adding mobile to your recruiting

Here’s How You Can Provide a Mobile-Friendly Recruiting Experience for Candidates

You’re going to see a lot of articles about mobile adoption on this site from here on out, at least until it is mainstream in recruiting. The great thing about adding a mobile recruiting strategy to your program is it doesn’t take a huge effort to make the transition if you’re not already optimized for it.

One of the most important hurdles is getting past the mindset that you don’t yet need a mobile platform for your recruiting efforts.

Getting into the business mind that mobile is necessary now, in today’s recruiting atmosphere, requires you to accept some facts and then act on them.

Fact 1: Three out of five respondents in a Kelton Global survey said online job applications are more difficult to complete than other common types of applications like loan, mortgage or health insurance.

The initial transition from the traditional paper job application to one online carried over the lengthy process without any streamlining. As on paper, so with the web.

The biggest hurdle for an online applicant was the same as one submitting an application in person: the time-sucking process of completing several pages-deep applications.

Today the hurdle is doing this on a phone or tablet, if the application can even be viewed properly from those devices. So far, too few companies have a mobile apply option available to applicants, about 5 percent of Fortune 500s, according to a report by iMomentous, while about 70 percent of applicants want to use mobile apply.

Fact 2: In the same Kelton Global survey, nearly 80 percent of respondents said the job search process was difficult and time consuming.

That’s not hard to believe considering that nearly half of job seekers look for an organization’s career site when they begin their job search, yet few organizations actually have a career site in place.

When it comes to mobile, that stats are even worse: only about 180 career sites exist in the Fortune 500 (36 percent), this number according to

The thing is, though, even with many of these mobile career sites, the paths to them are not optimized. So say your career site is mobile but your corporate site is not (and 60 percent aren’t). Someone on a phone may not click through to your career site because they will most likely believe it, too, is not optimized.

This is such a minor tech hurdle but it deters about 60 percent of job seekers from continuing to your postings.

Fact 3: Applicant tracking systems provide poor user experiences for applicants on any device. Some of the big name ATS providers haven’t changed their software in more than a decade, meaning the apply process is just as cumbersome, clunky and time consuming now as it was then.

If you aren’t sure if yours falls into this category, just go and apply for one of your open requisitions. While applying, keep this in mind: Your application is part of your employer brand. A poor experience here means a poor association with your brand.

At least 22 percent of applicants on the shoddy end of a candidate experience have told others to not bother.

When it comes to a mobile experience on an ATS, you can be sure this percentage is higher. As I said, most of today’s applicants are mobile and ready to apply for your jobs from their mobile devices.

Accommodate them.

Getting Started

As noted, the first stop on the path to your jobs is typically your career site. Take a look at your site from a phone. Does it look like a microscopic version of what you see on the desktop? If so, you need to start there and work your way through the process until you have a fully optimized path to apply that works on all devices.

Today, there is no shortage of overlays that can integrate with your ATS to provide a better experience for all applicants, including the mobile crowd. All without missing a beat with your recruiters.

But you have to make sure you are getting something that provides a complete experience, from first encounter with your career site through the application process.

You don’t want to end up buying mobile apply software only to find the path to your application isn’t optimized.

When it comes to our own platform, RightJobNow, we optimize the entire candidate experience, integrating seamlessly with your brand and your ATS for a fluid multi-device experience.

Every entry point into your career platform is optimized to work across devices so no matter how a candidate lands in your hiring stream, that individual has an optimized experience.

The best thing about implementing our platform is that it is cost effective regardless of the size of your organization. Set up time is quick and we will work with you whether you have ten jobs or ten thousand jobs.

No matter the platform you choose, though, you have to consider every possible entry point into your hiring funnel if you want to provide a candidate experience that matters.

In addition to including a multi-device experience you should consider these points:

1. Count how many clicks it takes to get from your career site to an apply button. If it’s more than three, you need to fix that. For every click beyond three, you lose two candidates. Ideally your job search should be on your career site in plain view.

2. In your application, make sure you provide an easy way or ways to upload a resume or cover letter. Not many mobile users keep these documents on their phone, so having a way to upload from an online storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive provides easy access to them.

3. Most importantly, provide a candidate-centric experience. It’s less about how convenient the process is for your recruiters and more about attracting and retaining quality candidates.

Your front-end platform should include at least the following:

  • a career site with plenty of info on your organization,
  • a feature-rich talent community that allows candidates control over the information they receive and share,
  • an employee referral program that automates the referral process and puts employees in the recruiter seat,
  • a feature-rich job search that provides more ways to find your jobs than simply a keyword search,
  • an attractive, easy-to-use apply process that has as few steps as possible to complete;
  • and it should all work from any device.

Mobile usage is exploding year to year. In 2012 there were 1.13 billion smartphone users globally. By 2013 that number jumped 27.1 percent to 14.3 billion. In 2014 the number is projected to jump another 22.5 percent for a total of 1.75 billion users.

Obviously more and more of these mobile users are going to be part of a growing source in the job market. By adding a mobile experience to your exsiting recruiting platform and making it as easy as possible to find your jobs from phones and other devices, you are going to bring in more candidates. It’s just that simple.

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