up on the right side of #WorkTok.

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