Think Beyond Mobile Apply for a Stronger Mobile Candidate Experience

For more insights on recruitment marketing best practices employed by the world’s leading organizations, including mobile candidate experience, get a free download of SmashFly’s Recruitment Marketing Report Card for the 2015 Fortune 500

This September, SmashFly researched and evaluated every 2015 Fortune 500 organization’s career site for 13 unique recruitment marketing practices. The research itself was pretty illuminating (see a snapshot here in the Report Card Infographic), especially as more organizations are aggressively investing in better ways to attract, engage and convert candidate leads into applicants.

While I highly encourage you to check out all 13 practices in the report card and use the data to benchmark your recruitment marketing strategy, I want to focus on four recruitment marketing best practices I consider crucial to how organizations find and attract the right talent to their organizations.

This is the second post in a four-part series highlighting each integral best practice and how to use it in your recruitment marketing strategy. Up today: the mobile candidate experience.


Mobile Candidate Experience

Today, mobile is affecting how we interact with our customers and, in recruiting’s case, our candidates. In 2014, the number of global users eclipsed desktop users for the first time ever, and there are many compelling statistics that show mobile increasing as the main channel through which consumers research and ultimately consume information. It’s no longer a question if or when, but how we adapt our strategies to ensure a personalized experience for our target market no matter the device they use.

Now as recruiting organizations, when we think about mobile our thoughts head directly to mobile apply. However, with SmashFly’s recent research, we wanted to measure the whole candidate experience from attraction to research to apply. After visiting every 2015 Fortune 500 company’s career site (yes, each and every one!), here’s what we found (we used the Google Mobile Friendliness tool to verify each site):

  • 59% of the 2015 Fortune 500 have a mobile-optimized career homepage (the page that links from the “Careers” navigation on their website)
  • 36% of the 2015 Fortune 500 have a mobile-optimized careers search (the page where a candidate clicks “Search Jobs” or the equivalent)
  • 38% of the 2015 Fortune 500 have a mobile-optimized apply process (the actual apply process once the candidate lead clicks the “Apply” button on a job)
  • Only 14% had a fully mobile-optimized candidate experience across all three of the above processes.

As the largest companies in the U.S., very few of this year’s Fortune 500 are providing a fully mobile-optimized candidate experience to find, research and ultimately apply to their organization. It’s an interesting and surprising percentage to say the least, especially with such a huge focus around mobile recruiting the past few years. But this means that there is a big opportunity for other organizations to step up their mobile game and offer their candidates an end-to-end engaging and mobile-optimized experience.


Key Takeaways

What’s important to take away from the research above on mobile recruiting? At a bare minimum, it’s imperative you start thinking about mobile’s impact on the candidate experience (check out our Mobile Recruiting Checklist for tips on getting started). Second, it’s all about what to tackle first. Here are a few thoughts:

  • Mobile isn’t just mobile apply! The mobile candidate experience starts way before the apply process. If you have a mobile-optimized apply process but no way to easily find and search jobs via mobile, very few candidates will even make it to your company’s apply flow.
  • Mobile means better search engine optimization (SEO): Mobile searches are increasingly growing as a percentage of all search engine searches (with reports that it’s now a majority of all search engine searches). And search engines such as Google have been adjusting their algorithms to ensure mobile-optimized sites and pages are credited in mobile search results. What this means for you is that if your career site homepage, job search or individual job pages are not mobile-optimized, they will not appear in search rankings for mobile searches that candidates type into their smartphones. I suggest you use the Google Mobile Friendliness tool to test your career site today.
  • A multiscreen strategy is key: While mobile should be top of mind as you build out and revamp your current career site, it’s also important to understand the percentage of visitors you receive from PC, mobile and tablet. It’s integral to take a multiscreen strategy for building and improving your candidate experience so that the experience is great no matter which channel or device a candidate wants to research, consume information and apply.
  • Capture mobile users through talent network forms. Talent networks are a trend I’ll write more about in a few weeks, but offering candidates an option outside of applying to provide their information for further communication is incredibly important and useful. Any talent network initiative should make sure that forms presented to candidates are optimized for the device the candidate is using, mobile included.

At SmashFly, we work with and speak to a lot of recruiting organizations who are looking to improve their recruiting strategies for mobile. However, many are so laser-focused on mobile apply that they neglect the other integral elements for mobile such as SEO, mobile search and mobile capture.

As you look to create a better candidate experience, mobile needs to be considered across all the touchpoints you have with your candidate leads in how they find, research, opt in and ultimately apply for job opportunities.



Smashfly is a client of TalentCulture and has sponsored this post.