HR agency owner tackles team recruitment… With TikTok

This week an HR Agency owner from Harrogate, Yorkshire is celebrating having found her perfect new team member, after having used TikTok to ensure they would be a good fit for the fun loving team.

Am-dram loving agency owner Sally Bendtson,44, has shared publicly many times that keeping hold of her sense of humour via playing up to her theatrical side, is what got her through lockdown when her business was in decline, and she became quite a TikTok phenomenon as she made her audience smile with her fun outtakes, with her most popular post amassing 2.7million views and being shared globally. As her business now experiences a boom and she is expanding the team, she has turned to the same social platform to help find her next team members, to ensure they also have the characteristics she’s looking for.

Sally said; “During the interview process, we asked everyone if they were willing to do TikToks as this is a big part of our outreach, we also asked if they had seen our TikToks as this gives them a real sense of the team and our approach. Our top candidates had all seen the TikToks and commented on how fun they were and that they were part of the reason they were so interested, because we look like we have fun together and we want to be part of that. We were pleasantly surprised that they were also the people who said they’d had a go at TikToks themselves and they would love to join in on ours.”

Known for being an approachable, non-corporate agency people-focused rather than process-driven, Limelight HR is recognised for striving to do things differently and with a creative twist so that their clients; “get to love HR as much as we do!”

With this Steve Jobs quote being the first thing applicants saw at the top of their job spec Sally ensured she’s set the scene; “Here’s to the Crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes and the ones who see things differently!’’

Sally said: ”Our clients are start-ups and SMEs who really value their staff. They are relying on us to help them make the business as successful as possible, by keeping their teams happy and engaged. We need our team members to be confident, outgoing, and friendly.

“Obviously we’re looking for HR experience but for us just as important is to find the right fit character wise, as our working culture is something we are really proud of. Our clients love our social media antics and so finding a team player happy to join in with the fun is essential - also we get new joiners to do a TikTok on their first day as part of their induction!”

Sally has over 15 years HR experience, clients she has supported includes; BBC, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and The Guardian.

Sally’s top tips for recruiting to suit your company culture include: "When you hire new people you want them to be the best possible candidate for the job, of course. But, research shows that employee cultural alignment is imperative for engagement, performance and overall productivity. Employees who identify more with their company are happier, experience greater job satisfaction, are more committed, perform better and are more likely to stay too.  It’s crucial that your employee fits – it’s crucial that you spend time ensuring that they do and not just knee jerking or quickly filling a skills gap. So, how can you ensure you’re recruiting to suit your company culture?"

  1. Emphasise referrals – a referral from someone who knows you and your team, whether that be a current employee referral or a client referring someone for the position, is gold, they know you and they know the person they are referring and therefore some of the matching potential and fit has already begun…
  2. Make sure you use inclusive language and that you are attracting a diverse range of candidates, so that your business benefits from the variety of ideas and creativity that comes from that.
  3. Use short phone or zoom interviews as a first interview so you can qualify people and from there you can shortlist for a face to face interview.
  4. Remember the candidates that seems to be the best, based on competencies alone, may not be your best option overall – so ensure the recruitment process takes into account an ‘whole-istic’ approach including; skills, competencies, experience, personality and cultural fit…
  5. Set the tone - I like to add a ‘quirky’ quote to the job spec document, so the tone is set from the initial interaction with potential employees.
  6. Make sure the recruitment and interview process reflects your company – Ensure that the role they will be required to undertake is clear and the interview tasks are relevant, but also ensure the process embodies your organisations culture – if you’re a fun oraganisation make the interview process fun too!
  7. Spend time planning and organising the whole process including timelines, and book time out in your diary. If you meet a superstar you don’t want to lose them because it took another 4 weeks to finish the process!
  8. Onboarding is as important as the recruitment process itself – take time to make sure someone feels part of the team and clear on their role and the company values and vision, the first 3 months are crucial – ensure you have regular check ins.

Sally created a recruitment pack that is full of extra tips and advice – find out more here.