Mobile Recruitment

Posted by Amy White

Whenever I hear the words mobile recruitment I get a mental image of a van with the words “0800 Recruitment!” emblazoned across it, squealing to a halt and disgorging a squad team of suited up recruiters. Yes, my mind works in weird ways. 

In actual fact these words generally refer to recruitment in relation to mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads. Not quite as exciting a visual image but probably a lot more useful and relevant to hiring managers. 

It’s a fact that more and more people are accessing the internet via a mobile device these days. It’s also a fact that the majority of organisations are managing their recruitment online – even if that just means via an email address for some of them. 

So, when the two intersect, what does that mean?

Well, first let’s take a look at some statistics. 
  • As of the end of 2012 88.8% of Australia’s population is online*
  • As of 2012 42.1% of the population owns a smart phone.  *

It is surprisingly difficult to find information about just how much internet access is via a mobile device rather than a desktop. Probably because that varies greatly depending on the sites visited and the behaviour of the internet user. 

According to Seek – unavoidably one of the biggest players in the job board market – "Over 35% of all traffic to SEEK and 12% of job applications now come via mobile devices” (source).  At Talent Propeller we track the number of mobile visits to our jobs sites, and have seen this figure go from averaging about 7-9% of visitors last year, to 9-11% this year.  This dramatic difference probably has a lot to do with the fact that Seek includes users of its app in its mobile traffic count.

So, the mobile job seeker is definitely on the rise and it’s an industry trend we need to be aware of and planning for. Having said that, I don’t think it’s time to panic that your company doesn’t have a ‘Careers app for iPhone and Android’ just yet. 

One thing that’s worth identifying is the difference between hunting for jobs and applying for jobs. It’s very telling that the stats from Seek indicate that the number of applications made from a mobile is considerably lower than the number of mobile visits. This suggests that whilst job seekers are happy to hunt for jobs on the run – for example on the train to work – when it comes to applying they don’t necessarily want to do it on a mobile device. 

As a Hiring Manager, you need to consider what behaviour you expect from your applicants, and what that means. If you are happy to accept any and all candidates, including those who have spent minimal time and effort on their application (probably in a rush to get back to next level of Candy Crush), and you also have the time to sift through hundreds of applications, then by all means, make it as easy and thought-free as possible for people to apply. 

If you value quality applications over quantity, then you won’t hesitate to ask applicants to put a bit more effort into the process.   Perhaps answer a few key questions, address some selection criteria and generally put a bit of thought into it.  There are obviously some roles where this is more applicable than other, but as a general rule I think quality over quantity is a good thing to aim for. 

In summary, what’s more important at this moment in the recruitment market, is that your jobs can be found and read via a mobile device. If you have limited time and resources (don’t we all) then mobile accessibility needs to be a key priority, but developing an entire mobile recruitment strategy can wait – although with the rates of mobile usage increasing, probably not too long. 

Incidentally (here’s the sales pitch) Talent Propeller have just released a new careers website module that is fully mobile optimised that we are pretty excited about!  Feel free to get in touch and have a chat if you are interested in seeing more.

Amy White is the Client Director of Talent Propeller Australia and specialises in helping Talent Propeller clients streamline their recruitment processes and get the best results from their recruitment efforts.  You can email her here or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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