If there’s any one major trend that’s shaking up the world of HR professionals and hiring managers it’s mobile recruiting. Here to share his thoughts on what mobile technology means for the recruitment industry is Chris Costello, principal and founder of CBG Benefits, an HR solutions company.
You may be surprised to learn just how much job seeking activity is being done via smart phones…
Are job seekers really using their mobile devices to look for and apply for jobs?
Costello: Yes. The truth is that mobile recruiting is a hot topic that is truly backed up by statistics. According to a recent survey from LinkedIn, more than 64% of professionals are using their mobile device to browse career opportunities online, including social networks and company “Careers” sites. While active job seekers are certainly including in that group, you must also think of passive candidates. These people are most likely looking around on their lunch break, while in a waiting room, or in other situations where their mobile device is being used to browse.
Another statistic that’s worth noting from that survey is that 45% have used their mobile devices to do more than just browse — they’re actually applying for jobs via their smartphone or tablet.
How are companies responding to this trend?
Costello: Companies that are keeping up have spent time analyzing the actions and behaviors of their candidates. This data is helping them make decisions such as: should we develop a mobile-optimized career site or a dedicated mobile app? Do we need to partner with a separate firm to present mobile job application form?
But it goes beyond that — since many mobile users are browsing company news and job postings on social networks, companies are also analyzing their social media strategy. Are they sharing content that will catch someone’s attention on a smartphone? Are they posting on those social networks at the times when mobile users are most likely to be researching career opportunities?
Companies that are responding to these trends are finding answers to those questions — and adjusting their strategy and actions accordingly.
Why is it important to make your career pages and application forms mobile friendly?
Costello: Mobile devices have certainly made it easier than ever for people to quickly find the information that they need. However, the challenge is this — once you have their attention, how do you keep it? How do you make them want to follow-through as opposed to visiting another site, app, or social network?
If you do not have mobile-optimized career pages and application forms, you will lose out on a great number of candidates. Companies must really be committed to presenting mobile-optimized content. This not only involves technical aspects, but it may also mean reducing the text, required form fields, and other data elements that are presented to mobile users.
How can an HR professional start incorporating some of this technology?
Costello: The first thing I would do is analyze your current mobile audience — take a look at how many people visited your Careers site on a mobile device last month? Review the type of device, the length of time they spent on your site, etc. That data will empower you throughout the process of identifying and acquiring the right technology and resources.
Then, lean on a partner to help you succeed with implantation. If you have an internal IT team, contact them for advice. If you have a Marketing department, certainly reach out to them. They should already be quite invested in the process of mobile-optimizing your company’s website, emails, social media content, and more. Thus, they may have input as to what technology is already available to your business.
How can being present on social media help with mobile efforts?
Costello: It’s clear that the majority of networks available have adopted a mobile-first mindset. This is because they recognize that mobile devices are becoming the preferred way for people to connect, search and find content, and interact. Thus, employers will want to be sure that their social media strategy is aligned with the habits of mobile users. A big part of this would include developing visual content that could be posted on social networks, which may increase the chances of catching the attention of a person on their smartphone. If you’re simply posting links to job posts all day on your Twitter page, people are not going to pay attention.
In short, anything you can do to move your mobile recruiting efforts forward can help you attract more potential candidates.