Is Mobile Recruiting the Way of the Future?

Julie Shenkman
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In any job market, human-resource experts face challenges in finding the best candidate for every position. Now, with hundreds—if not thousands—of applicants for every job, a recruiting strategy that allows you to weed out unacceptable candidates and pinpoint the best match is essential. As demands on your time increase and cost-saving opportunities become rarer, recruiters must learn to work smarter. Mobile recruiting is one way to do this.

According to a recent post from iMomentous, global tablet sales surpassed global consumer and business PC sales in 2012. Tablet sales, which began their steep climb before 2010, continue to mount, and experts are predicting no slowdowns. Add this to the huge number of smartphone users, and you can see how mobile Internet access accounts for a significant proportion of the browsing public. According to Forbes, 55 percent of cell phone owners use their phones as their main conduit to the Internet. Recruiters and human-resource organizations that don't consider these users when building their recruiting strategies may lose access to a lot of great talent.

Ed Newman, the Vice President of Strategy for iMomentous, points out that mobile recruiting should not be separate from your overall recruiting strategy. It's important to approach mobile efforts with an understanding of the differences between mobile devices and desktop computers, though. Newman points out that content is key, but you can't simply copy current content into a mobile package. Your recruiting strategy must consider the basic differences between PC users and mobile users. Mobile devices display information on smaller screens and require swiping and touch navigation instead of mouse scrolling and clicking. Complex forms and sites will be difficult for mobile users to navigate. Newman reminds human-resource organizations that a poor mobile recruiting site is almost as bad as no mobile recruitment; users aren't going to fiddle with a frustrating form or hard-to-read site.

A recent Forbes article discussed the mobile recruiting strategies of three companies that are doing it right. UPS, Sodexo, and Home Depot are all recruiting global talent through mobile efforts. UPS uses Facebook, Google, and Twitter to engage with applicants and deliver videos about UPS work experiences. Home Depot goes a step further by using mobile tools to create transparency in its hiring process; the home improvement store answers queries from job seekers and applicants via social media on a regular basis. Since 2012, Sodexo has increased visits to its mobile recruiting site by 233 percent with better content and Internet marketing.

Large companies like UPS and Home Depot understand how to cast the widest net for talent. If the fish are moving into the bay, you don't keep casting in the ocean. Companies that want to maintain viable workforces must incorporate mobile efforts into their recruiting strategies to find the talent where it's swimming.

(Photo courtesy of hyena reality /


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  • Martin B
    Martin B
    Using phone apps for applying to new jobs. I'm still not sold on that idea, but I do recognize it as a trend.Scrolling through emails, I see the "apply by phone" option / link all that time.The reason I can't recommend it yet is three-fold: (1) I think it's lazy. You're applying for a job using only a header of information for your decision, (2) I think it's impulsive. Believe me, when I hit the 6 month mark of unemployment, I clicked so many applications I thought I was going to break the computer mouse!, and (3) I suspect that hiring managers are told how applicants apply. I wonder if these sites reports to them the success rate of this option (it may be a sales feature). I think I'd be turned off by someone who applied from their phone versus on a laptop / computer, etc. I don't really know why - I just think I would.Maybe I'm old-fashioned.  

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