Tracking the mobile job-search evolution with TheLadders

Posted by Shankar Mishra

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April 4, 2014

TheLadders examines the mobile job-search evolution through new data insights.

Not too long ago, the job search required a newspaper and a few cups of coffee, while poring over the tiny ads in the classified pages. The job search is now online (thanks to the advent of the internet), leading to easier job discovery and longer job descriptions. At TheLadders, we have leveraged job seekers’ preferences, along with sophisticated mathematical algorithms to simplify the job-search process. While the need for an intelligent and superior job discovery process still exists, we’ve taken steps to address the issue; shifting the underlying platform requirements from a desktop to mobile devices. 

Mobile application usage is consistently growing, increasing more than 115 percent in 2013 (according to Flurry Analytics). In fact, Americans now access the Internet more through mobile devices and tablets than PCs. This platform shift motivated TheLadders to define the evolution of the job search within the mobile space. We launched “Job Search by TheLadders” in 2013 and introduced the idea of job discovery led by job preference, rather than keyword searches. TheLadders’ new method of matching jobs to candidates continuously surfaces relevant jobs within the mobile app, eliminating any lag time between a job being posted and the right job seekers viewing it. Further, the job application process has been simplified, enabling candidates to express intent to employers through a single “Like” action rather than submitting a formal application.

Within six months of launch, “Job Search by TheLadders” surpassed 600,000 downloads. Its popularity prompted us to explore exactly how mobile usage has changed the professional job market. While the job search is still primarily desktop-driven, we have seen a quick acceptance of the mobile platform across most of the U.S. The following map highlights mobile app usage across key U.S. cities. Note that the usage volume is spread out from top metropolitan areas on both coasts to relatively smaller cities within the Midwest as well.


We decided to dig deeper into TheLadders’ database of over six million members for usage patterns. We discovered some key indicators highlighting the way that mobile usage is influencing job views and application frequency. Most notably, by offering job seekers a simple and efficient method to discover relevant opportunities and engage with employers, “Job Search by TheLadders” has increased job seeker activity during the morning commute and the weekends – when the desktop experience is less accessible. The distribution of mobile app usage by day and time is displayed within the following chart.


You’ll notice here that mobile job seekers are far more active during the weekends and between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., representing times when job seekers may have limited access to a desktop. In fact, mobile app users are 34 percent more likely to log in between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. than desktop-based job seekers. On the weekends, mobile users are 49 percent more likely to log in. By allowing job seekers to engage with recruiters while away from their desks, “Job Search by TheLadders” provides job seekers a competitive advantage, offering them the ability to pursue a new position around the clock.

Furthermore, we see that this simplified mobile experience has increased the frequency with which job seekers view jobs. Mobile users view job description details 85 percent of the time, compared to only 70 percent of the time on the desktop experience. Beyond viewing jobs, mobile users are also more likely to quickly express their interest in a position by leveraging a single-click “Like” mechanism rather than committing to the application process. On mobile, the average time between viewing a job and expressing interest to the employer is only 80 seconds, compared to 270 seconds on the desktop. 

Mobile usage within the U.S. continues to grow rapidly each year, pushing the job-search industry through another platform change, similar to the migration from newspapers to online. By offering a mobile app featuring “job preferences-led discovery” and a simplified process to discover jobs and express intent to employers, TheLadders (and its 600+ mobile job seekers!) is paving the way for a more efficient and transparent job-search process.

Click on the following link for more data-driven articles from TheLadders 


Shankar Mishra is the Vice President of Data Science and Analytics at TheLadders. When he is not working to find a simpler solution to difficult problems, he is brainstorming ways to leverage available data to tell a good story. Some of this brainstorming may very well take place on the green with three strangers in his golf foursome.

Topics: TheLadders Insights