3 Reasons You Can No Longer Ignore Mobile Recruiting

October 4, 2013

There were around 300 people at last week’s mrecruitcamp, the only conference I know of dedicated to mobile recruiting innovation. The biggest head-scratcher: why weren’t there 1,000?

This was the fourth annual MREC event hosted by Michael Marlatt’s team, and I had the privilege of keynoting with my colleague Rob Humphrey (you’ll find our presentation embedded below).

After speaking last year, I remember sitting at the back of the auditorium with other industry followers, agreeing that 2013 would be the year when mobile recruiting would, finally and emphatically, swing into focus. And yet it hasn’t happened, as far as I can tell. Case in point: our 2013 global trends survey confirmed that about 30% of recruiting leaders still ‘don’t know where to start’ when it comes to mobile recruiting, while a mere 13% of companies say they have invested adequately in this area.

So, what gives? My hunch is that people generally accept the inexorable rise of consumer mobile, as evidenced by this eye-opening industry stat:

industry-stat

What they don’t seem to have internalized quite as fully is that there’s an urgent need to act now. And in the resource-constrained world of talent acquisition, where ‘more with less’ is a badge of honor and the requisitions continue to pile up, who has the time or resources to prioritize something that doesn’t seem essential?

That said, let me offer up three reasons why you can no longer be cavalier about investing time and resources in mobile recruiting. This single slide, based on our recent survey of 787 US- and UK-based professionals, illustrates them all.

(click on the image to see a larger version)

mobile-stats

1. Passive candidates are exploring career information on the go.

While many companies do their best to make mobile apply a sadistic endurance test that only the most desperate of candidates can stomach, mobile is not just for active jobseekers. At the top of the funnel, passive candidates are browsing your career sites, reading your InMails, checking out potential future colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles, and more.

The takeaway: Just because you’ve implemented a passive talent-centric recruiting strategy doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Consider what information you serve up to potential candidates, as well as where and when you do it, on mobile.

mobile-recruiting-ebook 2. Tablets have opened up a world of possibilities – and exposed your career sites.

In the green bars on the right in the chart above, note the 12 percent difference between passive candidates’ likelihood to browse career sites on tablet (62%) versus smartphone (50%). Behold the 72 percent of active candidates checking out your career site via iPad and other tablet devices.

The takeaway: tablets have made exploring the web much more enjoyable for professionals. What will they find when they come to your career site?

3. Forget the newfangled technology, inbox is king.

Whether passive or active, on smartphone or tablet, the vast majority are looking at career opportunities in their inboxes. Savvy recruiters have long understood the power of a carefully worded InMail. In a mobile-enabled world, the stakes are even higher. The pressure is on to be more succinct and more compelling than ever.

The takeaway: when was the last time you assessed your InMail and email templates through the lens of ‘does this work on a small screen?’ It’s high time you did.

To summarize: mobile isn’t going anywhere but up and to the right. The combination of proliferating social channels and mobile technology has turned almost every professional into a career explorer of some sort.  If your mobile recruiting efforts aren’t yet off the ground, you could find yourself at a serious disadvantage down the line. And if this topic makes you cringe, I’m afraid you can only expect more tub-thumping from me in the months to come.

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