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Make Mobile Recruiting Part of Your Hiring Strategy

Make Mobile Recruiting Part of Your Hiring Strategy

By: John Rossheim

Is your company using mobile recruiting to hire the best tech-savvy candidates? If so, a mobile-friendly web presence is a must. Yet surprisingly, many employers remain deficient in mobile recruitment.

BenefitsPro summary of research from Human Capital Institute found that while 70 percent of job seekers search for positions using their smartphones or tablets, only 33 percent of employers who describe themselves as "talent-centric" are actively using mobile for online recruiting.

Whether you’re looking to pull in smartphone-using candidates or simply keep candidates engaged during the hiring process, it’s time to ramp up your mobile recruitment strategy. Here’s how to get started.

Don't write off top candidates by ignoring mobile. How crucial is it that your recruitment strategy be seen on the small screens of smartphones and tablets? Sarah White puts it plainly.

"Companies are losing out on good applicants by not having mobile," says White, principal at recruitment consulting firm Accelir. "People are changing how they do their job search, everyone from entry-level candidates through senior executives. Companies are looking and learning — but sometimes hesitating to take action."

Your mobile hiring strategy: where to start. Forget about smartphone apps, at least for now. "The most important thing is that the employer's career site is mobile-friendly," says Matt Bernardo, mobile product manager at Monster.

It's easy to get started: just browse your own career site on an Android phone, an iPhone, an iPad and a PC tablet.

"Employers should audit their own environment, look at their career site and personally experience it, which will set the floor for what they should do with mobile," says Gerry Crispin, principal at staffing consultancy CareerXroads.

Study how your rivals are going mobile. Don't reinvent the wheel – instead, borrow the best components of your competitors. Take the time to study well-engineered mobile career sites like that of recruitment firm ExecuSearch in New York City.

“Our site is full of informative content on our 11 different practice areas, because we wanted to make sure people could get what they were looking for,” says Hannah DeGiovanni, chief marketing officer of ExecuSearch. “So we needed to change the site structure. The home page is now very condensed to simple calls to action for what people want most.”

Find out what mobile users want. “You need to know your audience," says Crispin. "Find a group of people critical to your hiring – preferably candidates – and sit down and ask them what’s important, what they need to know to determine whether they want to come work for you."

Get down to essentials. Develop smartphone and tablet landing pages that are more than just miniature versions of your career web pages.

"The ideal approach is to start with a blank slate," says Bernardo. "You don’t want to try to cram everything from the desktop screen onto a mobile platform. Break up the application process into smaller chunks and keep candidates engaged."
Mobile is for candidates of all ages and career stages. If you think that a mobile recruiting strategy is primarily for younger candidates, think again.

"Adults 45 and up are one of the fastest-growing users of mobile apps," says White. And don’t forget to mind your employment brand as you build out your mobile presence.

"I’m hearing from candidates under 35 that if the employer doesn’t have a mobile-friendly site, the feeling is that the company may be behind on technology overall," says White. "So make sure you’re not giving the wrong message."

Design for smartphones and tablets requires special expertise. Too many companies have learned the hard way that if they leave their social media strategy to old-school marketers, they risk falling dangerously short. The same holds true for mobile.

"You need expertise with mobile design," says Bernardo. "If you have a third-party web developer and they're not offering the right mobile solutions, pressure them to do so."
Mobile is a challenge that can produce measurable improvements. To achieve its full potential, mobile recruiting may require a significant investment of time and money. Developing a fully mobile-responsive site was not easy, DeGiovanni says.

“It look a lot longer than we expected.” But she believes that ExecuSearch’s mobile makeover has paid off.

"We’ve gotten positive feedback, and the stats show it. Our apply rate on mobile traffic has gone up, and the bounce rate – the percentage of visitors to the web site who leave after viewing just the entry page – has gone down.”