It wasn’t that long ago that the only way a candidate could find a new job was by flicking through newspaper ads, searching through job boards or speaking to a recruitment agency. Likewise, businesses looking for new talent used to rely heavily on the luck of the draw, having only a limited pool of active candidates to choose from.
Over the last decade the landscape of recruitment has completely changed. The growth of online professional networks and social media has revolutionised the industry. And now as these social platforms have made their way to mobile, there has been another shift in how talent and opportunity are connected.
Smartphone penetration in the UK will soon reach 75% of the population – you may even be reading this on your mobile right now. Within the space of just a few years, smartphones have evolved from devices for checking emails, to personal shopping outlets, social organisers and even fitness instructors. Today, mobile is increasingly being used as a channel for candidates to discover and connect with potential employers, all while they’re on the move.
But while m-commerce and m-health have taken the world by storm, ‘m-recruitment’ hasn’t yet reached its full potential. For example, nearly 40% of visits to LinkedIn today come from a mobile device, but our annual Global Recruiting Trends research found that only 13% of employers globally feel that they invest adequately in mobile. So what’s in it for business?
- Reaching mobile natives: For a fast-growing number of candidates, mobile isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s the only channel they use. On LinkedIn for example, 50% of job views from mobile devices come from candidates who have never engaged with jobs on the desktop. And as Generation Y enters the work force, that figure will only increase. Companies need to prioritise mobile in order to capitalise on this wider talent pool.
- Accommodating the new candidate journey: With the discreet and convenient nature of mobile, today’s candidates are increasingly hopping across to their smartphones to browse jobs and research companies. As a result, employers that ensure they’re visible at all times on all devices will be in a better position to reach passive talent while they’re on the move.
- Snapping up talent… fast: The recruitment industry now runs 24/7, and sometimes a few hours can make the difference between securing the best candidates and losing them to competitors. Equipping your business’ recruiters with the right mobile tools will ensure efforts don’t come to a standstill while staff are in meetings or on the move, and is key to winning the race for talent.
The benefits are clear, but once your business is bought into the concept, how do you go about implementing it?
It’s a question that I’m often asked, and the first thing I always point out is that mobile is a different entity to online. It’s not enough to optimise existing content to fit a mobile screen; businesses need to understand mobile behaviour:
- Content first: On a desktop, there’s the space and time to go into detail about company values and history, but on mobile attention spans are short. Not all content is suitable for mobile sites, so companies shouldn’t shoehorn content in. And that also doesn’t just mean cutting down copy. It’s often better to work from the ground up when creating a new mobile experience, and reviewing which key messages you want to highlight.
- Make mobile quick and easy: Mobile is built on convenience, so if information is difficult to access and engage with, talent ‘on the go’ is unlikely to spend much time looking. In order to stay connected with the mobile professional, employers need to create an easy-to-use system that enables easy interaction. For example, we’ve made it possible for candidates to apply using their LinkedIn profile to avoid the hassle of filling out forms on small mobile screens.
- Integrate your channels: Companies shouldn’t confuse ‘different’ with ‘independent’. Mobile is an important development in the new candidate journey, but it is one of many channels. Businesses need to make sure that they leverage insights across the various platforms and touch points candidates use to understand what stage candidates are at in their journey, and ensure a good candidate experience.
Many of us now expect to be able to conduct much of our lives from the palm of our hand, and especially as Gen Y enters the workforce, looking for a job will be no exception.
One thing is clear: mobile is a must, not a nice-to-have. Businesses looking to engage with the best candidates going forward will need to be meeting them on the go. Getting this experience right from the start is vital though as, much like a consumer being put off a retailer by a bad mobile shopping experience, you may not get a second chance.