A start-up HR platform, Zapid Hire, is connecting employers with younger workers through video job ads and applications, with Coco Republic, Decathlon, and BBQ Galore using it to hire staff.

The mobile app lets employers publish video job ads, and prospective employees create short videos profiling their personalities and why they’re a good fit, leading it to be called ‘TikTok for jobs’.

Since launching in November 2020, some 18,000 interviews have been facilitated, with 40% of the video resumes from prospective employees leading to interviews.

As co-founder Andrew Dewez tells RetailBiz, that’s much higher than the industry standard of 13%.

“We see that you get a more motivated applicant. With other job boards you can click a button and apply to 50 jobs that you don’t care about,” he explains.

The biggest advantage the startup is spruiking is speed. While hiring is typically a 30-ish day turnaround — from posting the job to signing a contract — Zapid Hire claims its platform brings that down to three days or less.

“Retail is a little bit quicker. There is slightly less screening compared to industries like assisted living. Retail is heavily personality focused and not skills focused,” says Dewez.

Vaccination status and remote hiring

Zapid Hire also offers employers the ability to filter candidates by vaccination status, but the responsibility falls onto the employer to verify that.

Employers can request uploaded documentation, like a certificate of vaccination, as proof. Otherwise, every applicant signs off a declaration that the information they’ve provided is — to the best of their knowledge — true.

Dewez also points out that the platform makes remote hiring simpler by letting the company and applicant chat through the app.

“Contactless hiring has never been more important,” he says.

Between reopening following lockdowns, and Christmas season coming up, a higher number of casuals are needed to be hired quickly.

Dewez says, “We are going through the great rehiring period.

“What is really important is how do you hire a lot of people, especially for Christmas trade, in a safe manner. Video is a lot more accepted now, and that’s what we’re seeing from the retail industry.”

Racial bias and generational shifts

Of course, for many people and industries video resumes aren’t appropriate. Even at Zapid Hire, Dewez has used the company platform to hire a salesperson as part of its team of 11, but none of the full-time software engineers.

Retail and hospitality have more customer-facing roles where a friendly nature and ability to speak to people can be conveyed through a video resume, says Dewez.

For younger people applying to these jobs, many of which have no paid work experience, a video resume lets them stand out and be seen for their personalities.

Dewez cites research that large swathes of Gen Z are already recording up to 10 minutes of video footage daily, including video diaries of themselves.

So Zapid Hire is definitely better suited to younger employees, and confident people.

There are other biases innate in hiring too. Considering the well-documented evidence of racial bias in standard hiring practices when it comes to non-English names, a video hiring platform may lead to the same outcomes, or worse, if hiring managers are making assumptions based on ethnicity.

While Zapid Hire doesn’t yet track the ethnicities of applicants, Dewez tells me that the company is working on the ability for ethnicity and preferred pronouns to be part of the information requested by employers.

“Until you make unconscious bias conscious, people aren’t aware of it,” he says.

That implementation would be guided by what employers and employees want and is likely three to six months away.