How Candidates Are Using Mobile in Their Job Search in 2015

Finding a career on a mobile device? Employers and candidates are disconnected

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Employers are failing to meet expectations of candidates when it comes to career activities on the mobile. Potentialpark has just released their annual rankings and trends in Online Talent Communication. This year’s trends indicate the need for a big shift in the way mobile is approached and this year’s rankings show which companies are doing the best job. In the past year, the number of top companies offering mobile accessibility for job candidates in their career website, job search, or job application increased by 22% (in total 75% of companies offered mobile), but the number of candidates using mobile for career activities dropped 4%. What is changing in candidate expectations and companies’ execution that could explain this? The drop off in usage could suggest that the efforts of companies in going mobile are wasted. However, more data on the subject clarifies the issue and points to a different conclusion.


To start, Figure 1 (shown above) shows that candidates who said ‘No, I will not use mobile’, went up 4% (to 17%) just as the candidates who said ‘Yes’ dropped 4% (36%). However, the percentage of candidates saying they have not used mobile but could imagine it stayed steady, at 48%. It seems therefore, that while more companies are present on mobile, they are missing the potential of this tool, and failing to convince the half of candidates that would like to use mobile, to actually do it.


Further, in Figure 2 (shown above), when candidates were given options of what they would like to do with mobile, we saw that only 6% of candidates said none of the options appealed to them. A big difference from the 17% of candidates that said they would not use mobile. Looking further at this data, at what candidates would most like to do on mobile, we find they report the most interest in looking for open jobs and tracking application status. However, the changes in what candidates reported interest in this year vs. last year seem to show a pattern. Job or application focused options dropped or stayed steady. For example, looking for open jobs, tracking application status, and finding out how to apply, all saw drops from last year. Options that helped candidates learn about companies largely stayed stable or moved up, such as, gaining insights about employers, contacting employers, gaining information about whom a company is looking for, and getting an impression of the company.


Finally, Figure 3 shows (shown above) that the number of candidates who reported applying on the mobile dropped from 14% to 7% this year. The drop in applications and the aforementioned changes in interest for job specific functionalities, indicates that companies are not meeting candidate expectations for job search and applications on mobile. Focusing here could be the answer to bring more candidates into the mobile space. Candidates have high expectations for the mobile experience, but this is also an area where there is large opportunity for companies to set themselves apart in candidate perception. The rankings below show which companies are best utilizing mobile devices to meet candidate expectations. As companies develop their mobile strategy, they should focus on making the experience independently worthwhile. Candidates seem to be shifting towards using the mobile as a tool to learn about a company and not as an application tool, but this dropping interest could easily be a response to a failing of the current platforms to be user friendly and pleasant to use.

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Björn Wigeman

Björn Wigeman is a Senior Advisor and Employer Branding and HR Communication Expert with Potentialpark, joining the firm in 2008. Wigeman is also running the important US market for Potentialpark, where he is heading a lot of global projects. Prior to joining Potentialpark, Wigeman worked with viral marketing at Rebtel.


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