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Micah Fairchild Answering the Top 4 FAQs on Mobile Recruiting

3.5 stars Average rating: 3.5 (from 106 votes)
 By Micah Fairchild

Reaching Job Prospects Just Became a 24/7 Business

We all well know that right now mobile is well… "In"; and by all accounts it appears poised to take over the technology world. Indeed, according to research by Gartner, by 2014 global revenue for data and voice is estimated to be in excess of $1T. Further, research by Ericson has 2020 pegged as the year that 50B mobile devices will be connected. Aside from future projections, a CTIA study puts current U.S. mobile device ownership at just over 89% of the population, and the Pew Research Center's latest Internet and American Life Project has Generation Y sitting at a staggering 95% ownership for a mobile device. Given these statistics, it was only a matter of time until two and two was put together and the connection was made between "mobile" and recruitment.

Some view the "mobile movement" for recruitment as a fad, while others see it as simply the next frontier of talent acquisition. However, no one denies the power that mobile devices have in the technology market; which is why we've put together this quick list of FAQs to help you understand this issue better.

Question 1: What exactly is mobile recruitment?

Though it may sound grossly simplified, mobile recruiting (or m-Recruiting as it's sometimes called) is merely recruiting, communicating, and engaging prospective applicants via a mobile device—whether it be a cellular phone, smartphone, laptop, PDA, iPad or gaming device. Unfortunately, the simplification stops there, as mobile recruiting has come to mean different things to different people. Some see it as only a stream of texting that is geared towards encouraging applicants to visit a formal recruitment website. Others see mobile recruiting as only a website optimization for iPads and smartphones. Still others, like mRecruiting Camp's founder Michael Marlatt, see it for the strategic talent opportunity that it could be. Says Marlatt, "mobile recruiting is no different than mobile marketing…it's using different ways to deliver content to your target audience with your mobile device." Four just such ways include:

  • QR – Quick Response codes are barcode-esque squares that can direct applicants to career sites. Just know even though these are cheap, easy to embed, and fast, not all mobile devices respond to these codes.
  • SMS – Also known as Short Message Service, these easy to consume text alerts can allow connection with an applicant for job notifications, location-based open houses, interview details, etc.
  • Applications – Though a bit more ideal for larger companies, creating a mobile "app" is just further customization to an already more personalized process.
  • Website Optimization – Ironically enough, optimizing a website for mobile recruiting means adhering to mobile device form factors and stripping it down for simplicity's sake. You want search capabilities, possible video, and lots of links so that the applicant can check out any and all pertinent company information, but not much else.

Question 2: Are there tangible benefits to adding m-Recruiting to our talent acquisition strategy?

You bet, and here are the top 3:

  • Targeting – With location-based apps being developed by the truckload, companies can now easily target prospective applicants for job fairs, open houses, or even specific jobs. Not only that, but mobile recruitment allows for an extremely customized and personal response.
  • Read Rate – While not as actionable as some statistics, the fact remains that compared to email, texting is the clear winner. In fact, according to PepsiCo's Chris Hoyt, "email marketing has a single-digit open rate [whereas] SMS has a 92% read rate". Further, it should be noted that even though many smartphones and other mobile devices do have emailing capabilities, SMS is almost universally available, accepted, and used.
  • Time – The speed with which mobile recruiting efforts can be deployed is practically warp speed compared with other recruitment marketing.

Question 3: Will m-Recruiting actually reach job seekers?

With a lack of strong empirical evidence to support the notion that mobile recruitment is a necessary component to any organization's talent acquisition strategy, it's not hard to understand why many companies have not fully committed just yet. Sure, "mobile" works for things like Customer Relationship Management (CRM), but how do you know if it will actually work for recruiting? - Because you're giving applicants the chance to connect with you.

M-Recruiting allows companies to connect with prospective applicants for not only just job opportunities, but companies can also engage via mobile platforms on a host of other topics—from hiring news to new company info. Making sure that the information is delivered fast and when it's needed is what's important. Indeed Vonq's Mani Patel, went as far as to say, "people [are] becoming less and less concerned [with] how information [reaches] them". It only matters says Patel, "that it [gets] to them in a quick and simple manner".

Question 4: Is mobile recruiting "deployment-ready"?

Undoubtedly, the field of m-Recruiting is still quite young, and advances will continue to happen on an almost daily basis. That being said, for those companies willing to invest a bit of time and energy on getting their "ducks-in-a-row", the exposure and hyper-personalization of mobile recruiting could pay dividends in the number and quality of applicant leads. Sodexo, PepsiCo, and a host of other leading talent management players are all trying to engage applicants via a mobile presence. As referenced earlier though, mobile applications have the ability to get something to someone at any time and from anywhere. Hence, what we're really after is leveraging the "right now" effect. If, in the mobile recruiting experience, the applicant cannot go directly to the organization's site or cannot immediately look up what they want on a given company, the benefits of mobility have seriously been hampered. Hence, for better or worse, much of the ultimate success or failure of mobile recruiting rests with the employer and not the applicant. End

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The fact remains that compared to email, texting is the clear winner. In fact, according to PepsiCo's Chris Hoyt, "email marketing has a single-digit open rate [whereas] SMS has a 92% read rate". Further, it should be noted that even though many smartphones and other mobile devices do have emailing capabilities, SMS is almost universally available, accepted, and used.

 

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