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Mobile Integration in Talent Acquisition

Mobile Integration in Talent Acquisition

Are you ahead of the curve?

HRO Today

To review the original article click here 6th Aug 2018

There’s no doubt that mobile plays a huge role in our personal and professional lives. But while individuals are certainly using these devices regularly, are HR teams and businesses tapping into this communications platform effectively when it comes to building a competitive employer brand and talent acquisition strategy? Potentially not.

With the increase in cell phone ownership and growing popularity of smartphones, having instant access to the internet is now something we’ve all come to expect. In fact, according to data from the Pew Research Institute, smartphone owners are clearly using these devices to stay connected, with 89% of mobile internet users going online daily and 31% almost constantly.

The fact that further one-in-five American adults are ‘smart-phone only internet users’ demonstrates just how vital the integration of mobile into the complete hiring process for potential candidates is today: from job search, to application, to screening and beyond. That’s one fifth of the population who aren’t necessarily engaged with your employer brand simply because of their preferred method of accessing the internet. And with further research from global strategic marketing consultancy, Kelton, revealing that 86% of candidates begin their job search on their mobile, there can quite simply be no doubt that the future of talent acquisition will be heavily-dependent on this communications device.

Indeed, the data from Pew also indicates that it is the younger generations who are more reliant on mobile phones for internet access, so it’s certainly safe to assume that this reliance on cell phone only web access will continue to increase.

For HR and talent management teams, we have most certainly reached a point where there can be no excuse for continuing with a jobsite or application process that isn’t mobile friendly. That’s not to say that it needs to simply be accessible or readable on such a device, though: the entire candidate journey must also be mobile-enabled—online and even entirely via SMS, for convenience and for those on phones that are not on smart devices.

The age-old approach of sending cover letters and lengthy CVs in email attachments simply won’t work on hand-held devices, particularly given how few people actually have their resume saved on their phones. With over 146 million US employees on LinkedIn, however, enabling applicants to use their profile—which contains similar information to their CV—to apply or register their interest in a role is certainly an approach that will improve both the candidate experience and the recruitment team’s efficiency. When we consider that social media platforms such as LinkedIn will not only help to verify the candidate’s information is correct, but also provide access to possible references, it really is a no-brainer.

Even simple approaches to mobile-integration will have a big impact on a company’s talent sourcing strategies. A ‘quick-apply’ button on jobsites that collates contact details and a few bullets outlining relevant experience and enables recruiters to get in touch can make it much easier for candidates to register their interest while on the move. This cell-phone integration doesn’t begin and end with career pages or jobsites, though. By integrating further options such as bot-based applications or ‘text to apply’, it’s possible to give candidates a ‘pick-your-own’ experience which is aligned to their technological preference.

When we also consider the sheer scale of the gig economy in the US, the need for investment in HR technology becomes much more apparent. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.5 million people are currently contingent workers. With companies increasingly relying on this flexible workforce, the subsequent administrative burden has risen, with the likes of screening questions being repeatedly asked. This information gathering task can be streamlined through mobile apps or SMS, reducing the time impact of transactional activities on HR teams. And, as mentioned earlier, by providing multiple channels to express an interest in a job which ultimately leads everyone back to the same place for equal consideration, it’s possible to increase your reach among the contracting community.

While investment in HR technologies is on the up—with research from CB Insights revealing that US companies invested $2 billion in this field, including mobile, in 2016 alone—incorporating mobile in talent acquisition is still an action which is being discussed, rather than something that naturally forms part of hiring strategies. HR teams need to lead this shift in mindset for not only themselves, but other business stakeholders. Until the entire attraction process becomes organically mobile-enabled, it can be argued that organisations will be behind the curve. And given how tech savvy the candidates of today are, playing catch-up is not an option.

It’s certainly difficult to pinpoint the reasons why adoption of mobile-integration in the hiring process is still low. As a relatively new concept, it’s understandable that a fear of failure or a lack of information, knowledge and high-profile case studies could be holding some businesses back. But the fact remains that there can now be no doubt that the future of the hiring process—from engagement and application right through to assessment and on-boarding—is mobile. Those pioneering firms that make the first successful leap into innovation in this area will certainly be setting themselves up for success.

This is an excerpt from the ‘Human Resources New Technology Quarterly Summary: Q2 2018.’ Click to read the full report.

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