Mobile Devices and Recruiting

By Malcolm Stirling

Artificial IntelligenceThe UK unemployment rate is at an 11 year low.  And when unemployment levels are low the demand for talent becomes more competitive. For employers this means that every channel to both active & passive candidates needs to be explored.  Mobile recruiting is a channel that appears to be being neglected by employers.


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Candidate activity on mobile devices is high. For example;

  • The Office for National Statistics say that 96% of 16-24 year olds access the internet 'on the go
  • OffCom  say 90% of 16-24 year olds own a mobile phone
  • 89% of job seekers say their mobile device is an important tool search for job
  • A 2016 comScore report said 79% of the people they surveyed access social media from a mobile device
  • 55% of Jobseekers accessing job boards do so with a mobile device

How then are Employers responding to this trend?

  • Interestingly 49% of organisations say that mobile recruiting was not a top priority for their company
  • 30% of employers said they didn't know where to start with a mobile strategy
  • Only 20% had a career site that is optimised for mobile.

So the vast majority of young people are using mobile devices yet, it would seem, that employers have yet to adopt recruitment strategies using the mobile channel. 

What then might employers do?

Mobile Recruiting is a recruitment strategy that uses technology to:

  • Attract,
  • Engage, and
  • Convert Candidates.

Let’s look at each of these in turn…

1)      Attract people to your job vacancy listings

Saying your site is mobile friendly no longer cuts the mustard. That simply means that it is viewable on a mobile device.  Typically text is hard to read and requires pinch & zoom.  Tables span beyond the screen and extensive scrolling is required.

The site needs to have been designed for mobile use from the ground up. This means that pages should load quickly and the site should be touch friendly.  Users shouldn't be required to scroll left and right and text should be clear to read without the need to zoom.  Content needs to be optimised for a small screen.

Your site needs to be search engine optimised so people can find you. In April 2015, Google introduced a change to its ranking algorithm that favoured mobile friendly websites.

You should be aware that your audience will be reviewing your site; when they first wake up, on the train to & from work, over coffee in Starbucks and during their lunch breaks. Their time is short. You want to make the best use of this time

Note that at this stage they aren't candidates yet they are merely browsing through your job postings and looking for the right fit.

2)      The next step is to engage with them.

This can be achieved by using text messages with links to relevant jobs – you can attract candidates by pushing out job notifications to registered seekers.  You can also acknowledge actions like the receipt of an application or sending out an Interview reminder.

Live Chat (instant messaging) provides an opportunity to utilise artificial intelligence to deliver prompt, intelligent and personal responses and develop a rapport with candidates.

There’s also social recruiting - most interaction with social networks is achieved through a mobile device using platforms such as; Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and Snapchat.  This form of engagement includes:

  • Messaging
  • Employer Branding
  • Friend’s recommendations, and
  • Providing that personal touch with employee testimonials and photos of employee activities.

3)      The third strategic area is the conversion of people browsing to people applying

Most importantly amongst the consideations here is ease of use. The apply process should take no more than a minute.  Some job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder have a quick apply process if you have already registered and uploaded your C.V.  With LinkedIn Recruiter you can apply without a CV as this services uses the  seeker's profile

The apply process should be achievable with...

  • Press buttons
  • Tick boxes
  • Sliders
  • Drop down boxes

There also needs to be a mechanism to deliver CVs and cover letters since these documents can make it difficult to apply via mobile devices.

Specialist recruiting apps

Recruiters can use mobile recruiting apps to post career opportunities that are optimized for mobile devices, and candidates can use these apps to easily submit job applications. They are not browser-based and require job seekers to download a mobile App.

Jobr - recently acquired by Monster, is a job-finding app probably best described as the Tinder for jobs, due to selecting preferences with swipe-based gestures. The idea with Jobr is to simplify the select & apply process.

Video Interviewing is an increasingly popular way of reducing the time to hire. HireVue provides a service where recruiters can create questionnaires and send these out to candidates. Candidates can then respond with by videoing their answers. The recruitment manager can review the video interviews at a time that suits them best.

Other benefits of mobile are:

Better Employer Branding - Savvy candidates will evaluate a company's brand before applying for a job so the Career Site needs to be well presented with messages that can be easily reviewed forma mobile device.

Time to Hire - Mobile recruiting can cut down on the time you identify, qualify and hire a candidate. Mobile is quick, instantaneous communication; information reaches candidates sooner; and candidates can be reviewed from anywhere. One employer said; “it could take us 90 to 120 days to find qualified candidates for open positions. Now, we have found, we are interviewing qualified candidates anywhere from 14 to 30 days after the position has been posted?”

In summary…

  • Internet access with a mobile device will be the norm
  • Recruiter / candidate dialogue will become less formal and briefer using SMS, Twitter etc.
  • Applying for jobs will be more automated, with form auto completion from CV parsers and stored profiles
  • One click applies will be common
  • Video interviewing will be a standard feature
  • An employer’s mobile internet presence will be evaluated as part of their brand
  • Tangible benefits will be seen with the reduced time to hire that mobile brings.




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