the real numbers behind mobile recruiting

A Real Look at Mobile Recruiting Numbers

I throw a lot of stats out to emphasize the important issues we discuss on the blog here and my stand on mobile adoption for recruiting and why it is important is no different.

So let’s look at some real numbers and put the statistics into perspective.

There are about 435 million mobile devices in US homes as of this writing. What’s amazing about that number is that it exceeds our current population of 318 million, equaling to about 1.3 mobile devices per individual. That’s broken up among smartphones and tablets.

By the end of December 2013, nearly 102 million eligible Americans were not working – that number includes real unemployment and those who have left the labor market altogether. 145 million were employed, though. That’s roughly 58 percent of the employment-population ratio, or the labor force employed divided by the total population of individuals that fall within the working age, those sixteen and older.

With a real population of 318 million, the American workforce is roughly 78 percent of the population.

Now let’s take a second to look at the unemployed numbers. Of that 102 million, about 35 percent are no longer looking for work. Another 3.5 percent want to work but haven’t looked for anything in a month or more. So that leaves about 61 percent, or roughly 62 million active job seekers who are classified as real unemployed.

Added to the total number of employed, there are about 207 million potential candidates out there. Nearly two- thirds of the population.

But wait.

Only 71 percent of the labor force is actually on the job market, according to a Jobvite survey (pdf). That includes everyone in the unemployed-and-actively-looking camp plus around 84 million of those currently employed. Putting active job seekers just under half of the U.S. labor force at 42 percent.

That means the passive job market is huge at a whopping 58 percent. But that’s another topic for another day.

In all, there are 146 million job seekers. Or roughly 46 percent of the population of the US who are unemployed and looking for a job, employed but actively seeking something else, and employed and secure in their jobs but open to changing jobs.

Now let’s look at mobile usage among those numbers.

Of that 146 million it is estimated that nearly 90 percent of job seekers are using phones or tablets in their job search, this according to Glassdoor. Up seven percent from last year. That’s 131 million mobile job seekers! An astounding nine in ten using a mobile device in their job search.

Nine out of ten people.

The actions taken in these searches vary, but the fact is most of them are on their phones looking for your jobs in some way or another. Are your jobs available on the phone, is the real question.

Sadly, the answer is no. In fact, only 26 Fortune 500 companies have adopted mobile in their recruiting strategy; that’s including having an apply process. That’s not percentage; that’s 26 companies out of 500. This could be because mobile recruitment is still a relatively new construct and adoption has been so slow. But that number is ridiculously low for top billing companies with the way mobile adoption by consumers is increasing.

Outside the F500, and according to LinkedIn, only 20 percent of companies have mobile-optimized career sites. And worse, only 18 percent have optimized job posts.

To put this into further perspective, Employers across the country numbered nearly 28 million in the last census. So about 5 million of those potentially have career sites that are optimized. I say potentially because the number includes small business and though SBs account for more than 65 percent of new jobs since 1995, it’s unlikely all have open requisitions on a career site, or even have a website in place for that matter. However, for the sake of our example, it’s 5 million.

In any case, don’t fret. While those 131 million mobile job seekers are searching from their phones or tablets, only 23 percent (30.1 million) actually expect your jobs to be viewable on their device.

Even among Millennials, who make up about 36 percent of those active in the job market (52 million), with smartphone ownership at nearly 85 percent, only 37 percent (19 million) expect your career site to be optimized.

I’m kidding, of course, when I say don’t fret. The reality of it is the above stats are most likely the reason why these folks have such low expectations of job search in the first place. Because so few companies are implementing it. You should fret, because you are still turning away large numbers of recruits.

Consider this. When your career site or jobs aren’t optimized to view on a smartphone or tablet, they appear as shrunken versions of your desktop site. It’s simply too hard to use on a mobile device and what ends up happening is the candidate gives up and leaves out of frustration. Probably for your competitor.

The actual rate of abandonment is close to 40 percent, or roughly 52 million job seekers who walk away. Put into recruitment dollars per hire, you can see the money you are losing by not including optimization.

There are some at least trying to find your jobs at all costs, that 60 percent, and that says a lot about the trust those folks put in your employer brand. It also says that these people would be more responsive and act quicker if your site was responsive to their device.

The bottom line is, mobile isn’t going anywhere. It’s actually expected to surpass desktop usage in the next year. Desktop sales have plateaued while smartphone sales continue to climb. That speaks volumes to how imperative it is to adopt mobile in your recruiting strategy.

Closing the gap on that disparity would certainly bring more candidates to trust your employer brand, seeing that you are optimized for their devices.

One of the things we’ve discussed frequently and what led us to create the RightJobNow platform is the necessity of optimizing the entire career path, so that job seekers can find your jobs in as few clicks as possible – no matter where they enter the pipeline and from whatever device they are using. This includes multi-device users who bounce between devices in their job search.

It doesn’t matter if you have 100 open requisitions or 100,000, getting people in the hiring pipeline is your priority. Adopting a mobile recruiting strategy will bring those hires to your doors more efficiently and more effectively, costing you less dollars in recruiting over the long haul.

If you weren’t compelled before, if you see low mobile numbers in your analytics and that has prevented you from instituting a mobile recruiting strategy, then hopefully this report has changed your mind.

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