In my previous article I discussed the need for mobile integration in the candidate application process, but the use of such devices doesn’t end there. Indeed, given the nature of the millennial workforce, I would argue that it is imperative mobile is part of the entire candidate experience.
If we look more closely at the next stage – assessment – for example, there’s a real opportunity for an improvement in mobile incorporation for the benefits of not only the candidates themselves, but also the hirers, resourcing managers and HR teams. More importantly, though, there is a real business case for better use of these devices.
In a recent report published by Alexander Mann Solutions and psychometric assessment firm, SOVA Assessment, we found that 89% of applicants consider their mobile as a key tool throughout the entire recruitment process. This means that a huge number of individuals could be lost at the assessment stage due to a lack of integration with these devices.
It’s perhaps fair to say that there are very few organisations currently successfully implementing mobile assessment opportunities for many reasons. Arguably the biggest factor is the current format of the tests themselves. With often lengthy questions and multiple choice answers, many existing assessments are simply not compatible with mobile devices, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be. By slimming down questions to make them readable on smaller screens, HR professionals will not only be evolving the process to match the modern world, but will also be improving engagement with the millennial generation who naturally seek the quickest route available to an outcome. Indeed, we just need to look at their consumer habits to see that this demographic want results quickly. A recent report by Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates, for example, reported that 64% of millennials were more likely to make a purchase from a retailer that offered same-day delivery.
This mobile evolution should also extend to the interview process as well. In the first instance, interview booking procedures can be simplified by enabling the candidate to take more control. If we consider that we can book a hotel room from our mobile phones, why can’t the same principle be incorporated into interview scheduling? Yes this might be a daunting task and potentially tricky to set up to start with, but the benefits in the long term will be huge. Not only will a business be able to remove some of the administrative headaches of this process, but they will also be able to speed up interview bookings while appealing to the mobile nature of today’s workforce.
On similar lines, integrating such devices to carry out interviews themselves is key. Given that laptops are becoming less popular – with cross-platform measurement company comScore claiming that desktops are losing out to mobile devices which now account for 65% of digital media activity alone – inviting individuals to carry out desktop video interviews will increasingly become irrelevant.
So in what shape can these mobile-first interviews take form?
The first is an on demand interview that is, in essence, akin to ‘face-time’ on iPhones. These can be booked online and are able to include several panellists, enabling those organisations with hiring decision makers located across multiple locations to ensure all parties have the opportunity to interview without the subsequent travel needs.
The second is a pre-recorded option where applications are asked to record a short interview and then respond to a variety of tailored questions. The benefit of this approach is that individuals can respond at their leisure and in an environment they feel relaxed in, potentially improving their performance. For interviewers, the ability to review these responses whenever their schedule allows will also prove a valuable time saver.
While there are some who are understandably cautious about the idea of removing the physical face-to-face meetings, I would argue that incorporating mobile simply defers when these take place and reduces how many meetings are required. Again, this not only diminishes the time and cost impact for hiring managers, but it also improves the candidate experience and limits time wastage from the applicant’s perspective.
If we consider that this time last year Ofcom revealed that smartphones had overtaken laptops as the most popular device for accessing the internet in the UK, the need for mobile integration in the entire candidate cycle is clear. Yes, it will be a daunting thought for many HR professionals, but the benefits are clearly numerous for hiring teams and the overall company employer brand. Those organisations that get ahead of the curve now will certainly leap ahead of the competition in the talent acquisition arena.