Whitepaper - Mobile Recruitment: Why, When and How?


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Since Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, closely followed in 2008 by the first mobile device built around a revolutionary new operating system by the name of ‘Android’, the world has enjoyed the meteoric rise of the smartphone. It’s had a significant impact on the way we communicate with our friends, do business, learn new things and entertain ourselves – and now it’s the turn of recruitment to receive the ‘mobile’ treatment.

According to LinkedIn, 74% of active job seekers have used a mobile device to view a job opportunity. It’s clear that mobile recruitment services are being welcomed by global job seekers, but what other evidence is there that it’s here to stay? Meanwhile, how reactive have recruiters been so far, and what factors should they be considering in order to implement an effective mobile recruitment system?

In this whitepaper, we’ll take a look at these questions in further detail, using relevant statistics to provide additional context. There are also a number of recommendations throughout, with the aim of providing some practical advice to those who may be considering mobile recruitment for the first time.

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Whitepaper - Mobile Recruitment: Why, When and How?

  1. 1. Mobile Recruitment - Why, When and How. A Technically Compatible Whitepaper. 22 April 2014 Connect Technically Compatible Tel: 0800 488 0175 The Evolve Building Int Tel: +44 191 305 1042 Rainton Bridge Business Park Houghton-le-Spring Co Durham DH4 5QY @TechCompatible
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION The meteoric rise of mobile internet has been both rapid and incredibly influential. As a disruptive force, we can consider it a true game-changer; the growth of mobile has shifted the core paradigms by which many different high-profile global industries operate. It’s a global change that doesn’t look to be ending any time soon. According to Cisco, monthly mobile traffic will surpass 15 exabytes by 2018. To put this into context, the monthly total in 2013 was 1.5 exabytes, while the total size of all internet traffic in the year 2000 was just 1 exabyte. Monthly mobile traffic will surpass 15 exabytes by 2018. The monthly total for 2013 was 1.5 exabytes. “ ” The Mobile Age. So it’s clear then – to simply suggest that mobile internet is here to stay is very much an understatement. We’re well into the era of the smartphone, so it’s not surprising that, like so many other industries, recruitment has been swept up in the revolution. In this whitepaper we’ll discuss the whens, whys and hows of mobile recruiting; in fact, we’ll cover ‘when’ right here. To paraphrase the popular ‘Moloko’ song, itself from the year 2000; ‘The Time is Now’ to seriously consider embracing mobile technology in your recruitment processes. We’ll discuss the other two points in the following pages, along with practical recommendations along the way and relevant statistics to provide additional insight. Source: Cisco - ‘Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018’ 1
  3. 3. WHY? To begin, let’s explore the ‘whys’ of mobile recruitment. The first Apple ‘iPhone’ was released to much acclaim in 2007, followed by the ‘T-Mobile G1’ the following year – the first handset to feature a quirky new operating system by the name of ‘Android’. And thus western society entered the era of the smartphone, arguably the single largest development in consumer technology of the past decade. In the years since, the number of smartphones available has grown exponentially, as manufacturing processes and technological advancements have allowed far greater accessibility for the average consumer. According to Guy Phillipson, Chief Executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau, UK smartphone penetration will hit 75% in 2014. With such wide usage now providing easy access to internet-on-the-go, how has this changed the recruitment landscape? Last year, LinkedIn surveyed a selection of their substantial user base in an effort to ascertain how engaged professionals are with job seeking via their mobile devices. The results, displayed below, speak for themselves; 74% of active job seekers have used their mobile device to view a career opportunity sent via their inbox. The other key take-away from these statistics is point 5; almost half of active job seekers have actually applied for a position using a mobile device. If you’re looking for an acid test on mobile recruitment, this should be it. While it’s arguably not surprising that candidates are viewing jobs and surfing social media on mobile devices, the fact that a substantial amount are actually applying for jobs using a mobile platform is significant. Applying for a job is far more involving than simply looking; it’s often a process that takes considerably more time and effort, and obviously holds some importance. With this in mind, one could perhaps expect this step would more likely be taken through a traditionally conventional channel, but clearly, a considerable amount of candidates now feel comfortable with using their devices throughout the process. Should mobile become the status quo? LinkedIn’s survey is just one of a growing group suggesting that mobile recruitment is fast becoming an expectation with candidates. Take a look at your recruitment website analytics; do the stats show users accessing on their mobile devices? We should certainly make the point here - for some recruitment agencies, a mobile solution may not be such a pressing issue. Some businesses prefer to use popular online job boards to advertise positions, which can provide greater exposure. If your own website only accounts for a small amount of candidate traffic, the business case for a mobile solution may not be as compelling - a cost / benefit analysis of such activities should always be considered. Do job seekers really care about mobile? 1. Have viewed career opportunities sent to their inbox. 2. Have visited a company website to learn about careers. 3. Have browsed career opportunities on job board sites. 4. Have browsed career opportunities on social and professional networks. 5. Have applied for a job. 6. Have uploaded a resume to send or attach to a job application. 7. Have downloaded a company app in order to apply to a job. ‘How professionals interact with career opportunities via mobile.’ Source: LinkedIn - ‘Mobile Recruitment Playbook’ 2
  4. 4. So while it’s clear that the majority of job seekers want to engage with mobile recruitment, what has the response been from recruiters? One would expect that, faced with the stats, proactive recruiters will have taken some steps to integrate mobile into their recruitment processes. The simplest and most obvious reaction is one that all businesses, regardless of industry, are immediately needing to consider; the expectation of a fully-functional mobile web presence. In simple terms, a mobile-optimised website needs to retain its aesthetic appeal and practicality, regardless of what type of device is used to access it. It’s often obvious when you land on a page that isn’t optimised for mobile; the page may not scale properly on the screen and, depending on how the page is built, some parts may not load at all. This then, is probably a worthy ‘first hurdle’ - before worrying too much about the recruitment process, one should at least make sure that the company’s web presence is indeed fully functional on mobile devices. Beyond this though, there are a number of different steps and strategies than can be used to optimise recruitment for mobile. The apt question then, is how have recruiters reacted to mobile recruitment? Do general offerings match up with the expectations of job seekers? Have recruiters been proactive? RECRUITER RESPONSE of adults think a company’s mobile website should be as good or better than their desktop site. 85% Job seekers can access the company website via mobile. Dec 2011 Feb 2013 Dec 2011 Feb 2013 Job seekers can apply for a job on mobile using a previously saved profile. To provide some context here, we refer to a recent set of surveys questioning HR executives on the topic of mobile recruitment, first taken in December 2011 and then again in February 2013. As shown in the charts on the left-hand side of the page, it was found that there were considerable improvements in both mobile website accessibility and the ability to apply for jobs via mobile in the 14 months between the two surveys. This provides clear evidence that, at least for this sample of HR executives, the need to cater for mobile recruitment has been explicitly identified. One could certainly argue that there is room for much further improvement, but since the data is now a year old (and the pace of mobile technology adoption is so rapid), it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect to find similar or even more substantial improvements over the past year, were the survey to be taken again. There is indeed some evidence that recruiters have been reactive to the need for mobile recruiting technologies. However, there is also an obvious disconnect between the expectations of job seekers and what is generally offered; according to LinkedIn, only 20% of recruiting leaders have mobile optimised career sites, while just 13% believe they have already invested enough in the area. The first place to begin catching up with candidate expectations is the fundamental need of a mobile optimised web presence, which should be considered a cross-functional business imperative. Beyond this, a strategic approach to mobile recruitment should be taken, which will be discussed in the next section. A sluggish response. Source: CareerXroads - ‘The Evolving World of Mobile’ 3
  5. 5. Social media can be a great asset to your recruitment efforts. Candidates will often use it in an effort to gain an insight to your employer brand and company culture. Beyond this, and especially relevant for professional social networks such as LinkedIn, job seekers also use social as a channel to hunt for jobs. In October 2013, 48% of Facebook’s daily users were mobile only, so it makes sense that social media should take its place as part of your mobile recruitment strategy. Do you currently consider social media when you advertise new openings? Again, it should be a practise in objectivity – would your social media presence have a positive (or negative!) impact on someone considering joining the business as an employee? Your company may even have been ‘reviewed’ as an employer on sites such as glassdoor.co.uk, so the monitoring of such services is a good idea. Let’s assume your company website has been optimised for mobile (after all, unless your business operates within the recruitment industry, this isn’t a task we would expect to be is solely driven by recruitment motives); the best place to start from here is what job seekers expect to see on your mobile careers site: Once you have the key information and appropriate website infrastructure in place, it becomes a case of refining the intricacies of your solution to fully optimise the return. While many job seekers cite the lack of a CV saved on their device as a reason for not applying via mobile, a significant amount also suggest that they had tried, but it either took too long, or was too complex a process. Go through the whole process yourself, making a dummy application, or perhaps ask a third-party to do so for you. The key here is to be objective and see the process through the eyes of a potential candidate. Is it too lengthy? Could any of the sections be deemed unnecessary at this stage? Ultimately, this is a search for simplicity; make it easier and people are more likely to apply – you can worry about the rest later. The best place to start. The above can be used as five core pillars of information that should be covered by your mobile recruitment solution. However, it’s equally important to make sure your mobile user interface is designed to be simple and intuitive. Regardless if you have a great depth of information, the first thing that is likely to put off a potential candidate is a poor user experience. Key Information. 40% of people who said they hadn’t applied for a job via mobile suggested it was due to not having their CV saved on the device. A quick fix for this is to use popular cloud storage services, such as Google Drive. By saving your CV here, it will be easily accessible on all of your personal devices. Candidate tip. Source: LinkedIn - ‘Mobile Recruiting Statistics Infographic’ http://talent.linkedin.com/blog/index.php/2014/02/mobile-recruiting-statistics-infographic IMPLEMENTATION 94%Current job openings 72%Description of company culture 61%Company history 56% Benefits info 45%Employee profiles Making things social. 4
  6. 6. Connect Technically Compatible The Evolve Building Rainton Bridge Business Park Houghton-le-Spring Co Durham DH45QY Tel: 0800 488 0175 Int Tel: +44 191 305 1042 @TechCompatible www.technicallycompatible.com Sources CareerXroads - ‘'The Evolving World of Mobile'’ Cisco - ‘'Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018' LinkedIn - ‘'The Mobile Recruitment Playbook'’ LinkedIn - 'Mobile Recruitment Statistics Infographic' Marketing Magazine - 'IAB Engage - Smartphone penetration to reach 75% in 2014.' TechCrunch - 'Facebook's Mobile Tipping Point'