Three things that will give you competitive recruitment advantage with mobile

Mobile recruitment is not a fad. Mobile recruitment is not a trend. Mobile is just what recruitment is now and there is no going back.

The evidence for this is now pretty much overwhelming; a whole series of studies and reports released during 2014 underlined the huge shift in candidate behavior that has taken place. Top job aggregator Indeed announced that it hit a tipping point in March with 54% of its UK job searches coming from mobile devices. The other job boards aren’t far behind and if you don’t believe me then run Google analytics on your careers site and see for yourself just how many of your potential hires are making contact with your recruitment brand via a mobile device.

Other sectors have jumped on this new reality and changed their way of doing business to accommodate the change in behavior of their audience. According to Mintel 41% of UK internet users are using their phones to shop and the major retailers are falling over each other to make sure this business comes to then.

For some reason though most employers are behind the curve when it comes to mobile recruitment, in fact of a lot of recruiters don’t even believe a change has taken place. I was talking to an in house recruiter the other day who told me that they didn’t believe any of the stats about mobile internet ubiquity while simultaneously and unironically tapping away at LinkedIn on their phone.

I’m not sure why so many in our industry choose to ignore the seemingly obvious but rather than turn this post into yet another rant about the lack of mobile recruitment adoption, lets turn things on their head and think differently.

A recent LinkedIn survey suggests that competition for quality hires is one of the biggest issues facing companies this year and it is still the case that the majority of employers aren’t taking mobile into account when they plan their talent attraction strategies. This is fantastic news for the few who get the importance of mobile as they can use it as leverage to create a strong competitive advantage to win the best talent.

So where should you put your focus if you want use mobile to get quality talent into your business? The three key areas to focus on are your Mobile Platform, Mobile Apply and the Content you are using to engage and persuade. I’m going to write about all three areas in detail over the coming weeks but here are the top line "need to knows” for each one:

Mobile Platform (Your Career Site)

First of all don’t let anyone persuade to build an app, it’s not 2010 and most
companies who adopted mobile early for recruitment have moved firmly away from app based recruitment solutions.

At very least you need a careers site that fully functions on mobile devices. Your Ad Agency may well try and sell you a responsive design solution and it is important to ask as many difficult questions as you can to understand what they mean by this. I’ve seen many employers choose an approach that they think is ticking the box in terms of mobile but is actually just delivering a terrible experience.

The best way to engage your audience with a careers site is to think mobile first and design principally for mobile devices with the desktop version being just an add on. This is a big shift in thinking but is well worth doing.

Mobile Apply

It’s 2015 and you can’t dodge this one any more or use your legacy ATS as an excuse. A recent Indeed survey found 78% of job seekers would apply via their mobile device if they were able to. Unfortunately having a non mobile and difficult apply process as a filter to reduce your overall number of poorly targeted applications is counter productive. You are actually more likely to put off the highly desirable applicants who have other choices than the untargeted spammers who are determined to jump through the hoops. So what can you do to improve things?

Review your ATS provision. Can you really afford to continue to tolerate a legacy system that is not fit for purpose for your recruiters and your potential candidates?

If you are stuck in a long term contract then put pressure on your provider and investigate the growing number of services that offer a technical work around for mobile apply

Mobile Content

This is the most neglected and least discussed area of all. Mobile devices are fundamentally changing the way we interface with the web. Attention spans are shorter, distractions are a huge issue, touch has replaced keyboards and even the biggest tablet screen is a lot smaller than the average PC. So how do you engage and persuade top talent in this much changed world?

Video and images are key. For years long form text has been the default method for recruitment marketing so this is a big change. However it is a good change, visual communication is a brilliant way of getting a huge amount of information across in a limited amount of time, embrace it and properly engage with your audience

Give people what they want quickly. Don’t make them search for the information that is relevant to them as they are likely to go somewhere else instead. If you can engage user attention quickly the evidence, from the clients that I have worked with, indicates that they will actually engage with more content on the mobile site than they ever would on desktop.

The best approach if you recruit across a number of different disciplines is to build several targeted microsites rather than one big site that is a constant compromise between the needs of different audiences.

I hope this gives you a good starting point for mobile recruiting in 2015; I’ll be revisiting all of these key areas in more detail in other posts over the coming weeks and months but if you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch.