If there’s one thing I really, truly hate about using my smart phone, it’s when I go to look up some basic bit of information (should be easy enough), and get stuck playing a little game that I call “the mobile hokey pokey.” I’m pretty sure you’ve played it before; if you own a cell phone, then this should sound pretty familiar.
Here’s how this game goes (although since there seem to be no real rules, this might in fact be a misnomer).
You put your address in, you pull a shit site out, you squeeze and pinch the screen, and turn it all about. With the mobile hokey pokey, you want to scream and shout…this ain’t what it’s all about.
Remember to tip your waiters for that one. But seriously.
People use mobile for convenience, but for some reason, even in 2015, it’s often still a big pain in the ass, particularly since a surprising amount of sites seem to think “responsive design” means creating such a poor user experience that you can’t help but respond by being pretty pissed off and frustrated. These sites are about as anachronistic as that Hokey Pokey reference (you’re welcome).
Mobile Recruiting: Can You Hear Me Now?
But the thing is, I don’t have to do that dance; in fact, I steadfastly refuse to zoom in, then out, then have to quit and start over because my Google app directs me to some page that would take a 60 inch monitor to properly render. Rumors of “mobilegeddon,” turns out, were greatly exaggerated; I still waste a ton of time on sites that aren’t optimized for mobile, even after the April Google update to favor these sites in search results.
Mama ain’t got no time for that, y’all.
Seriously. Why do websites that don’t display on your standard smartphone even exist anymore? I could go through those boring ass stats, like “there are now more smartphones than toothbrushes,” or talk about the fact that people are using their phones to access the internet at a far greater clip than desktop users.
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You want one of those posts, you’ve got a ton of options, so I won’t waste a ton of time making the business case for the fact that, yeah, mobile matters (and more so, every day).
Instead, just think about how you use your own smartphone. You probably go to sleep with it next to you, since you, like most people, probably use it as an alarm clock. It’s likely the first thing you check when you wake up in the morning, and the last thing you see before going to bed at night.
The ubiquity of smartphones define our existence; we’re no longer ever alone, since we’re always connected. We don’t even have to boot up our Macbooks or PCs to check Google; all we have to do when we have some random ass question or argument (like a recent disagreement i had with a friend over whether or not a starfish truly is a mammal or not) is hit a button and ask Siri.
Smartphones have created an expectation of information immediacy, that we can find the answers for any question we have at any time, from anywhere, really, in the world. That expectation is increasingly expanding from random ponderings to include our expectations around looking for and applying for a job, too.
And, in case you were wondering, no, a starfish isn’t a mammal. Thanks, Siri.
Missed Messages, Dropped Calls: Once Upon A Time In Mobile Recruiting…
OK, I know that title’s probably a little cheesy. Alright, it’s cheesy as shit. I can’t really help it, because the more I personally look at career sites these days on my own smartphone, the more I wonder why employers seem to be so dumb about the importance mobile plays in improving that “candidate experience” buzzword we all seem to be buzzing about. Because here’s the thing: mobile optimization and candidate experience, really, are two sides of the same coin.
Let me explain in a little greater detail. When we look at what a truly mobile candidate experience truly looks like, while many employers have already invested in optimizing career sites or building apps for candidates or even sending mobile job alerts or candidate updates via SMS, these solutions are disjointed and almost always only align with one part of the hiring process instead of providing mobile options and optimizations congruent with every stage in the candidate lifecycle and company recruitment process.
From researching an opportunity to onboarding, mobile must be an enterprise enablement rather than a disjointed point solution. Mobile isn’t a feature or function; it’s a mindset.I know most of you are thinking, “yeah, whatever. We’ve got mobile. I’m good.”
Bullshit. I mean, be honest. How many of you recruiters out there actually believe you could get a candidate through the entire application, interviewing, offer and onboarding process using just their smartphones or mobile devices?
Every time I ask this question to a room of recruiters (as I’ve done several times), I get, at most, 10% of the people in the room agreeing with this statement, and the fact is, those 10% are likely misled, overconfident or just ignorant about their own mobile apply capabilities. This makes sense, considering what a paucity have actually audited their own application processes on a smartphone.
If you haven’t done so, I suggest giving it a try as soon as possible – you’re likely going to be surprised at just how immobile your “mobile recruiting” solutions truly are. That is, if you’re in the minority of employers who have any sort of mobile optimization at all – most don’t, yet, which is ridiculous.
It’s 2015, people. And considering the paucity of qualified candidates, coupled with the huge sums employers are spending on driving applicants through recruitment advertising and employer branding, it’s unbelievable that so many employers are driving away so many potential hires simply by not providing them a way to view or apply for jobs on the same devices that they, like most consumers, are most likely accessing online information with.
Considering that just over 50% of candidates drop off at some point between starting and finishing their application, avoiding mobile optimization is the quickest way to ensure a reduced recruiting ROI on your current talent acquisition spend (and reduce your candidate flow into a comparative trickle, too). If you’re not asking for mobile recruiting solutions, you’re asking for trouble. Period.
As bad as the current state of mobile recruiting might be, though, there are some even scarier issues emerging on the horizon. I know, this is hard to believe, but if you think it’s bad now, unless we make some major changes as an industry, it’s about to get way worse.
Penny Wise & # Foolish: Are Your E-Mails Are Creeping Out Candidates?
In the past decade or so, e-mail has emerged as the communications channel of choice for recruiters, becoming the medium for almost every recruiting message employers are sending to candidates, applicants and hiring managers.
From “talent communities” to CRMs to InMails, e-mail remains the standard for talent acquisition organizations everywhere, and it seems in our quest for even more automation, most are doubling down on this bet.
But if you think that more e-mails and more automation are going to help change the future of recruiting or improve the candidate experience, think again. In fact, a recent survey of those much ballyhooed “Gen Y” workers just last month showed that a majority of Millennials, in fact, agreed with the statement that “e-mail is creepy.”
If that doesn’t concern you, or even scare you, as a recruiter, I want you to stop and think about the last 10 candidates you communicated with. How many of those contacts were initiated or sustained via e-mail? What would you do if suddenly, e-mail were to disappear or you were to lose access to your inbox tomorrow? How would you source, screen or select top talent without using the lingua franca of candidate engagement that e-mail currently represents?
You, like most recruiters out there, would probably be pretty screwed. Scared? OK, glad you’re with me now, since you damn well should be. Now, as a marketer, I’ve already gone through my own mobile panic attack as I’ve spent several years watching email conversion rates drop off precipitously within the B2C world, a shift in mentality that’s only now being mimicked within the world of recruitment marketing and outreach, a shift largely driven from our move from desktop ubiquity to mobile domination.
Even if your organization hasn’t yet optimized mobile recruiting or created a truly mobile candidate experience, there’s probably a pretty good chance that you’ve used your cell to call or text a candidate, respond to a work e-mail or figure out the answer to some question instead of relying on the limitations of legacy HCM systems and their complete lack of mobile flexibility and functionality.
Mobile recruiting happens, whether or not it’s an enterprise initiative or not – and the fact that organizations are lagging so far behind individual recruiters in adoption seems just silly, really. This is the way of the world now – we want instant gratification, and almost every (non-HR) consumer will pick their phone over their desktop to access information or initiate engagement any day of the week.
And remember, the only difference between recruitment marketing and consumer marketing is that the purchasing decision involves a job instead of a product. Other than that, there’s not much difference between consumers and candidates, a fact that the lagging mobile recruitment adoption curve only seems to be underscoring.
Mobile Madness: A Checklist for Recruitment On the Go.
Making the move to mobile, of course, takes more than the right tech and processes; it takes the right people with the right mindsets to build a mobile recruiting experience designed that’s truly centered around the candidate and focused on lead generation and conversion instead of the data dump that most ATS systems generally require to simply be considered for a posted job. ”
Passive” candidates don’t have time for that shit, which is why you’ve got to put the time into getting mobile right, right now.
So where do you begin?
Here’s a look at some of the things every employer should consider when considering mobile recruiting, from sweating the small stuff like requiring candidates to provide mobile contact information and SMS opt-ins on their initial applications to bigger picture and process improvements like implementing e-signature capabilities for on-boarding and new hire paperwork.
Here are some things you should be thinking about when thinking about mobile recruiting.
Can candidates express interest in an opportunity or apply for a job with a mobile device?
Are your application forms optimized for a mobile device?
Does your HR or recruiting technology have text campaign or SMS capabilities?
Can candidates easily check the status of their applications on a mobile device?
Are your online employer branding and recruitment advertising campaigns mobile optimized?
Are your confirmation e-mails or other automated, post-application communications accessible and readable on mobile devices?
Are candidates given the option to receive information or follow up communications via SMS or MMS in addition to e-mail?
Does your organization have e-signature capabilities for recruiting, onboarding and new hire documents?
What does your careers site and job ads look like on mobile?
How does SEO/SEM and on-site search function on mobile devices? How do these results differ from a desktop experience?
Does your mobile career site make it easy for candidates to figure out what’s in it for them, or does it turn off potential applicants? Where are candidates dropping off in your mobile apply process?
What content are you sharing on social media? Are you just posting jobs, or are you truly engaging with candidates and providing enough insights and information to convert them into applicants? What percentage of your applicants are coming through social media?
4 Millennial Mobile Recruiting Musts for Millennials.
Don’t wait put the power of mobile recruiting to work at your work. If you’re behind the times, there’s no better time to get started. Before it’s too late.
- Be Human. No one wants to engage with or interact with a boring or generic employer brand. We’ve talked a lot about authenticity and transparency, but if you want to recruit Millennials, especially on mobile, it’s important to put the human back into human resources. For these initiatives to succeed, you’ve got to expand beyond simply your recruiting organization and get real employees (“brand ambassadors” or otherwise) involved. Some of the best ways to encourage this participation (and increase engagement) are to make it feel fun, instead of a chore or a requirement – something candidates will see right away. Start an intraoffice selfie contest. Celebrate National Hot Dog Day, National Donut Day or the million other “holidays” out there that might be kind of fake, but can increase real engagement from employees and candidates alike.
- Don’t Automate Feedback: You don’t have to be a Millennial to be savvy enough to figure out whether or not something is a form letter or automated template, but Gen Y in particular is likely to be turned off by these high tech, low touch and impersonal communications. Take the time to add a little personalization to your outreach efforts; even a little effort goes a long way in building employer brand equity and goodwill, particularly among the emerging workforce and recent grads many employers are looking for.
- Provide Instant Gratification: Remember, no one wants to wait for information or engagement – today, consumers expect instant gratification or real time information. Don’t tell candidates you’ll be in touch if there’s a fit, or that you’ve received their application and will be in touch – build some sort of immediate reward or outcome into the application process to incentivize completions and speak to the consumer expectation of instant rewards. Even if your jobs are worth the wait, there’s a good chance candidates won’t stick around without some sort of immediate payoff, even for something as small as a personalized thank you or providing a special offer or discount to candidates as an acknowledgement of their interest.
- Think Visually. A picture might still be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to attracting and engaging top Millennial talent, video is priceless. From using short videos on your career site to convey your Employer Value Proposition to embedding “Day in the Life” short features into job postings, video is a great way to help make your employer an employer of choice more Millennials choose when looking for a job – and an even better way to stand out from the staid, static competition. Extending the use of video to interviewing, whether as part of the prescreening process or to save money and time on candidate travel, Millennials are more comfortable – and eager to adopt – video solutions than any other demographic cohort in the workforce. If your organization isn’t ready for its close-up, you’re probably not ready for mobile recruiting, either.
This isn’t perfect, nor is it all inclusive, but it should provide a preliminary framework to get you thinking about your mobile product roadmap, and how to make mobile work for your recruiting needs today – and tomorrow.
About the Author: Katrina Kibben is the Director of Marketing for Recruiting Daily, and has served in marketing leadership roles at companies such as Monster Worldwide and Care.com, where she has helped both established and emerging brands develop and deliver world-class content and social media marketing, lead generation and development, marketing automation and online advertising.
An expert in marketing analytics and automation, Kibben is an accomplished writer and speaker whose work has been featured on sites like Monster.com, Brazen Careerist and About.com.
A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Kibben is actively involved in many community and social causes – including rooting for her hometown Pittsburgh Steelers.