You May Be Less Mobile-ready Than You Think

Joe Essenfeld posting
Get mobile! Now!
Oh no, everyone’s mobile but us!!
f we don’t optimize for mobile, we’re dead.

Sound familiar? There is no greater hue and cry right now across the recruitment landscape than the “sky is falling” refrain of the “get-mobile” crowd. Google recently added to the anxiety when it announced that it would be rolling out changes to its algorithms designed specifically to improve search functionality for the mobile web. The takeaway: If your company’s website isn’t deeply optimized for mobile users, your search rankings are going to suffer.

Following this announcement, Larry Engel contributed a great piece to examining just how Google’s changes may affect the recruitment and HR sector. In short, he theorizes that if your career page isn’t optimized for mobile, you could miss out on a good chunk of quality hires. And he’s right.

The bulk of today’s job seekers, and likely all of the next generation’s, use their mobile device as the primary engine to search for and, increasingly, apply for jobs.The smartphone and tablet haven’t displaced the desktop just yet, but the numbers all trend in that direction. So yes, the mobile revolution is well upon us, and we all better be ready.

Ok, so you read all this and you think to yourself, “oh my goodness, are we mobile-ready?” If you’re in the majority, then the answer is most likely “no.” As Larry Engel cites in his report, a recent study by Pure Oxygen Labs found that only 6 percent of the Fortune 100 would pass Google’s new mobile standards. But let’s say you’re lucky enough to be in that 6 percent, and when you grab your smartphone and search, your career site comes out right on top of the results. You can just sit back, fix yourself a beverage and relax in the knowledge that the best and brightest of this and future generations will find you when they’re looking to make their next career move, right? Wrong.

Go ahead, grab your phone again, and go back to your careers page. Looks good, right? All perfectly packaged for your device, bright, and colorful and easy to read. Now, tap on that “Apply Now” button …

Welcome to 2013.

This is where it all breaks down. While you may have done a good job ensuring your careers page is ready for mobile, in all likelihood, the application process is still antiquated and will force candidates back to their desktops at some point, a sure sign that your “candidate experience” is not up to snuff. Today’s top talent isn’t going to stand for this, and will likely move on to an opening at a company that allows them to apply, start-to-finish, from wherever they are and at any time.

Last year, Kelton Research released figures indicating that 47 percent of job seekers want to apply for jobs from their mobile device; 45 percent of those want to also track their application status from their device. And surely, since that research was conducted, the percentages have only increased.

Your application process is likely tied to a legacy technology platform that simply isn’t ready for mobile. A complete mobile apply process should never, at any point in the process, send a candidate back to their desktop.

While there is a lot to consider — ATS integration, security and compliance, multiple options for resume upload, etc. — the over-arching importance is that we all understand what the term “mobile recruiting” truly entails, a difficult thing to do with all the hype and noise around the term. Mobile recruiting isn’t just about getting your jobs page ready for mobile searches and consumption. It isn’t just about making sure your listings can be easily found from any device. We have to think well beyond mobile SEO.

Mobile recruiting for years has been about the entire process, not just attracting the candidate in the first place. Once you’ve attracted them, you need to keep them — and forcing them back to their desktop is not the way to do that. It’s not yet too late to get truly mobile, but if you’re not at least thinking about an end-to-end mobile strategy now, it may be too late sooner than you want.