Mobile Sites vs. Mobile Apps

…HR ideas from Jeffery Giesener – SourceMob – CEO

March 18, 2014

It is a decision that an increasing number of Talent Acquisition professionals must make: “Should I invest in building a mobile-friendly career site with a mobile-responsive application process or should I build a mobile native app?”

This relates to a bigger question – where is mobile is going? Google, for instance, is betting on mobile web and search as their future, while Apple is taking the native app route. It is not yet clear which platform candidates will prefer in the long run. Due to this fragmented mobile browsing experience, developing solutions for the mobile candidate can seem like a major resource commitment for a CHRO / CTO and their respective teams. This is especially true considering that mobile spending makes up less than 5 percent of the HR budgets in many organizations. With so many device types, operating systems and screen sizes available, the decision process for organizational leadership can seem even more daunting. It is not surprising that in a recent eROI survey, only 27 percent of companies reported having a mobile-optimized career website or a native career app.

Around The Mobile Corner

Here’s a reality that illustrates the velocity of mobile growth: Morgan Stanley estimates that by the end of 2014, half of the U.S. population will browse the web using mobile devices.

So how will the mobile web evolve? Will native apps win or will the mobile web claim superiority? I have my opinion, but let’s see how these mobile solutions compare…

In the RED Corner…

The Native App

The cost of upgrading and marketing the many mobile IT platforms is the native app industry’s dirty little secret. Why don’t we ever hear native app companies discuss their product’s ongoing maintenance costs, endless consumer resource commitments or recurring marketing expenses? It is because ongoing IT maintenance and marketing is incredibly expensive and often hidden from view when HR organizations choose to go into the native app business. Additionally, companies selling native apps use this as an opportunity to “lock-in” your business.

Case in point: You simply have to look at the stats on how many HR companies bail on native apps after just one or two years of use (even after they’ve invested heavily). Why? It’s because every time a native app platform has been upgraded (each of them – Droid/Apple and their derivatives), the organization must communicate to its mobile native app user base to download a new version of the app. Ask yourself…

  • Who are these mobile users?
  • What mobile platform are they on?
  • How exactly will you notify them that there is an upgraded platform version to download?

…By the way, this is exactly why I am not a fan of native apps and do not recommend the use of them.

In the BLUE Corner…

The Mobile Web

So why is Google so keen on using open source technology for the mobile experience? Well, on the mobile web side of the isle, none of the above mentioned costs are born by your company. Mobile web solution providers absorb these costs and the best part is that there is no need to re-market your mobile solution. Candidates simply bookmark your mobile link once and continue to receive your content even after a platform upgrade occurs. This enables your organization to focus on what it does best – recruiting.

What does this mean for companies and their talent organizations? If you depend on your web presence for recruiting, it’s important to start thinking about mobile solutions now.

Here is your mobile checklist:

  • How does your career website look and work on a smartphone and/or a tablet? Is it easy to view without zooming in?
  • How easy and efficient is it for a candidate to apply on a mobile device?

Mobile Internet use is growing faster than you may realize. By 2015, there will be more than 3 billion connections in the U.S. alone.

If I could say one thing to any organization that is slow to focus efforts on mobile recruiting, it would be: Don’t wait until 25 percent of your career site visitors are using handhelds. That’s like waiting until a quarter of your backyard is on fire before grabbing a water hose!

  • Start NOW and make your career website efficient for your candidates on their mobile devices.
  • Stop forcing your candidates to pinch and zoom or review multiple pages of job postings on mobile.
  • Start taking applications through your candidate’s mobile device.

When you initiate your mobile recruiting strategy and execute it, your reward will be felt immediately due to a reduced candidate defection rate and a larger applicant flow. The result will be lowered recruiting costs and faster job fill rates.

Enter SourceMob – No Two Talent Organizations are Alike…

SourceMob is not a templated social, community and mobile recruiting solution. Our services include recruiting technology, consulting, analytics, and marketing, all of which are designed to deliver recruiting success to our clients. We do not simply provide the technology and let you figure out how to apply it. We properly customize our solutions to fit your business needs and help your Talent Acquisition team succeed.

To learn more about SourceMob’s best practices for social and mobile recruiting, give me a call at 612-249-2740 or email me at

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Jeffery Giesener
CEO – SourceMob