Is Your Smartphone Your Best Hiring Tool?

By September 3, 2013

cell phone addict

The next war for talent will be waged in your pocket. As smartphone and mobile technology continue becoming a more important part of our daily lives, these tiniest of screens will be the new battleground for the best talent.

Don’t believe me? Think about this disturbing stat illuminating the prevalence of mobile technology: While 4.8 billion people own a mobile device, only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. And these smartphone-obsessives are never far away from their precious. A huge 91 percent of cellphone users never let their devices out of sight, keeping their phone within range 24/7.

Mobile Candidates Want A Mobile Job Search

We do everything on our phones now, from making a grocery list, to listening to music, to finding a date for Friday night. So it should come as no surprise candidates are looking for a mobile experience when it comes to the job hunt.

In fact, 85 percent of job seekers are either currently using mobile technology to apply for jobs or would be interested in applying from their devices. With mobile technology continually evolving as job seekers’ lives grow more hectic, great candidates are looking to save time and still find a great job.

Companies Are Losing The War For Mobile Talent

With the skills gap continually growing, there’s more competition than ever for the top candidates. According to a study by Bersin and Associates, talent shortages were cited as a major problem by more than half of the business leaders surveyed. This is especially true if the position you’re hiring for happens to involve technology. Not surprising, considering the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects technical hiring will more than double the growth rate for other occupations by 2016.

Yet employers are continually dropping the ball when it comes to this new, pocket-sized battlefield for talent. In fact, only 13 percent of companies surveyed by Potentialpark even had a mobile version of their website. The number is a bit higher for Fortune 500 companies at 20 percent, yet still perilously low when considering the importance of mobile technology to job seekers.

For example, a survey of job seekers showed  61 percent would immediately leave a site if it wasn’t formatted for mobile. If your company’s recruiting strategy isn’t optimized, great job candidates will be ignoring your company’s calls.

Optimize Your Hiring

So how do you adjust your hiring strategy in order to capture the best mobile job seekers? Here are a few ways you can immediately start improving your mobile candidate experience:

Optimization is key. It’s extremely important to optimize your career site and application process for mobile viewing. No candidate wants to slog through a tiny, hard-to-fill application when they can find an easier experience at your competitor’s mobile-optimized site. Load times can be painfully long on non-optimized sites, meaning your great candidate might lose patience before even seeing your open positions.

Take the time to optimize by offering a mobile version of your corporate career site. Candidates looking for a sleek, simple experience will stick around to fill out an application. If you’re looking for tech talent, a mobile optimized site tells candidates your company is serious about embracing technology and finding great technical workers.

Make it sharable. With the prevalence of social media recruiting, it seems obvious more companies should include social recruiting in their overall hiring strategy. Yet most companies spend so much time focused on social networks they forget tons of social sharing happens on the tiny screens of smartphones and tablets.

Companies should make it easy for candidates to share great positions with their social universes from a smartphone on-the-go. Make sharing as simple as pressing a single button, and candidates will be tweeting, emailing, and updating their status with your open positions.

Interview from your device. According to a recent survey, six out of 10 employers are using video interviews in the hiring process. What you might not realize is how video interviews can be utilized in mobile recruiting. In one-way video interviews, candidates can answer your written questions on video.

Here’s where the smartphone comes into play: candidates can record these answers directly from their mobile device. This means busy passive candidates recording video interview answers on their lunch break, between meetings, or even poolside while on vacation. Mobile technology is helping to make even the traditional interview process portable.

In today’s technology-driven environment, companies just can’t afford to ignore the power of mobile. These little pocket-sized computers will be the next battleground for the war on talent, which is why your company needs to adapt or risk losing the best and brightest.

What do you think? How have you optimized for mobile recruiting? Share in the comments!


About the Author: 
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.