The rise of mobile tech has completely disrupted the traditional recruitment paradigm — here’s what you need to know.
It’s official: mobile is taking over our lives. Between the time we spend on social media, texting family and friends, purchasing products and answering work emails, it’s hard to believe there’s any time left for anything else. In fact, eMarketer estimates that in 2017, UK consumers who own smartphones (more than 67% of the population) will spend upwards of 89 hours per month on their phones. And keep in mind that’s an average — that number is likely much higher among younger demographics.
It’s therefore unsurprising that smartphones have become the focal point for nearly every consumer-facing industry on the planet. Just look at the numbers: mobile now represents a 40.1% share of the UK’s total annual ad spend — by comparison, desktop represents a 20.6% share.
Of course, the mobile revolution isn’t just affecting product marketers — it’s having a massive impact on recruitment as well. According to the Undercover Recruiter, 89% of job seekers think mobile devices should play a “critical role” in the recruitment process, and 45% use their smartphones or tablets to search for jobs on a daily basis.
But despite mobile’s growing role in recruitment, companies have been somewhat slow to adjust their talent acquisition strategies accordingly. According to the Undercover Recruiter, only 39% of companies say they’ve optimised their careers websites for mobile, 36% have mobile-optimised job postings and 36% have mobile-optimised application processes.
As smartphone usage continues to increase rapidly (approximately 18.3%, year over year), recruiters would be wise to make mobile a strategic priority. Here are three areas to key an eye on going forward.
1. AI Chatbots
For candidates, the application process can be something of a black hole — in fact, as many as 75% of job seekers never hear back from prospective employers after applying for a position. This isn’t a product of negligence or indifference on the part of the recruiter; rather, it typically stems from too many applications for overextended hiring teams to handle. Unfortunately, leaving candidates in the lurch can have a serious impact on your employer brand.
Many are turning to AI-driven tech, such as mobile chatbots, to help ease the burden and improve candidate engagement. Bots can help bring a personal touch to the talent marketing and screening stages, answering simple questions about the company and/or position, sending candidates automated updates on their application status and guiding them through each stage of the process.
In an effort to up the level of engagement (and evaluation), many companies are maximising another one of mobile’s primary selling points: games. For example, programming training site CodeFights recently launched a feature called “Company Bots,” which challenges aspiring coders to compete against bots programmed by engineers from top tech companies across the globe. If the challenger wins, their information is automatically submitted to recruiters within the relevant field.
Of course, gamified recruitment isn’t just for developers and engineers — companies from nearly every sector are turning to mobile-optimised SJTs and other psychometric tests to evaluate candidates more effectively while simultaneously improving the candidate experience.
3. Social Media
The average consumer now spends more than two hours on social media every single day — 80% of that time, or 1.6 hours, is spent on a mobile device. If their total smartphone/tablet time is approximately 2.66 hours per day, that means that more than 60% of mobile activity is being spent on social apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
At the risk of saying something obvious, if you’re not making social media a priority, you’re probably going to have a hard time attracting top talent. By spreading quality and engaging content — employee testimonials, recruitment videos, infographics, etc. — across a variety of social platforms (do some research on your target demographic and focus on the platforms they tend to use the most), you’ll be able to give a significant boost to your brand’s visibility at minimal cost.
If you separate your social media career’s page and company page, make sure you’re posting hiring-related content on both. Your customers may know someone who may be interested in the opportunity and pass the information along, or might be a right-fit candidate themselves.
Going forward, mobile isn’t going to be merely a recommended best practice — it’s going to be a baseline requirement for attracting top talent in an increasingly competitive recruitment market. If mobile isn’t already a central component of your hiring programme, the time to act is now.