Don’t Be Left Behind

Organizations need to pay attention to mobile recruitment

I do not understand individuals who willingly subject themselves to the training and race requirements of a triathlon.  My wife took up the sport within the last few years, and while inspirational, her level of passion for the sport leaves me scratching my head.  Now she is not competing in an Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run), but she is regularly involved in what are referred to as Sprint (.47 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) and Olympic (.93 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) triathlons. 

Her drive has inspired me to at least make an effort to get in better shape myself.  So, I decided to buy a road bike and go with her on some of her training rides.  The first time was a humbling experience!  I was fine for the first five miles or so, but as we approached mile 10, 15, 20 and beyond, it became painfully obvious she was in much better shape than me.  Frankly, I could see her peeking back on a regular basis to make sure she had not left me behind, which she could have easily done.

Translate this mindset into the talent acquisition function.  The technologies being leveraged by candidates is out pacing the organizations who are trying to recruit them.  There is a race going on in the marketplace, and companies will either make the decision to invest in order to compete or will get left behind.  There have been a number of articles and studies completed throughout the last three years pertaining to the proliferation of mobile device usage within the job seeker population, yet I see very few companies taking steps to address this fact.  Multiple sources conclude that less than 13% of corporate career sites in the US are mobile friendly.  Let me share some statistics which give an indication on where things are going.

Pew Research Center reports 68% of Americans own a smartphone.  According to a study completed by the International Data Corporation, 63% of smartphone users leverage their mobile device as the primary mode of accessing the internet.  If you extrapolate this out, it means as much as 43% of the US population uses a smartphone more than any other device to connect to the web.  There is not a conclusive study which shows smartphone adoption by profession, but as an example a survey conducted by InCrowd, a Boston based marketing intelligence firm, found 95% of nurses surveyed own smartphones.  If you are a healthcare organization targeting nurses, this might equate to nearly 60% of applicants surfing your career pages doing so via mobile device.  Are you ready for them, or are you being left behind?  Some organizations who have optimized their career sites for mobile applicants report as many as 20% of their hires result from mobile applies.  Think about it, having a mobile friendly apply process could have a dramatic effect on your ability to secure the best talent by allowing you to capture a higher percentage of those who have an interest in your openings.

Spend just a few minutes surfing the web for statistics pertaining to online job seeker behavior and you will discover mobile job search is quickly overcoming the desktop as the primary point of access.  In fact, Indeed.com reported all the way back in 2014 (an eternity ago as it pertains to technology) that mobile overtook desktop job searches on their site.  Can you imagine what it might be today?

What do you need to do to pick up the pace so you can better position yourself to not be left in the stone ages?  

  1. Evaluate your current career site from a smartphone … Does it respond properly to a mobile device?  Do you have to pinch and zoom to read the page content?  Are buttons large and easy to push with a finger?
  2. Evaluate your apply process from a smartphone … Can you complete the entire apply process from the phone?  Are you able to either leverage a resume saved on the cloud (Linkedin, Indeed, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.) or can you use a mobile friendly wizard to build a profile?
  3. Lean on partners to address gaps … Leverage your marketing or IT resources, including vendors, to help you create and execute a plan of attack.  Consider partnering with a recruitment solutions firm to help you build and implement a mobile compliant process.

There are many technology providers who claim to offer a mobile optimized apply process.  Proceed with caution when these claims are made.  Many offer a mobile friendly job search function, will allow a candidate to view jobs in a mobile optimized way, but do not actually allow the candidate to complete the apply process from their phone.  These providers typically request the candidate to enter an email address and then present a message directing the applicant to go to a computer to complete the apply process.  This does not qualify as a mobile optimized apply process in my book.

Setting a goal and investing in the proper training is what allowed my wife to achieve success in her races.  The same holds true for the race for talent which you are a part of.  Will you make the proper investments, or will you struggle to compete and risk being left behind?