- As more and more job seekers rely on their phones, it's up to recruiters to make sure their job boards are mobile optimized.
- New job search and social media apps make it easier to apply, attracting a wider pool of candidates and speeding the recruiting process.
An applicant can always tell when a company's job boards are outdated. The type-in forms are long and complicated, the user experience is unintuitive, and the website is rarely suited for mobile.
In the modern job market, candidates expect to be able to search, view and apply to jobs right from their smartphones. This means that not only are mobile-friendly job boards a necessity, but some companies are taking it further with mobile recruitment apps.
Smaller companies may be on the fence about investing in a mobile-optimized hiring process, but if you want to draw in today's top talent, you'll need to reach them where they are. Luckily, there's more than one way to up your mobile recruiting game, and not all of them require heavy investment in risky new apps.
Why mobile recruiting?
You don't need to look far to see how industries are scrambling to adapt to mobile. Banks, retail stores and even healthcare companies all have their own mobile apps, making it easier for consumers to stay connected. Recruitment is no exception – a mobile application process is simpler and more convenient for candidates.
"The mobile job-seeking experience must evolve from the current job board paradigm, with its outdated search functionality, run-on job descriptions and different application forms for each job, to one that's simple, convenient, and optimized for mobile," said Yarden Tadmor, founder and former CEO of job-matching app Switch. "Millennial workers have shown they want a different application experience, one that brings jobs to them quickly and easily."
Ashley Pelliccione, senior talent acquisition director at Namely, an all-in-one human resources software platform, added that the mobile recruiting process creates a much more streamlined candidate experience.
"It's intuitive, user-friendly, and offers significant time savings in the application process than the traditional method," she said. "Giving candidates the option to apply easily on mobile can drive traffic to the careers page and bring more attention to the company in general."
Young, upwardly mobile professionals
Need another reason to make the move to mobile? According to a 2019 Pew Research Center report, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults rely on smartphones as their sole source of internet at home. This proportion rises among younger smartphone users. By 2025, three-quarters of the world is estimated to access the internet exclusively by smartphone.
With that widespread smartphone usage in mind, mobile is moving from "nice to have" to table stakes in the recruiting world, said Jason Berkowitz, solutions consulting senior director at Talemetry.
"Companies that don't have a mobile strategy are going to miss out on engaging with a significant portion of the talent pool, especially millennials and tech professionals who are even more mobile savvy than average," Berkowitz said.
Making mobile recruiting work for you
If you're new to the mobile recruiting scene, here are four tips to make the process simpler for you and your applicants.
1. Consider texting.
Whether you're upgrading your recruitment technology or simply advertising your vacancies on social media, the one feature that Facebook, LinkedIn and mobile recruiting apps have that the traditional job boards lack is instant messaging.
It may not sound like much in terms of innovation, but texting functionality can go a long way in streamlining in the application process.
"The biggest takeaway I have from utilizing mobile recruiting in the past is the sheer speed of communication and engagement with a prospective candidate," said Will Manuel, president and CEO of Core Mobile Apps.
While employers are still urged to keep initial communications within more formal channels, texting is a great way to signal interest once a business relationship is established, said Amy Arenz, founder and CEO of Concero. Still, Arenz advises limiting it to quick communications, such as "scheduling a phone screen, confirming a meeting, checking in after an interview and following up on a request."
As candidates advance to the interview process, some platforms even offer video call functionality.
2. Expect a broader, if not better, pool.
As mobile recruiting is still in its nascent stages, there is still some debate on the kind of candidates it attracts. While there's an argument to be made that the easier the job application, the more likely a well-qualified but already-employed candidate will impulsively apply, Manuel did not necessarily find this to be the case.
"I can understand the logic of the passive job searcher, but those are not always the 'better candidates,'" Manuel said, citing a major life change as one reason a qualified candidate may actively seek a new job. "Additionally, the passive job searcher is much less likely to use mobile recruiting methods or platforms altogether."
Instead, what employers can expect is a greater breadth of candidates, especially through mobile-optimized recruiting methods such as social media. "There is a lot to be said about being ubiquitous when posting," Manuel said. "It can show the candidate just how serious you are about filling the position with the right fit."
3. Take advantage of the algorithms.
There's no question that job search apps have made the application process easier on candidates, and in many cases, mobile applicant tracking systems (ATS) have made hiring managers' lives easier too. But there is a downside to that aforementioned breadth of candidates – all the resumes to sift through.
"By allowing candidates to apply to jobs in one click, candidates do not always consider crucial details like professional qualifications and culture fit," Pelliccione said. "In these cases, recruiters are faced with evaluating a plethora of unqualified applicants, rather than focusing their time on sourcing passive candidates or assessing those with the necessary skills."
To ensure you're getting the most out of your mobile ATS, it's a good idea to take advantage of keyword filters or algorithms so you can weed out the irrelevant applications. Once you've found the best-qualified candidates through your system, use your old-fashioned (but reliable) human intuition to truly analyze the applicant via their cover letter, portfolio and social profiles.
4. Test your own application process.
There's no point in investing in mobile recruiting unless it makes the application process more user intuitive. Luckily, this can be easily tested through your own layman experience.
Before you make any changes to your recruiting methods, try using your own smartphone to go through your company's mobile job application process to see if there are any gaps or issues, Berkowitz said.
"If you run into a step that your smartphone won't support – like uploading a resume, e-signing a document or even searching for jobs on your careers page – then it's apparent where you need to focus your efforts," he said.