Job seekers are increasingly searching via handhelds reports a new survey from SimplyHired. Are you configured?
In the United States, nearly everyone owns a mobile phone. By 2016, the number of mobile devices is expected to surpass the world’s population—an 18-fold increase between 2011 and 2016. Increased smartphone use and WiFi capabilities mean mobile devices are beginning to seriously rival laptops and desktops as a primary method for Internet browsing and communication. SimplyHired’s new survey Mobile Recruiting Outlook takes a deep dive into how mobile has changed job search and recruitment.
Job seekers are leading the job market in mobile adoption and turning to mobile devices to browse for job openings on the go because it saves both time and energy. In addition, mobile phones offer privacy and the ability for job seekers to access website outside of corporate firewalls, or to easily step away if necessary. Mobile accessibility allows people to job search at any time, from anywhere—opening up opportunities not previously available, even online. Clearly the rise in mobile capability and adoption has opened up new ways for employers to communicate with job seekers, and employers without a solid mobile presence will be left behind.
Employers must provide a seamless experience between their online site and their mobile presence to attract potential candidates. In many instances, traffic improves once companies optimize their sites for mobile. Seven out of 10 people already search for jobs via mobile devices, and three out of 10 job seekers have already applied for a job via a mobile device.
There are many different apps related to job search, resume writing, and interviewing available for download. iTunes offers more than 70 job search apps. The mobile app industry itself has created 500,000 jobs in the U.S. since 2007. As mobile job search becomes more defined and clear in terms of what is needed to make the process as effective as possible, key apps and players in the industry will emerge as leaders in the space. If employers want to be ahead of the curve, they must step up to the plate and develop their mobile strategy, which should include mobile apps.
For hiring managers, the mobile boom allows for faster turnaround times and a new way of connecting with candidates and satisfying their needs. After people apply to a job, they end up anxiously waiting to hear back for the next step. One way to leverage mobile would be to respond to a candidate with an SMS (short message service) message, confirming that their application has been received. A mobile phone is the one device that individuals have closest at hand.
Employers need to focus on creating easy-to-use, mobile-friendly website and career pages to reach and satisfy on-the-go, time-strapped candidates. Job seekers are eagerly embracing mobile:
• 72 percent of job seekers want to receive career opportunity information over their smartphone;
• 84 percent of job seekers think job organizations should have mobile-friendly sites; and
• 86 percent of job seekers who have a smartphone say they would use it to search for jobs.
Another element that makes mobile optimization important for businesses is the rise of social media as a networking tool. Many mobile recruiting apps and websites provide a seamless way for job seekers to connect with employers and industry professionals on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
Nearly 60 percent of HR recruiters, directors, and managers report they consider social media the next big wave in reaching more qualified candidates. Companies without a solid mobile presence that incorporates social media are set to fall behind. HR managers and recruiters are adapting to the ways younger generations express themselves and their professional aspirations:
• 86 percent of recruiters are likely to look at social media profiles;
• 90 percent of job seekers think HR managers will look at their social profiles before offering an interview/job offer; and
• 60 percent of job seekers use social media as a part of their job search.However, social media is not necessarily replacing recruiting technologies—it is simply helping candidates leverage their networks.
Smartphones allow employers to not only attract more job seekers, but to enable employers to reach job seekers who are particularly mobile and tech-savvy, such as Milllenials. By 2018, Millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce. Millennials are heavy mobile and social media uses, and their technological expertise will benefit employers because they have grown up with technology and are comfortable using it. This presents an opportunity that businesses can’t ignore—an opportunity to reach a younger generation that is already accessing apps and surfing the Web on their mobile devices.
With mobile technology making a company’s information always available at a candidate’s fingertips, it can, make an employer’s job much easier in terms of finding the right workers. In an age of competition, scare jobs, sought-after employers, networked professionals, and changing market dynamics, everyone is keeping an eye out for the next job opportunity, or at least keeping their pipeline warm. This fact lends itself to the always-connected generation, and epitomizes the benefits of mobile use of companies that want to reel in top candidates—and effectively blur the line between the active and passive candidate.
Mobile Job Search Challenges
Although mobile job search in recruiting is on the rise, there are still gaps in the industry and other issues to be addressed.
“Today, the biggest hurdle mobile job seekers face is the lack of an easy application process,” says James Veriker, president and CEO of Simply Hired. “Only seven percent of employers have a mobile version of their career website, and only three percent have a mobile job app. In addition, only nine percent of websites are optimized for web use.
These apps and mobile sites are varied and scattered, making it difficult for job seekers to easily apply to a position while on the go. While there are some products looking to solve this issue, these gaps in the process need to be addressed in order for mobile job search to live up to its potential.”
It’s still unclear whether a mobile site, app, or hybrid model is the best approach for employers—the conclusions are this time are limited, so its difficult for many employers to know where to focus their resources in terms of fully developing their mobile recruiting strategy. There is still room for key players, products, and services to emerge in the mobile recruiting space, but in the meantime employers can fill the gaps with their own recruiting apps and mobile websites.
Job seekers are embracing the mobile trend—and they’re using mobile at high rates when it comes to conducting the job search. Seventy-seven percent of job seekers use mobile job search apps, and 86 percent of job seekers report using their mobile devices for job searching in general.
Top top job app downloads by category are entry-level and college grad (24.8 percent); location-based or geographically focused (20.9 percent); finance (8.3 percent); healthcare (6.2 percent); and technology (6 percent).
In recruiting, candidates reported the top reasons they use job search apps:
• 36 percent like that they can quickly react to job postings
• 24 percent being able to job search anytime, anywhere
• 18 percent like that mobile offers a discreet way to search for jobs
Of the 86 percent of job seekers who report that they would use their smartphone for job searching, here’s how candidates indicated they would use mobile for landing a position:
• 55 percent want to receive alerts
• 45 percent want to apply for jobs
• 45 percent want to be able to track their application status
• 23 percent share the information with friends via email
• 32 percent would seek advice and references
• 19 percent would share information with others through social networks
For employers, mobile enablement is a must for staying ahead of the competition. It’s more efficient, allows for faster decision making, and is cost effective, making it possible to reach more candidates faster, and on a medium they’re already using to seek out information.
Encouraging candidates to apply on mobile devices is beneficial for both the company and the candidate. Mobile recruiting allows for faster turnaround time, helping the job seeker to alleviate some of the stress and waiting time involved in hearing back about their application. SMS text notifications provide job seekers immediate access and knowledge about open jobs, and career pages optimized for mobile viewing help candidates to get the information they need in a fast and easy format.
Mobile Recruiting Tips for Employers
There are many easy ways for employers to optimize their recruiting strategy and make it accessible for those using mobile devices.
- Develop mobile-optimized sites—specifically, the careers and about sections of the websites should be optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
- Enable tracking data to determine which devices candidates are using to view your mobile site, as well as their location.
- Encourage candidates to use mobile technology to learn about your company or product. For static information create a mobile site; for videos, actions, or touch capabilities, create an app.
- Add contact pages to get in touch with recruitment and HR teams.
- Pay attention to cross-platform development—recruiters should be able to reach candidates no matter what mobile device they may be using. This means it is often necessary to code apps and mobile sites in a cross-platform markup language, such as the emerging contender in the space, HTML5.
- Allow job seekers to easily share the paces of your careers section with friends via email and social networks.
- Have a consistent, timely, well-branded company presence on key social networks, which job seekers are likely to turn to when using mobile devices to access company information. This includes sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and blogging sites like Tumblr or Wordpress.
- Offer opportunities for job seekers to register with one click to indicate their interest in a position and receive an email with more information on the company, open jobs, and contact information.
- All job seekers to receive email or SMS text notifications when new jobs open up.
- Allow candidates to upload and edit resumes and cover letters via mobile devices or tablets.
- Add mobile pre-screening questions to job postings to weed out the wrong candidates before they even apply.
- Provide job seekers with the opportunity to track their application status on their smartphone.
The above was excerpted from the whitepaper 2013 Mobile Recruiting Outlook from SImplyHired.