After more than 25 years in the HR field, I have seen my share of technology shifts and breakthroughs that have influenced the face of Recruiting. Every time it happens the hype machine kicks into gear and we come up with fancy names and labels. In the early ‘90s when applicant tracking systems were coming of age, we called it Electronic Recruiting. About 5 years later when the web exploded, we called it Internet Recruiting. By 2007 with the advent of LinkedIn and Facebook, it was Social Recruiting. And now with the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, we have all jumped on the Mobile Recruiting bandwagon.
For the last twelve months I have been very focused on the evolution of the mobile recruiting space, and I can tell you there is no shortage of hype. There has been a flood of new solution providers; in fact, it seems as though any vendor selling a recruiting related product is now all about mobile. There is so much noise about mobile recruiting it makes it hard to know what’s real. Will your ATS vendor have it solved in the next release? Will the recruitment ad agency fix everything with responsive web? Isn’t it OK for job seekers to email themselves a link to apply later on a desktop?
If you are in talent acquisition and trying to figure out mobile, here are 4 key truths I would like to share with you:
1. It’s not about mobile recruiting: The first thing we need to do is stop thinking of it as “mobile recruiting.” While we have seen a lot of changes over the last couple of decades, one thing remains constant: Recruiting is Recruiting. We need to begin by thinking how can we utilize the new technology to recruit better, faster, and more cost effectively. It is still about recruiting; mobile is just an opportunity to compete for talent via a new medium.
2. Mobile optimization is more than the form factor: You need to think way beyond solving the interface problem. People consume content differently using mobile devices than desktop Internet access. You need to account for the touch screen navigation, larger buttons for fingers and thumbs. But more importantly you need to think about a new content strategy. Video is easier (and better) to consume than lots of text, and people are expecting a more contextual and interactive experience. You should think about how you will keep the content fresh by adding games or challenges and changing them on a monthly basis.
3. Mobile is a parallel universe: Do not be suckered into believing that Mobile is just another micro-site and all you need to do is make sure your job list is viewable. Mobile is a parallel universe and you should have as many or more mobile micro sites than you ever had for desktop. If you will be diverting the 20 – 30% of you traffic to a mobile site, you will want to make sure they receive a rich experience with the full impact of your employer brand messaging.
4. Job Seekers Want to Apply on Mobile: People often ask “Will job seekers really want to apply for jobs on mobile?” The answer is simple: Not if the experience is horrible! This question always reminds me of 1999, when people were asking “will job seekers really enter their personal information in an online job application?” We all know the answer to this – but make sure you take the time to do it right. If you simply take an over engineered and cumbersome apply process from the desktop and put it on mobile, you will only make matters worse.
As I reflect on the mobile trend, it makes me think about Accessibility. We have all these regulations to make public buildings and facilities accessible to people with handicaps. We have ramps and wide doors to make sure a person in a wheelchair can get through. But who else gains from this? Everyone with a roller board, a stroller, shopping cart, or suitcase. We do it to provide accessibility; however, it’s good for everyone.
Mobile recruiting is an opportunity to rethink everything about how we connect with and engage job seekers. This will not only be good for people on mobile devices, it will be good for everyone.