QuitTok: What to Know about “Watch Me Quit” Videos

A social media trend has employees secretly recording themselves quitting and then posting the video. What can employees and employers learn from this?



A recent trend referred to as “QuitTok” where employees covertly film themselves quitting and then post their videos on TikTok has gotten nearly a hundred million views… and a lot of attention. 

While it has created significant social traction for the videos’ owners and exposed less than ideal human resources (HR) practices, we asked our HR experts: what happens when these employees apply for their next job? 

While most had consensus on their initial thoughts, their sentiments provide key takeaways for both employees and employers. 

Employers are Apprehensive to Hire QuitTok Video Posters 

“This may be an unpopular opinion,” said Stratus HR Director of Human Resources, Stacey Gibson, “but if I saw that someone who I was going to hire had posted one of these QuitTok videos, it would make me pause for sure.” 

“My initial thought when I see these videos is I don’t want them on my team,” said HR Consultant and Hiring Manager for Stratus HR, Laura Lancaster. “If that is how they are going to treat their employer, I don’t think that is right. In my mind, that is not how you solve problems.”  

Sam Yoshida, Stratus HR Consultant, had similar feelings. “As an employer, even one that overvalues being an employee-friendly employer, I would still be cautious. Do I really want to hire someone who has demonstrated that they are willing to secretly record meetings and go public with them rather than address their issues with me professionally?” 

“I would definitely be more hesitant,” said Natalie Soltero, Stratus HR Consultant and Employee Relations Expert. “You do not want to create a culture where managers fear having conversations with employees.” 

Overall, our team of experts admitted their initial perception of workers who post QuitTok videos is that of a lack of integrity and loyalty, and the inability to have a professional conversation about workplace issues and concerns.  

Employers Fear Being the Next Secret Recording 

When following up about their initial reaction of QuitTok videos, several HR experts voiced concerns about potential secretive videoing at their own workplace if they were to hire that person.  

“I feel like I would always be worried about what I said or did around the person and whether I would be the next video that went viral,” said Gibson. 

“Honestly, I would not want somebody who has been known to record things secretly,” agreed Yoshida. “It wouldn’t be worth the risk, regardless of how strong our policies or procedures are.” 

In other words, because previous behavior may be indicative of future behavior, secretly recording and posting about managers may be enough to keep future employers from hiring the person. This is despite how awful the former manager may have been (and, hence, recorded), or if the new company had any enforceable company policies in place to prevent a repeat occurrence. 

Employees Who Post QuitTok Videos are Damaging Their Reputation 

“When somebody posts these videos, I think it actually does more harm for that person than any temporary good their social stardom provides,” said Yoshida. “They just labeled themselves as somebody who causes trouble. What are they trying to gain when it seems like they are just trying to stir the pot and take revenge on the employer?” 

“I would have a hard time trusting the person who posted one of these videos, and I’m sure I would not be the only one in the office who felt this way,” said Soltero. “That could damage the open and honest culture our company has worked so hard to create.” She went on to explain, “In my opinion, if you feel like something is wrong, go ahead and record it – but don’t post it online. Then it becomes a tool for others to make assumptions about your character.”  

At the end of the day, employees may end up mislabeling themselves when their initial intent may have been to shed light on poor employment practices. 

Is There Any Good that has Come from These Videos?  

While the consensus was for hiring managers to be cautious with an applicant who had a social media presence for posting QuitTok videos, there were several employer takeaways from these videos. 

Proactively Learn Why Employees Are Discontent 

“There is a lot that a company could potentially learn from what these people are saying,” said Lancaster. “It may be a good opportunity to do a self-reflection of what they are complaining about. Is it the PTO? Benefits? Flexibility? Work-from-home policy? I’m not condoning how it was brought to light, but these are things employers should be asking anytime there is turnover.” 

“In some of these videos, you’ll see examples where the HR person or team does not handle the termination well,” said Yoshida. “I don’t think that justifies them posting the video, but it is good for the employer to reflect on possible cases of mistreatment and implement more training.” 

Act as Though You ARE Being Recorded 

“As an employer, we have to be on top of things,” shared Soltero. “We must act like we are being recorded 100% of the time, it is the society we live in. You never want to say something inappropriate or put yourself in a bad spot. But if you fear you are going to be recorded, then you should take an introspective look at whether you should be saying it.”  

What Can Employers Do to Help Screen Bad Applicants? 

For employers who are concerned a candidate may damage their reputation from something in their past or the unknown future, is there a way to potentially screen for that?  

Implement things as part of your recruiting process that paint a more complete picture,” advised Lancaster. “For example, you can ask candidates if there is anything from their previous employment or background that would be an embarrassment to you or the company.”

She also advised you include personality profiling and reference checks as part of the process when narrowing down your top candidates. “Pulling from multiple sources helps you paint a more accurate picture of where truth and communication lie.” 

Personality Assessments

“A personality profile screening can be a valuable tool to finding the right cultural fit,” said Lancaster. Personality assessments help you understand the candidate’s traits for preferences, behavioral patterns, communication style, creativity, innovation, and risk-taking. “An applicant’s score on each of these traits will help you discover the right fit for shared values with your company’s culture.” 

Reference Checks 

Typically, a list of references includes a candidate’s biggest cheerleaders. “If the candidate did not list someone from a former employer, ask them why they did not include anyone from that company,” suggested Lancaster. “Let them open up and give their explanation.” 

Knowing there are always two sides to every story, you should still do your due diligence. “Even without an employer being listed as a reference, you could still contact the former employer and do a reference check,” advised Lancaster. “If their company policy only gives you a verification of employment, you could ask the candidate for another reference to contact.” 

Final Thoughts for Employees 

If you have frustrations with your manager, it is better to address them with your supervisor or HR Manager than it is to secretly record and post on social media. Despite your intentions, it may reflect more poorly on you as a person than it does with acknowledging poor employment practices. 

Final Thoughts for Employers 

Regularly review your employee offerings and management practices, especially if you are concerned about them being exposed to the world. Be sure your employees know how to report misconduct, and that your managers are adequately trained on how to appropriately handle sensitive situations.

Also, make sure your hiring process thoroughly screens for the best candidates. This will help you find candidates who are more likely to stay longer, which reduces expensive turnover costs. 

If you need HR back-up or advice, contact your certified HR expert! Not a current Stratus HR client? Book a free consultation and our team will contact you shortly. 

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