Ed Newman | ,| By
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With any hot new technology trend the hype machine can shift into high gear. Mobile recruiting has been no different. You cannot go more than a day or two without being bombarded with new stats about the number of mobile devices being sold, or the fact that people check their smart phone 110 times a day. But there are now reports of mobile job seeker traffic between 30 – 40% on various job sites and you can no longer ignore it. Candidates are accessing your career pages on mobile and the numbers are growing rapidly.
Most companies are looking at this as though it’s a problem to be solved. How can we make our apply pages mobile friendly? In fact, the entire category of mobile recruiting is often referred to as “mobile apply.”
But Mobile is part of a much bigger technology trend that is as significant a shift as the Web was in the 1990s. If you think bolting on a mobile apply interface is all you need, you are missing out on a much bigger opportunity to change the way we engage candidates. In the short run it’s ok to just treat the symptom and if you have any type of mobile career presence, you will be better than most. But eventually it is going to matter how good it is.
As you begin to look beyond the hype, here are a four things to consider to help build out your long-term strategy:
Taking Mobile Long-Term in 4 Steps
Think Mobile First
Everything you put in front candidates should be from a Mobile First perspective. If you start with content and functionality built for a desktop browser and scale down to mobile browsers, you risk watering down the experience and make your mobile site look like an after thought. By optimizing the content for mobile first and expanding with enhancements you will be looking for ways to make it better on larger screens rather than deciding what to trim.
Multi Screen Integration
If 30% of your traffic is coming from mobile – there is still another 70% who aren’t. In fact it is more likely that users will visit on more than one interface. You will want to make sure the experience is consistent no matter what device is being used and that a candidate can start the process on one and finish on another.
We need to start thinking less about the screen size and more about the overall context of the user. Businesses have figured this out within consumer marketing, why can’t we do this for our candidates? In addition to considering what device the user is on, we should be delivering content and user experiences based on the link they came in from, their current location, what keywords they used, have they visited before, what jobs did they look at, their social footprint, and application history.
The general consensus in our industry is that native apps are a waste of time. The logic is that job seekers don’t want to download an app for every company they are exploring. While that does make sense, it really only applies to candidates at the top of the funnel. The reality is, apps are the primary interface for smartphone users. According to mobile analytics company Flurry, people spend 86% of their time on mobile Apps versus mobile web browsing. We should stop thinking about apps as something that a user will download and keep forever, and use them vehicle to distribute a chunk of functionality for a very specific purpose. Every conference you attend has an app to download and use for just 2-3 days. I know of two companies who distribute downloadable apps to candidates and hiring managers to facilitate the interview process. How about campus events? The possibilities are endless.
If you haven’t taken any action to address the mobile opportunity, you should not feel too bad because this segment is just getting started. But the reality is, when it comes to mobile recruiting you really have no choice. Candidates are coming on mobile whether you are ready or not. It’s only a question of how good the experience is.