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Andreas Lohff

cut-e - An Aon Company


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Four lessons from recruitment for mobile HR


Mobile-optimised HR processes offer a new way to capture, make sense of and utilise a wealth of data on your employees. The insights from this data can not only help you to make better talent decisions and respond quicker and more effectively to the needs of your employees, they can also help your organisation to become more agile, more responsive and more attractive to top talent.

Integration is key to this. If you can connect the different systems that manage your HR processes – such as your Applicant Tracking System, your HR system and your performance management system – you can start to ‘join up’ the resultant data and use it to track or review your talent.

It also becomes much easier to mine, compare and use your data in ways that weren’t possible before. This can help you to make the transition from ‘big data’ to ‘smart talent data’.

The great advantage of optimising your HR processes for mobile devices is that it enables you to collect instant and meaningful data.

Too often HR works in annual – or, at best, quarterly – cycles. Optimising your processes for mobile devices enables you to create a regular dialogue with employees, which promotes agile working and continuous improvement through frequent interaction.

For example, you could instantly survey whether new starters feel part of the team and whether they understand what’s expected of them; you can assess engagement levels easier and manage performance better through more frequent, more focused and more productive talent dialogues and interactions.

Lessons from recruitment

In today’s organisations, nearly everyone has a smartphone and a tablet – and they feel comfortable using these devices to conduct a range of different tasks. Recruiters were quick to capitalise on this trend and, as a result, mobile assessments are increasingly used when hiring staff.

If assessment can be conducted on a mobile device, then so can any other HR process. In assessment, there’s the additional challenge that you need to provide exactly the same testing experience to candidates on every device. In other words, the tests have to provide consistent results.

The lessons that have been learned with job candidates can now be applied in every other area of HR, to engage and communicate better with employees.

For example:

1. Ensure your mobile HR applications are compatible with all devices and screen formats

The design and layout of your HR applications must be configured to work properly on any device. Regardless of whether someone is using an old iPhone or the latest android, the quality and responsiveness of their device should have no impact on their ability to respond.

To ensure your mobile HR applications display properly on different devices – and that they’re compatible with different web browsers – you should create them in HTML5 (the web-page language standard), not Adobe Flash which is not compatible with Apple iPads and iPhones.

Delivering mobile HR processes not only involves redesigning existing processes for a mobile environment and developing entirely new processes specifically for mobile devices, it also means trialling across many different devices to check performance and completion times.

2. Keep your applications short and easy to use

People don’t like completing long tasks on a phone or tablet. Don’t overload them. It’s a challenge to design a quick, aesthetic and engaging user experience for a mobile device, that feels relevant and appropriate.

You also need to ensure that employees are able to respond offline if they lose their internet connection, so that their data isn’t lost

3. Give them something for their time and trouble

In assessment, recruiters provide feedback and development tips to candidates. The same can be offered to employees. Ideally, minimal effort will be required to respond to your applications and you’ll gain a rich source of data in return.

From this, you should be able to produce reports on the overall results and offer individual employees relevant feedback on the implications of their responses.

4. Create talent analytics

By comparing employee data and metrics around productivity, engagement and customer satisfaction ratings, you can gain fresh insights on the attributes and characteristics that influence high performance in your organisation.

These insights can enhance every stage of your talent management lifecycle. For example, you can identify the skills and attributes that differentiate ‘top performers’ from ‘average performers’ in each role.

With analytics, you can ask the right questions that address key organisational pain points and determine the metrics and best practices that will help your organisation achieve greater productivity.

Optimising HR

Utilising mobile devices will help to make your HR processes:

1. Immediate

You can gain instant feedback, as employees are able to respond ‘in the moment’. This can potentially give you a truer indication of each employee’s performance, development needs, engagement level etc on an ongoing basis.

2. Accessible

HR teams need to interact with employees ‘where they are’ (and, increasingly, they’re on-the-go).

The beauty of using mobile devices in HR is that employees who are ‘on the move’ can submit information when and where it is convenient for them.

However, there’s a distinction between tools that are mobile-enabled (they will ‘work’ on a mobile device) and mobile-first (those which have been purpose-built for mobile devices).

An application might play on a mobile device but if it is not optimised for mobile delivery, your employees will not receive the best possible user experience.

3. Employee-centric

Employees like the convenience of mobile HR processes. However, it is important to actively engage them in whatever you’re trying to achieve.

In recruitment, mobile devices enable recruiters to provide an extraordinary experience to candidates that communicates your values and fits your employer brand. The same principle applies when offering mobile HR processes to employees.

Keep your applications short, visually-appealing and interactive. Remember, employees will form opinions about HR’s effectiveness based on their experience of mobile-enabled HR processes.

If you already have online HR processes, where employees submit information via desktops and laptops, then it won’t be a major leap to introduce mobile processes too.

Doing this will provide you with more employee data, which you can use to manage and develop your talent more effectively, enhance employee engagement and boost retention.

This can not only enable your organisation to outperform competitors, it can help you to make each employee feel more engaged and committed at work. 

One Response

  1. Mobile-optimization is almost
    Mobile-optimization is almost required now when thinking about what ATS to choose! Great points here, Andreas. If anyone is looking for such ATS that comes with mobile apps that can be customized to notify you with exactly the right info at the right time, I’d check out Recruitee’s:

    Thanks for sharing!

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