Sophie Grill (left) and Rebecca Amlung (right) at Ziehl-Abegg planned and supported the shooting of the TikTok video for the film “Cool Runnings”.

Sophie Grill (left) and Rebecca Amlung (right) at Ziehl-Abegg planned and supported the shooting of the TikTok video for the film "Cool Runnings". (Photo: © privat)

Fun app TikTok: hype for recruiting


“If you want to recruit people, they first have to get a positive impression of you,” stated Peter Fenkl, chairman of the board of directors at Ziehl-Abegg. What sounds banal is difficult, given changes in media use.

Consequently, in June 2020, the company boss gave his approval to a dedicated team of employees for a TikTok channel.

What initially began as a pure leisure activity - similar to a company sport group - is now an established factor in the public image of the industrial company. Short video clips on the new platform show humorous scenes from the company. The short video clips are not about products or advertising messages. "TikTok just draws attention to us," explained Fenkl. And it showed just how much fun employees at Ziehl-Abegg had.

The initial target group were the youth. But the content of the videos is increasingly shown to those who are older by the algorithm. This was also reflected by reactions in the form of comments. "Are you looking for electronic specialists for machinery and drive technology?" asked one user with the pseudonym Bluefirescorpion. Another commentator asked, "Do you need an industrial mechanic?" It works. "TikTok has already resulted in new appointments of experts with professional experience," Fenkl was pleased to note.

Films know no age limit

"If you think TikTok belongs in the nursery, you’re wrong," according to Rebecca Amlung. She is the mainstay of the three-strong TikTok team. The entertaining films know no age limit. "Cool – I was in charge of your products almost 30 years ago as purchaser," commented one user, who must be older in view of the time period.

Another wrote, "You make great FUs!!!" Or kbly_08 commented, "Crazy! Up to now, I only knew the lift motors! Now I have likeable face to match."

At Ziehl-Abegg, TikTok is managed without an external agency and outside of marketing. The core team comes from product management, personnel development and publicity work. "The three of us just enjoy coming up with ideas and filming," explained Amlung. Participants from other fields are approached and integrated as needed.

22 million video views

In August of this year Ziehl-Abegg reached 50,000 TikTok followers, one million likes and chalked up more than 22 million video views. The account is presented as a best practice example in the B2B field at several universities in German-speaking countries.

The team has already held lectures at universities about TikTok in the B2B field. "If this takes place on breakfast television or in the FAZ newspaper and other media report about our TikTok channel, this gives us additional range," Chairman Fenkl was pleased to note.

"The future is digital," pointed out the company boss. "That’s why we also have to be there to recruit skilled workers." Apart from its involvement on the TikTok platform, Ziehl-Abegg therefore also staged an eSports tournament for the first time in summer 2021. Players from several countries made the experiment into an instant success. "Several tournaments are now planned for 2022," revealed Fenkl.

By Rainer Grill
The author is the head of publicity at Ziehl-Abegg.

What is TikTok? TikTok is a smartphone app with which users can put videos online free. Communication occurs for the most part via the comments on the videos. Launched as a platform for dance and music videos, the age structure was initially very young. In the meantime, most of the users are between 18 and 35 years old - hence a suitable target group for addressing potential employees. Since the app comes from China, data protection problems receive repeated media attention.

More information:

This might interest you as well: