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According to the Mobile Operators Association, the use of mobile phones by UK adults has soared over the past decade and a half. In 2000, just half of UK adults had a mobile phone – in 2013 that figure stands at 94%. Consumers are hugely connected to their devices, and recruiters need to be aware of massive changes in expectations when job seekers are hunting for jobs on the move.

By 2016, it’s forecasted that mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search. Organisations must adapt to this changing user behavior, and seriously consider how it impacts the way candidates are searching for new career opportunities.

It’s important not just from the point of view of attracting more candidates into the right roles, but also from a brand reputational standpoint. A brand that has a strong web and mobile recruitment strategy, which reflects the same values as the rest of its communications, looks more attractive and professional than one that simply does the minimum.

Today’s candidates work and access information on the move and expect a superior user-experience that is designed for their mobile lifestyle. More and more candidates are taking a mobile-first approach to job searches, so organisations not only need to make career information available for mobile devices, they have to deliver a high-quality, relevant user experience for candidates on their preferred devices or find themselves at a disadvantage.

Optimising the mobile experience

Consider different devices – Job seekers access content using a mix of devices including Android handsets, iPhones, e-readers, computers and tablets: the challenge is ensuring mobile content works with each technology and delivers an excellent candidate experience on all of these devices.

Responsive web design is a smart approach that automatically adjusts a web page to optimise its display for the device in use, ensuring that the resolution, image size and scripting abilities work from device to device. The benefits of responsive design go beyond appearances – Google prefers responsive sites and smartphone-friendly content, ranking sites that make use of this technology higher in search results.

Don’t settle for pinch and zoom – There’s a difference between mobile-friendly and mobile-optimised sites — and for employers who want to deliver a superior experience, an optimised site is the clear winner. While mobile-friendly enables candidates to access your career site on their mobile devices, it’s annoying to pinch and zoom to read content. Instead, think about the candidate experience and optimise content so it’s readable, actionable and device-appropriate. This keeps the job seeker focused on the opportunity – not on moving content around on screen and potentially getting frustrated and leaving your site.

Reduce the number of clicks to apply – The more clicks required to complete an application, the more likely the candidate will walk away frustrated. Experience your own application process to see where it can be improved. While the ideal number is debatable, the more clicks and screens candidates are required to navigate, the more likely they’ll abandon the application. Make it easy for candidates to get what they want – a frustration-free process to apply for a job.

Take your jobs to the places where your candidates ‘live’ online – While search engines play a big role in how candidates find new opportunities, candidates are also using their mobiles to engage on social networks, requiring organisations to rethink their content strategies. Have a plan to promote your jobs across digital platforms and go beyond the job description by including realistic job previews in video format, maps of the job location, employee profiles, and much more.

Make your content easily sharable – Success in the mobile and social media worlds is driven first by creating a superior user experience, and second by providing your audience with cogent, engaging content that is shareable. If you focus on delivering quality, authentic content to your audience, in the places where they interact, they will naturally share it for you.

The mobile web experience, which includes everything from e-commerce to all-purpose web browsing and job seeking, is on track to become the primary web experience for a significant portion of the UK public. The question is whether your approach to mobile recruitment is ready to reach your potential candidates.

Written by Steven Ehrlich, global VP, client development, TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, LLC and AIA Worldwide

Steven Ehrlich, global VP, client development, TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, LLC and AIA Worldwide

Steven is the global VP of client development at TMP Worldwide and advertising & communications at LLC and AIA Worldwide

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