Known for quick videos of lip-syncing teens and cute pet tricks, TikTok is now the first stop for finding Gen Z employees.

Chipotle, Target, WWE, and Shopify are among the companies that are partnering with TikTok Resumes, a pilot program that allows applicants to submit video résumés on the social platform. The recruiting offer is another way for companies to connect with potential employees while the battle for talent continues.

Restaurants, bars and fast food chains are finding it particularly difficult to hire staff to replace those laid off at the start of the pandemic. Many of these workers are either uncomfortable returning to work and are still on the sidelines or have left the industry entirely.

According to Marissa Andrada, Chipotle’s chief people officer, the restaurant chain already had 1.6 million followers on TikTok when she considered the idea of ​​partnering with the video resume platform.

“We have a crazy following and it’s always great to see what fan videos are about,” said Andrada.

With the majority of the employees at Chipotle restaurants being Gen Z and Millennials, “why not rely on their energies?” said Andrada. “TikTok Resumes is a way to interact with them in a way that they already like to connect with us.”

With the advent of career and work-related content on social media platforms, showing off people with their creativity is an effective way for the company to find the right talent. “You can see their enthusiasm and passion for our food and get a feel for what this person would be like as a team member, which is different than just taking a résumé or an application,” she said.

Chipotle restaurant employees process orders for customers in Miami, Florida.

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Restaurants, bars, and fast food chains are doing everything they can to bring workers back to their factories as people are now more comfortable going out and eating inside.

Denny has just completed the America’s Diner Hiring Tour, which will recruit 20,000 restaurant-level employees in both its company-owned and franchise restaurants across the country. A 53-foot food truck drove on historic Route 66 for a week, making several stops to help potential workers fill out applications for a free pancake breakfast. CEO John Miller told CNBC earlier this month that finding enough workers will be one of the biggest challenges as the country emerges from the pandemic lockdown.

You see their enthusiasm and passion for our food and get a feel for what this person would be like as a team member.

Marissa Andrada, Chief People Officer, Chipotle

The numbers underline his point of view. Although restaurants and bars created more than half a million jobs from March to June, the industry’s unemployment rate is still high, hitting 10% in June, according to the Department of Labor.

Even wage increases are not always the solution. The June National Federation of Independent Business job report shows that 46% of small business owners report vacancies they have been unable to fill despite increases in pay.

Coast to coast interviews

In addition to the TikTok video résumés, Chipotle casts a wide network for new employees. On July 15, it hosted a Coast-to-Coast Careers Day at all of its restaurants. The goal, says Andrada, is to hire 15,000 people to fill the existing locations as well as the additional 200 new locations planned by the end of 2021.

Higher wages are another lever that restaurants, bars and fast food chains use to attract workers. In recent months, some have raised hourly wages, announced plans to cover tuition fees, and given workers more time off – all in an effort to attract and retain workers.

McDonald’s recently announced that it would increase hourly wages, give workers paid time off, and cover study costs for employees. In late May, Chipotle announced it would raise the average hourly wage to $ 15 and also introduced employee referral awards of $ 200 for crew members and $ 750 for apprentices and directors.

Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden, announced in the spring that it would be spending around $ 17 million to give hourly restaurant workers a one-time bonus and raise wages. The hourly workers make at least $ 10 an hour, including tip. Hourly wages will rise to $ 11 in January and to $ 12 an hour in January 2023.