The International Data Corp. (IDC) predicts that by 2015, more Americans will surf the Internet from their mobile devices than from their PCs. This year, Nucleus Research foresees that half of all Internet traffic to career sites will come from mobile devices.
If businesses hope to attract the best and brightest talent, they must build their websites for mobile optimization and their HR departments must use multiple avenues to recruit. At the March 12, 2014, JobMobile event in Washington, D.C., panelists spoke on these innovations and strategies in mobile recruitment.
The Future Is Mobile
It is a big change and a new way of recruiting, enabling job seekers to search for employment, schedule interviews, e-mail, even video-chat with potential employers—all from a hand-held device. “You don’t have to be stuck in an office to look for a job,” said Amanda Augustine, job-search expert at TheLadders, which sponsored the JobMobile event. But not everyone is quick to adopt the new paradigm. Out of the Fortune 500 companies, just 5 percent have websites that are suited for mobile recruiting, Augustine observed.
The slow transition is consistent with other noteworthy changes in recruiting that have occurred over the past decade and longer. Augustine said her company CEO, Alex Douzet, explains it best this way: “The job-search evolution from Web to mobile devices could be as significant as the transition from print classifieds to online job postings.”
The benefits of mobile recruiting are speed, convenience and on-the-go access, so job seekers can apply for employment wherever they are, she said. The impediments to optimizing websites for mobile devices are upfront costs, time, shifting the company-culture mindset and adapting to new technologies—the last being a particular sticking point for people in the human resources and recruiting fields.
“Technology is the bane of our existence,” Augustine said, garnering laughs from the audience. “It is a pain point wherever we go.”
Augustine moderated the panel, which also featured Shan Teel, head of recruiting and diversity and inclusion at XO Communications; Darryl Durrington, vice president and sector talent acquisition director of Leidos; and Tristan Bandoni, recruiting director in Randstad Technologies’ D.C. metro office. The panel agreed that mobile recruiting would continue to grow in the years ahead, especially since Millennials are expected to compose 40 percent of the workforce by 2020.
Even so, without a guaranteed return on investment, mobile recruiting has been hard to sell to senior executives at XO Communications. “They want to see the value of why this is important,” Teel explained. “The talent is in it for you, but I also have to show them the ROI.”
Bandoni said that Randstad is redesigning its website to help mobile viewers find job postings and glean career advice and other valuable information, including recruitment efforts. He told attendees that companies should vary the content on their site to keep job seekers on it for longer periods.
The correct balance is a layered approach, including a robust social media presence on sites such as Facebook and Linked In, as well as a website that is easy for potential employees to navigate and search, added Durrington.
The panelists pointed out that just as recruiters are using the Internet to find out more about potential candidates, mobile job seekers are visiting corporate websites and making judgments based on what they find. And this applies to customers, too. TheLadders discovered that 57 percent of customers wouldn’t recommend businesses with poorly designed mobile sites and 40 percent have gone to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience with a company’s site.
“When you go to our website, it has to be appealing to the client,” said Teel. “We are trying to recruit, and candidates can do checks on us. They expect the websites to have all of the bells and whistles. I’m trying to get the marketing team to know we have to work on this together.”
Dawn S. Onley is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C.
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