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Rules of Engagement for Mobile Recruiting

The explosive growth of mobile devices has changed the rules of recruitment. Employers need to optimize all of their recruiting collateral to engage today’s mobile candidates.

Rules of Engagement for Mobile Recruiting

By: Elaine Pofeldt

Looking for the ideal place to recruit new employees? Don’t assume it’s the nearest job fair or networking event. Reaching out to candidates on their smart phone and iPads, through mobile recruiting, is often the best way of engaging candidates. 

The Pew Research Center has found that 43% of smartphone users surveyed have used their gadgets to look up information about a job, and 18% have used it to submit a job application. 

So how do you make the most of mobile recruiting in engaging candidates? Optimizing your company’s website and career pages on social media sites for mobile is a good place to start, but there’s more you can do to get great results from mobile. 

Here are some tips from the front lines. 

Show up Where Ideal Candidates Hang Out
Showing up on popular social media sites is often a good way to make contact with potential employees via their mobile devices. Many companies find that the site that works best may vary with the type of position you want to fill.

The Pew Research Center recently published demographic statistics for the major social media sites, which can be useful in deciding where to build your recruiting presence most. Try experimenting with them before you invest a lot of time or money in creating a presence for your firm on these sites, and build out your page if you get good results. 

If, for instance, you are looking for a truck driver or welder, Facebook may be a good place to start, says Liz D’Aloia, founder of HR Virtuoso, a provider of mobile recruiting solutions in Dallas. 

When a staffing agency she works with needed to hire housekeepers recently, she helped them craft a short advertisement for Facebook. “They’ve had over 600 applications since Friday night,” she said on the Tuesday after the ad was placed. 

If you’re looking to fill junior positions, for instance, Instagram, which is popular with young adults who like to view it from mobile phones, might be worth adding to your mobile recruiting arsenal. 

“That’s a good one to start with if you want to reach younger people,” says Kyra Mancine, a social media specialist for the Rochester, N.Y.-based recruiting office of Oldcastle, a manufacturer and distributor of building products.

Target your Talent Pipeline
In addition to social media outreach, there are ways to reach to passive candidates, including “old school” technology that remains relevant today.
Accounting firm Grassi & Co., which has offices in New York City, Long Island and Rockland County, N.Y., searches the database of resumes on job sites it uses, among them Monster, for potential candidates. 

“We pull up resumes for people who have the criteria we’re looking for and send them emails to see if they are interested,” says Regina Ducati, director of human resources.

Remember too that email remains a powerful tool to target talent. "Email recruitment campaigns are the fastest way to get the message from one to many," says Darren McDougal, managing director at Next Level Marketing Communications, which specializes in the recruitment industry.

Let Visuals Tell Your Story
A mobile site may be the first place potential hires encounter your company, so use it to showcase a great workplace with photos that bring it to life. 

“Because the economy is improving, many job seekers and passive candidates — those who have jobs — can afford to be picky,” says Mancine. “Employers need to show that they are the employer of choice to recruit these individuals. They have to brand and showcase themselves as a place where potential candidates want to work.” 

Other visuals can work well, too, she says. “We had someone turn our logo into a pumpkin,” she says. “That was probably the best thing we posted, in terms of engagement.” 

One method of engaging candidates that Mancine has found helpful is to ask the company’s employees to submit photos of both special events and day-to-day life at Oldcastle that showcase the company’s workplace. 

“I can tell the story in just a photo,” she says. As part of the firm’s mobile recruiting efforts, Mancine posts these photos on social media also relies on a career page the company has set up on Facebook.

Keep Advertisements Bite-Sized
When you’re placing an advertisement to be viewed on mobile devices, brevity is essential. “Simpler is definitely better,” says D’Aloia. “It’s got to be short and sweet. People don’t read anymore.” 

So how do you compress all of the information you want to share in your mobile recruitment efforts into a few sentences? You don’t. 
Focus on sharing essentials — like what you can offer the candidate, and way to contact you — in a one liner and fill in candidates on requirements like “Must be able to lift 50 pounds” — at a later point of contact. 

Giving candidates a simple job apply process is the crucial next step, says Amy Hughes, Director, Monster Professional Services. Hughes recommends applying to one of your jobs to get a better perspective. “Are there ways that you can streamline the process?” asks Hughes. 

Remember — today’s mobile job seekers expect a seamless mobile job apply process. It’s your job to provide it.