Businesses everywhere are facing challenges in sourcing and attracting the BEST talent, especially with the onset of a powerful millennial generation with unique characteristics and career desires. One of the main characteristics of the emerging talent pool is that they are not only technology-savvy, but fluent in the use of multiple mobile devices. Tablets, phones, laptops are ubiquitous and candidates expect their experiences to be good – and consistent – on every device they use. For hiring companies of all sizes, mobile recruiting presents a unique set of challenges and opens a new set of opportunities to attract and hire future leaders.
According to a 2013 survey by LinkedIn, 72% of job seekers have visited a company’s career site on their mobile device. Job board sites like Indeed and Monster are seeing up to 40% of their traffic coming from mobile, and that number is expected to exceed 50% in 2014. Soon the majority of job searches will be conducted on a mobile device.
In the early days of the Internet, companies could choose to post jobs on a website, or not. When social media recruiting came of age, companies could again choose to post jobs on social media sites, or not. But mobile is different. Mobile is a choice the job seeker has made. Companies need to have a mobile recruiting presence because job seekers are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets to research opportunities. So the only question that remains is: What kind of mobile experience will a company offer?
An effective mobile recruiting strategy is more than just a mobile-friendly application form. Mobile is increasingly becoming the first experience a job seeker has with an employer, so the opportunity to engage them is critically important. That first impression can either draw a candidate in or it can be a roadblock to a candidate’s experience.
“Capturing the attention and interest of a job seeker is the first goal of a mobile career site,” says Ed Newman, Vice President of Strategy for iMomentous, a mobile recruiting solution provider. “The mobile experience needs to engage candidates with compelling content, videos, photos, and social media that showcases the employer brand. The application is just the tip of the iceberg.”
There are three things that companies should be doing right now:
1. Create a mobile-optimized career site. Nothing frustrates smartphone users more than a website built for the desktop that doesn’t work well on mobile. Firms like iMomentous can help transform a traditional careers page into a mobile-friendly layout with content appropriate for a 4-inch screen. “That first impression makes all the difference,” says Newman.
2. Utilize social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, as well as job boards to drive traffic to a mobile careers page. Job seekers are already using smartphones and apps to search for jobs and research companies, so providing a mobile destination should be central to any recruiting strategy. QR codes, short URLs, and SMS keywords are also great tools to direct job seekers directly to the mobile site at career fairs and on-campus recruiting events.
3. Streamline and “mobilize” the job application. According to Mr. Newman, “The application should take no more than 5 minutes to complete on mobile. Capture just the required fields for a valid application and solicit additional information from candidates in subsequent steps.” Candidates can submit a LinkedIn profile or upload a résumé from cloud services like Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), Google Drive, Dropbox, or Evernote.
Mobile recruiting has become the go-to channel for job seekers to explore new opportunities. Focusing on candidate engagement and the user experience is the key to driving successful applications. Companies that embrace this new channel will get more mileage out of their recruitment dollars and position themselves as the employer of choice for today’s top candidates.