Are Your Hiring Practices Mobile Enough?

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — May 19, 2014

Employees bringing devices and apps are also bringing expectations to work—demanding that their mobile experiences are on par with what they know in their personal lives. And now companies need to think about delivering even before that, as the experience is being judged before the offer.

The “candidate experience” can bring value to companies, but, if poor, it can turn off potential talent. IDC predicts that mobile will surpass desktop and laptop computers as the primary way people access the web by 2015, and comScore reports that the number of workers searching for jobs via mobile devices has skyrocketed from 2.3 million to 9.3 million in the last year.

“The need to quantify, understand and adapt to the mobile candidate has never been greater. Mobile recruitment is rapidly becoming necessary to bring in skilled candidates for all types of companies and job roles,” Susan Martindill, Director of Marketing, Simply Hired, told Mobile Enterprise via email.

At Simply Hired’s recent Innovation in Recruitment Forum, more than 100 recruiting leaders discussed the future of connecting people and jobs, and the emerging technologies that can fundamentally improve job search and recruiting.

At the event, Gerry Crispin, Principal, CareerXroads, hosted a discussion with James Beriker, CEO of Simply Hired; Robert Hohman, CEO of Glassdoor; Stacy Donovan Zapar, Candidate Experience & Engagement Leader at Zappos and Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite, where they talked about the technology that is disrupting  traditional recruiting practices and reshaping the relationship between candidates and prospective employers.

Mobile Gap
They concluded that businesses and their recruiters should be worried about mobile because there is a massive gap between what companies offer and how job seekers are searching. Many of the applicant tracking systems (ATS) used by Fortune 500 companies do not incorporate mobile or offer “mobile apply,” yet mobile devices now account for more than 30% of traffic on Simply Hired. That number is expected to go up to 50% by the end of next year, according to Martindill.

This could cause companies to miss an entire pool of candidates in the new workforce as many Millennials are foregoing laptops in favor of tablets and smartphones, according to the discussion. Plus, some users don’t want to be on a corporate network when applying for other positions so they use their personal devices.

“While a significant number of these job seekers are Millennials, it’s not just Millennials who use mobile to search and apply for jobs. The top 5 mobile search keywords include ‘part-time,’ ‘truck driving,’ ‘medical assistant,’ ‘customer service’ and ‘LPN.’ The most active categories for a mobile job search from smartphones is office and administrative (14% of searches), followed by healthcare practitioners (13%),” she said.

Mobile candidates come in from a wide variety of platforms and devices as well: Android (44%), iOS (29%) and Windows (26%); 89% of users searched for jobs on their mobile phone and 11% used their tablet.

Making the application process easy for users can have a big impact on a company, noted Martindill. The most qualified and in-demand candidates don’t apply for jobs with cumbersome application processes. “They don’t have to since they have plenty of options available,” she said.

3 Tips for Mobilizing Recruiting
Martindill said that the first step in mobilizing recruiting is to optimize the company career site section for mobile—make it easy for job seekers to browse and find job listings. The second step is to make mobile-friendly apps so it is easy for candidates to apply from mobile devices. 

Plus, companies have to make it easy for candidates to go back and forth between devices. For example, search and save a listing on a mobile device, to access later on laptop. “Our research shows that job seekers use different devices at different times, for different reasons in their searches,” she said.

By making sure company career pages and job listings can be found and accessed through mobile devices, and that the application process is easy, companies have a greater chance of attracting top talent. Martindill pointed out that this also translates to efficiency down the road because jobs can be filled more quickly with the right candidates.    

Starting Early
If this is not enough evidence to build a case for mobile recruiting, just look at these stats from a survey by coupon brand vouchercloud.net.

The average age of a first time cell phone owner is 6 years old, with 53% of American children owning a cell phone by the time their seventh birthday arrives.
 
The survey, sampled 2,290 U.S. parents, all of whom had at least one child aged between 11 and 16. Of the respondents children overall, 96% have cell phones, 75% have tablets, 71% have a handheld gaming console and 65% an eBook reader.

This influence is yet untold in business, but smart organzations will understand that this level of savvy needs to be addressed in both attracting and keeping talent in the future workforce.  

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