Hilton Australia asks jobseekers to post CVs on TikTok – and people aren't happy

Is this the future of hospitality job hunting?

Hilton is asking job applicants to upload a one-minute video to TikTok. Photo: Taan Huyn / Unsplash
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Hilton is asking jobseekers to apply through TikTok.

Instead of submitting a CV and cover letter for roles, the international hotel chain allows applicants to send in a one-minute video "showing how you would make this day for our Hilton guests".

On its TikTok account, @hiremehiltonau, Hilton Australia shared a 34-second video labelled "recruitment process at Hilton", with a caption adding: "Looking for a job with #hilton? #tiktokresume #hospitalitylife #hiremehilton."

Interested parties are then asked to post the video application on their account, tag Hilton and add the hashtag #hiremehilton.

It is part of a six-week recruitment drive, dreamt up by a PR agency, looking to fill roles including bar attendant and front desk staff across 17 Australian properties.

It's not all bad news for those not on TikTok, though, as the company's website says it won't discard the old-fashioned CV. "Your dream career might be just around the corner and don't worry if creating videos isn't your style – we're equally happy to accept traditional written CVs," the statement reads.

The move is an attempt to attract Gen Z employees and also stems from concerns about artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT undermining traditional CVs.

“When you need somebody who’s going to have really good interpersonal skills, to be able to handle guest relationships or any of that side of things, you’ve got no idea [if they can do that] from the paper side," Mary Hogg, Hilton Australasia's regional HR director, told the Australian Financial Review.

Video interviews are not new. A recent OfficeTeam poll found 63 per cent of HR managers use or have recently utilised them in the employment process. In 2020, recruitment agency Walters People reported that candidates who submit a video with their CV are 40 per cent more likely to be shortlisted for an interview.

On the back of the trend, TikTok launched a pilot programme called TikTok Resumes in 2021, teaming up with employers such as Target and Shopify. It asked applicants to demonstrate their skills and use the hashtag #TikTokResumes.

It followed a subculture called CareerTok that rose during pandemic lockdowns, where career-themed videos were posted with job-hunting advice and employment opportunities.

In 2017, McDonald's rolled out a campaign for "Snaplications" via Snapchat, which reportedly had an estimated reach of 304 million people in three days.

This latest call for a social media-driven CV is not a welcome move by everyone, however. Michael Kalenderian, an executive producer at Guardian Australia, branded Hilton's move "an insult I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy" in an opinion column.

"Employment applications are already the height of awkward self-promotion," he added.

In 2021, following TikTok Resumes, which ended after only one month, US career guidance service Tallo conducted a survey that found 36 per cent of respondents were "somewhat comfortable" with making a video CV, while 48 per cent said they're either "somewhat uncomfortable" or "very uncomfortable". Only 12 per cent said they were OK with it.

There were two main reasons for this response, according to the study: introversion and increased bias from employers.

Tom Earls, a lawyer in Adelaide specialising in employment, workplace and industrial relations, also told The Guardian that while the Hilton's new hiring strategy is lawful, it poses a moral dilemma.

"Although the legal restrictions are relatively limited, requiring job applications to be made in a very public manner poses obvious ethical issues, as well as practical considerations that may also limit the available pool of applicants, especially in a tight labour market," he said.

Updated: November 16, 2023, 7:15 AM