The mobile job search has no winner...yet

Posted by Benjamin Grohé

Find me on:

February 28, 2013

The era of the PC is over. Apple has been saying this for a while and they are right. Sales of tablet computers and smartphones combined have overtaken PC sales. The once #1 PC manufacturer in the country, Dell, just announced that they are going private in order to take radical measures necessary to survive the post-PC era without the harsh glare of shareholders. Even Intel has started killing off its own PC business.

Of course, the change in devices owned and used by consumers has a profound impact on millions of other businesses. Big news outlets report that traffic from mobile devices now reaches and exceeds 50% of their overall traffic at certain hours of the day. Facebook is now a mobile company. Latest reports show that 25% of Americans now use their smartphone, not computers, for the majority of their web surfing.

So how has the move to mobile changed your ability to find the right job? In short: Not much…yet.

Yes, there are apps that support searching for jobs, and maybe some of them even let you apply. But in reality, they are just transferring an online (PC) experience to a smaller screen without adapting it to the mobile world. And that is a problem. What works on a big screen doesn’t necessarily work on a small screen. The when, where and how you use a smartphone should define the experience of the job search the same way it defines the experience of, say, consuming media. The fact is that no company has done the mobile job search right…yet.

We know that. We are talking about it. For starters, our new website is optimized for being viewed on any device. No more frustrations when you pick up your iPad and look at your job matches. Checking out the competition with Scout on your mobile phone? A breeze! Yet, as I said before, if you truly want to create a mobile experience, you have to re-think how job seekers will use their mobile devices to find the perfect job. Different platforms fulfill different needs. For example:

    • Do you have access to your resume on your mobile phone? Probably not.
    • Do you want to compose your cover letter on your iPhone 5? Not really.
    • Do you have time to construct search queries on the go to get perfect job matches? I doubt it.
This is why we started 2013 with a new goal: build an iOS app from scratch.

Our goal is to create an app that is tailored to your mobile device that you can use on the go. This means that we have to find new solutions to problems already solved on the web.

So while you are reading this, we have a team at TheLadders working hard to come up with new solutions for your mobile needs. We are talking to job seekers, observing how they use their mobile devices and testing paper prototypes with them. It’s a new and exciting learning experience for all of us. Every day, we are surprised by the new things we discover, and we question things that we once took for granted. In the end there is one goal: to get the mobile job search right! Stay tuned for more to come.

Ben Grohe is the Head of Product at TheLadders, where he leads development, execution, and product launches to delight the company’s more than 6 million job seekers and 67,000 recruiters and employers, alike. When he is not coming up with innovative ideas to delight our customers, he is celebrating his European heritage by cruising the streets of New York City on his Vespa or playing football (the REAL football). Follow Ben and TheLadders Dev Team on Twitter at @BenGrohe and @TheLaddersDev.

Topics: TheLadders Dev