Tapping for Talent: Mobile Recruiting Races Ahead

By Joel Passen, Co-Founder

Joel Passen, Co-Founder

With mobile web traffic poised to surpass the desktop as the #1 way people access internet, companies of all sizes are racing to implement mobile recruiting strategies. Recently, the Pew Research Center found that a majority of adults (54 percent) in the U.S. have gone online to look for job opportunities and 45 percent have applied for a job online. From healthcare to manufacturing, construction and skilled trades, workers across industries primarily access the Internet with smartphones. A study by Kelton, a digital consulting firm with deep roots in research, found that:

"The talents employers want to followare using their phones for everything, including applying for employment"

• 86 percent of active candidates use their smartphone to begin a job search.
• 70 percent of active candidates want to apply via mobile.
• 55 percent want an easier way to upload a resume to your career site.

Still, while the number of job seekers who are using their smartphones to browse and apply for jobs is increasing dramatically, most employers are not equipped to properly accommodate mobile job seekers.

Collateral Damage

For employers, job seekers’ increasing dissatisfaction with job application processes that aren’t optimized for mobile means losing qualified candidates who give up on the process before completion. On a larger scale, there is evidence that a cumbersome, draconian applicant experience damages employer brands. This problem is compounded by more tech-savvy candidates and an influx of younger, more digitally focused job applicants entering the workforce. The talents employers want to followare using their phones for everything, including applying for employment. Employers that haven’t modernized their recruiting processes and technology to accommodate mobile job seekers are already suffering from a competitive disadvantage. The race to the bottom is accelerating.

Despite its increasing popularity, mobile recruiting still confuses many employers. This confusion, coupled with ever-increasing numbers of mobile job seekers, has created a perfect storm. Unfortunately, the vendor landscape hasn’t unified (and won’t) behind any one standard, which leaves employers unsure of how to optimize and prioritize their mobile recruiting efforts. As a result, HR leaders are frustrated and recruiters are missing out on opportunities to convert mobile job seekers to applicants and, eventually, to employees.

Taking a Swipe in the Right Direction

Fortunately, entering the mobile recruiting race is getting simpler, smarter and more affordable.There are three immediate areas employers should address to put a mobile recruiting strategy in motion. Believe it or not, you can accomplish all three critical steps simultaneously. There are an increasing number of technology vendors that deliver a complete mobile recruiting strategy out-of-the-box. Regardless of whether you build or buy, don’t waste time creating separate recruiting strategies for mobile and desktop. Select one integrated approach that will help you fulfill your goals without compromising EEOC and OFCCP compliance.

1. Optimize Your Careers Page

Visit your careers page on your phone. Do you need to pinch, scroll and zoom to find your job listings? If the answer is yes, then your site is not optimized for mobile. You needresponsive design,which automatically resizes the information on your careers page to fit any screen on any device or computer. To further increase your page’s effectiveness, you should put your job listings in front and center.

Flash animation is best avoided; the technology is dying if not already dead. Images and videos should be limited in general, including embedded videos. Page load speeds matter, especially when it comes to mobile. Mobile job seekers are purposeful—they don’t watch videos.

SolidFire is an employer that has it right. Find a good example of a mobile careers page at about/careers.

2. Organize Your Job Listings

How many clicks does it take candidatesto get to your job listings? If it takes more than one or two clicks to get to your list of open positions, then your site is not optimized for mobile. Does your company have more than one office? Don’t lump all of your open positions into one view. Job seekers want to be able to filter jobs by location. Make this easy for them. Moreover, job seekers should be able to search your listings by keyword. When it comes to the job descriptions themselves, you should keep thempointed and relevant–very relevant.

3. Streamline Your Application Process

Shorter application processes yield higher completion rates. The paradigm that employers need to collect a full employment history plus personal information from every applicant has changed. The new norm is to collect only the information you need to determine whetheryou want to interview the applicant. You don’t need a date of birth or social security number to interview someone. Candidates should be able to complete a job application in just a few clicks. They should be able to upload resumes and cover letters from cloud-storage sites like Google Drive and Dropbox to make the process even easier. Even better, you should employresume parsing technologyon your site to help auto-fill applications from uploaded documents.

Streamline what you can, but don’t compromise compliance. Make sure you can collect voluntary affirmative action data from every applicant just as you would from a desktop site.

Mobile optimization gives employers a head start in today’s race for talent. Considering the scarcity of qualified talent, coupled with the giant budgets employers are being forced to spend on job advertising and employer branding, it’s irresponsible to turn away potential job seekers by not providing them a way to view and apply for jobs from mobile devices. Developing and implementing a unified mobile recruiting strategy is the quickest way to optimize your recruiting ROI and tap into the best talent at the right place and the right time.

See Also: Manage HR Magazine

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