RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

Don’t Fall Behind

Reasons to make mobile part of your recruiting strategy.
By James Beriker
The digital world is going through a seismic shift: users are moving from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets. According to Forbes, there are now four times as many mobile devices as there are PCs in the world, and more phones than people in the United States. Data from comScore shows that 54 percent of all digital consumers engaged across desktop and mobile devices in July 2013.
Mobile is thenew platform.
Our mobile devices are always on, always within reach, and provide us with functional support in all parts of our daily lives—like our very own personal assistant. This new level of engagement is pervasive across all types of users and all types of activities, and job seeking is no exception.
More than 30 percent of Simply Hired’s user traffic occurs on mobile devices, and we expect that number to grow to 50 percent by 2015. Here’s what our data tells us about our mobile users:
Mobile users are spread across devices and platforms.Seventy-five percent of mobile usage occurs on smartphones and 25 percent on tablets. As for devices, 44 percent of users are on Android devices, 29 percent on iOS, and 26 percent on Windows.
Mobile job seekers are more engaged than desktop users.They click on 60 percent more jobs, spend 27 percent more time looking at jobs, spend 25 percent more time in each session, and are 30 percent more likely to have a second session within a week.
Mobile job seekers want to apply for jobs from their devices. In a recent survey of job seekers from Simply Hired, we found that 70 percent of all job seekers use their mobile device to search for jobs, 84 percent believe that employers should have mobile friendly sites, and 85 percent would apply from a mobile device if they could.
Mobile usage is pervasive across all job categories. According to occupational information database ONET, transportation and materials moving makes mobile’s list of the top 10 most frequently searched job categories but is not included on desktop’s list. The opposite is true for arts, design entertainment, sports, and media making desktop’s top 10 but not appearing on mobile.
Mobile users are searching for jobs across a broad range of keywords. The top 10 most popular searches for mobile users are by location; part-time; truck driving; medical assistant; customer service; LPN; nursing; CNS; warehouse; and receptionist.
Even with this accelerated user growth curve, there are roadblocks. Slow adoption of mobile technologies by employers, the limitations of legacy applicant tracking systems (ATS), and the inherent difficulty in completing applications or submitting resumes have made it challenging for job seekers to apply for jobs on their mobile devices. Employers will miss out on this growing pool of highly engaged candidates: According to a recent iMomentous report, 36 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a mobile career section on their site, and only 5 percent have mobile apply capabilities.
The 21st century workforce—your candidates and future employees—is using mobile devices in rapidly increasing numbers. Taking steps toward serving the mobile candidate pool will become critical to the success of your organization over the next few years.
Start with the Basics, Measure, Expand
If interacting with candidates on an entirely new platform seems overwhelming, start small, learn through measurement, and build from there. Before migrating an entire website to mobile, enable the careers section. Or, dedicate a portion of your advertising budget to mobile, and leverage mobile application features offered by job advertising sites before committing resources to building a proprietary platform that integrates with your ATS. Understanding the impact of these early initiatives will be critical in helping you establish the longer-term strategy and getting the internal buy-in and resources that you will need to expand your efforts.
The typical metrics used by recruiters include number of applicants, cost per applicant, and cost per hire. But measurement can be even more granular and offer greater insight into performance in the digital channel. When experimenting with mobile advertising on job search aggregators, employers have the ability to compare number of clicks and cost per click (CPC) across desktop and mobile to determine the value of their investment. A low number of clicks on mobile could indicate that a job is not relevant to mobile candidates or that the CPC is too low. A job that receives a high number of clicks but not many applications could indicate that the job description is too long or the application process is too complicated.
Be sure to continually evaluate performance to learn what works and what doesn’t, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Know Your Audience
As your mobile recruiting efforts become more advanced, it will be important to tailor your efforts based on the needs of your candidate pool. For example, if you are in the trucking business, your audience will be very different than if you are recruiting part-time retail workers, nurses, or sales people. Some trucking firms include a few simple questions about the applicant’s licensing status and driving record as part of the mobile application process, or, knowing that truckers are often on the road, provide a telephone number for candidates to call and immediately apply by phone. Some large retailers and fast-food companies use QR codes at their locations or in newspapers to advertise jobs to on- the-go workers and drive candidates to a mobile application process. A few high-volume employers even allow part-time hourly candidates to submit their applications and engage in a simple assessment process via text message—their preferred mode of communication.
Candidates are leveraging mobile technologies today, and these candidates are relevant and highly engaged. Mobile job search is the new paradigm. Make 2014 the year that your organization enables candidates to find and apply to your jobs from the device closest at hand. By the end of 2015, when more than half of job search activity occurs on mobile devices, you’ll be glad you did.
James Beriker is president and CEO of Simply Hired.

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