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Why Mobile Job Adverts are Falling at the First Hurdle

by Laurie Padua

Head of Technology and Operations Consulting 5th May 2016

It’s fair to say that most organisations have perfected the art of job advertising on mobile devices. Indeed, it’s now easier for candidates to find a potential new career option while on the go than it has ever been. However, there is, in my opinion, a fundamental gap which has been overlooked when it comes to mobile recruitment: the process of actually applying for a role.

According to data from marketing consultancy, Kelton Global, 70 per cent of active candidates want to apply for roles via mobile. More worryingly still, Glassdoor recently reported that one in four would not apply for a job if a company’s career site was not mobile optimised. While most candidates can easily find the role they are looking for via mobile, mainly due to the investment many organisations have put into the job advertising mobile experience, very few businesses have focused their attention now on the next stage of the process and optimised their mobile site to encourage applications.

If you consider what is involved in an application – submitting a CV document in word format and filling out lengthy forms, for example – completing this through a mobile device isn’t feasible. After all, how many of us actually have a copy of our CVs stored on our device? But given that such a huge number of individuals use this platform to research a job – with statistics from Glassdoor suggesting that one in ten use mobile devices for this – organisations could potentially be losing a huge number of applicants by forcing them to log on to a different device to complete the next stage.

Consider as well what the motivations are behind individuals using mobile devices in their job hunt. Many of us have access to a desktop computer or laptop through our current employer, but we’re unlikely to apply for a job while at work. And not everyone has a laptop or equivalent at home that they can use, given how smartphones have replaced the necessity to have one. By failing to introduce an application process designed specifically for mobile, organisations are potentially alienating a significant proportion of the talent pool at a crucial stage in the recruitment process.

The exact reason why more organisations have not invested in greater mobile optimisation is not crystal clear –but what is certain is that if a business wants to remain competitive in its talent attraction it will need to integrate mobile-apply in its recruitment processes. And this can be relatively simple to achieve.

Small changes in the user experience can make a big difference, having simple tick boxes and scrolling choices on a page or the option to submit Google Documents, for example, can make the mobile journey easier. Any good Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will also have the ability to integrate mobile applications. The problem is that many hiring managers may be unaware of the functionality that already exists within their systems, nor do they have the time to find out more about their options.

Consider as well how social media can tie into the mobile application process. The majority of professionals in the UK have a LinkedIn profile that, in most cases, contains the same information as their CV. Why not enable individuals to use their LinkedIn profile to apply for, or at least register their interest in, a job?

Investing in the development of an effective candidate mobile experience is a great step in a world where everyone is seeking information on the go. But we now need to see more companies dedicating resources to making the application stage mobile friendly, otherwise this initial investment could simply go to waste.


Laurie will be sharing her insights and expertise at Alexander Mann Solutions' Catalyst 2016 event in London on Monday 16th May.

Originally published in print in the HR Zone, 3rd May 2016 


 

 


 

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