HR Needs to Grow Up

Mobile solutions are the future of recruitment strategies, but they require alignment with the rest of the business.

By Madeline Laurano
Are you still struggling with your mobile recruitment strategy? Well, you are not alone. Although organizations are rapidly embracing mobile technology for identifying, attracting, and hiring top talent, they are also finding it increasingly difficult to achieve results. While it might be easy to point fingers at talent acquisition solutions providers, organizations need to take a look at their own internal strategy.
With recent advancements in the mobile recruitment industry and providers such as Jibe and iMomentous setting the pace, today’s organizations have options. The greatest challenge in mobile recruitment is not a lack of providers but rather the disconnect between how the business approaches mobile and how HR approaches mobile. In order to bridge this gap and align with overall business objectives, talent acquisition professionals must think more strategically about their use of mobile in terms of both hiring process design and technology selection.
With the consumerization of enterprise technology, mobile has become a key component in any corporate strategy. Organizations are looking to expand globally, and engage employees and customers. Mobile can accelerate each of these goals. In fact, according to Aberdeen’s 2012 Enterprise-Grade Mobile Apps survey, more than 50 percent of organizations have a mobile software initiative in place, while 28 percent of organizations have implemented or plan to implement the position of chief mobile officer in the next year. Not only has mobile redefined today’s workforce, but more than ever before, talent acquisition needs to be a part of this strategy.
Currently, 59 percent of organizations are using mobile devices in support of their talent acquisition efforts. Although mobile has the potential to improve operational efficiency, candidate engagement, and targeting of both active and passive candidates, many HR organizations’ mobile adoptions are immature compared to other areas of the business. One reason is that these organizations have failed to focus on the candidate experience. The business focuses on the customer when deploying a mobile strategy. HR needs to take the same approach to the candidate in order to achieve results.

As organizations look to build a more comprehensive mobile strategy that aligns with the overall corporate mobile strategy, they should consider their options, including web-based mobile HR solutions, native applications, and SMS/texting solutions.
• Text/SMS. Text and SMS (short messaging services) are ubiquitous on today’s mobile devices, and with 67 percent of organizations allowing use of personal devices at work, they serve as ideal candidates for confidential candidate communications (bypassing corporate firewalls and email). Potential candidates can subscribe to receive SMS alerts to receive updates on job opportunities and other related information. Also, recruiters and hiring managers can easily access and engage candidates via text.
• Web-based. Although once considered inferior, web-based apps have improved dramatically over the past couple of years, particularly with recent advancements in the HTML5 standard. HTML5-based apps are often faster to implement than native apps, and are typically compatible across every major mobile platform.
• Native apps. Organizations see many advantages when investing in native apps for recruitment. These apps offer a positive user experience and can enable organizations to even showcase their own employer brand.
As with all mobile tools in human capital management, there are two sides to consider when choosing how to implement or integrate mobile talent acquisition. The first is how these tools can improve the efficiency or effectiveness of recruiting, and the other is how the tools can deliver a positive experience to the candidate. Aberdeen’s 2012 Enterprise-Grade Mobile Apps survey revealed that organizations invest in third-party mobile providers for the following efficiency reasons: lack of in-house expertise (40 percent), lower startup costs (26 percent), and limited internal resources (19 percent). HR must also work with IT to address security concerns, and understand technology requirements and architecture.
In light of these challenges, it is not surprising that the key criteria for selecting mobile solutions include total cost of ownership, ability to support multiple platforms, and price. Although price plays an important role, organizations must also consider other differentiators, including research and product development resources, as well as integration with social media and an optimized end-user experience. Most importantly, organizations should consider providers that bring them closer to aligning with business objectives.
Mobile solutions are the future of high-performing recruitment strategies. With many job apps and mobile HR solutions in the market, the challenge for most organizations is to align their mobile hiring strategy with the overall company strategy, and to select a provider that offers more than just a way to broadcast job descriptions. When building a mobile strategy, organizations need to consider defining what their mobile options are, connecting the dots between social media and a mobile strategy, and selecting a provider that will deliver world-class results.

Madeline Laurano is Aberdeen Group’s research director for talent acquisition solutions. She can be reached at

Tags: Consultants & Advisors, HRO Today Global, Professional Contribution

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