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.

Is Your Hiring Process Mobile Friendly?

mobile hiringWe’re living in a world of hyper- connectivity.  These days, everything must be mobile optimized- from websites to online shopping carts and even online job applications.  Yet according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, only 10% of businesses optimized their job applications for mobile.  The failure of the other 90% to optimize their applications for mobile amounted to missing out on roughly 94% of candidates using their mobile phone or smart device. If your hiring process isn’t mobile friendly from beginning to end, your business could be missing out on the most digitally mature candidates.

Creating a Mobile Friendly Hiring Process

Increasingly, more candidates are logging on and searching for jobs from mobile devices.  Many of these candidates continue to log on from mobile devices to communicate with recruiters, answer additional hiring questions, and submit documents.  With this in mind, how do businesses create a mobile friendly hiring process from beginning to end?  Try the following suggestions:

  • Create video job postings.  Video is a very mobile friendly way to attract candidate interest.  Videos are easily viewable on any mobile device and can enhance the hiring process for technologically sophisticated candidates. By filming a video, candidates can easily digest what the position is and how they might see themselves in the role. Video also enhances the candidate experience because it’s more interactive.
  • Optimize career pages. The problem with many career pages is that they aren’t on mobile- friendly platforms nor do they offer mobile friendly options.  It’s time for employers to collaborate with the Marketing team to design custom landing pages that enhance the mobile hiring process, not detract from it. Consider how your team can present the employer brand with engaging and dynamic content. This could be a video job posting, live chat options with brand ambassadors and team photos.
  • Create SMS recruiting content. Employers have an opportunity to enhance candidate communication with little effort on their end.  Consider creating mobile friendly recruiting messages that are brief, but inspire action.  Rather than creating spammy canned emails like those that some recruiters send out on LinkedIn, create tailored messaging that encourages the mobile candidate to view more content or dive further into the experience with a brand ambassador via mobile.  The key is to think creatively but think in terms of brief engaging content.
  • Simplify the application process.  Few businesses’ application processes are mobile friendly.  Couldn’t a company offer a way for candidates to automatically submit their resumes via QR code or LinkedIn?  This would enhance the mobile hiring process instead of automatically linking to an ATS that requires 9 pages of typing and retyping qualifications, references, GPA’s, and contact information. What’s the point of automatically parsing a resume if the hiring process begins as a headache? This can actively deter top candidates instead of attracting them to the job posting.  The answer is to simplify the process as much as possible to make it more attractive and engaging.
  • Offer mobile friendly video interviews. Video interviews can be extremely mobile friendly and enhance the hiring process.  Candidates can log on and record an interview on demand so the recruiter can screen them.  Or candidates progressing through the hiring process can log onto a live video interview via mobile app.  Video interviews are a great way to connect with mobile candidates in a meaningful way. Now both employers and candidates can tell their story via mobile.

As mobile usage continues to grow, more candidates will start their job search on mobile devices.  The challenge for employers is to successfully create a mobile hiring process that enhances the candidate experience, not harms it.  We will begin to see more focus in 2016 on mobile recruiting, but employers who advance their mobile hiring process now will  be ahead of the pack.




Recruiting Best Practices: Not On The Mobile Bandwagon? Time To Get There

If you’re a technology insider, you probably keep an eye out for Mary Meeker’s yearly report on behalf of renowned venture fund KPCB.

Even if you’re not an insider, her report on the internet’s fastest changing trends has some fascinating insights. While the data she looks at often has consequences for investors, they also suggest changes coming for other sectors as well. And when it comes to recruiting best practices, one of the most interesting trends is that of the shift from desktop to tablet + phone.

With over 50 percent of all internet traffic now coming from mobile devices (as of mid-2015), there are a number of implications for how you communicate with job applicants all the way through your recruitment marketing funnel. Simply put, the “buyer’s journey” looks much different on mobile devices than it does on desktop.

Here are a few structural changes to keep an eye on and make changes to if necessary:

Optimize for a Fragmented and Continuous Conversation

With Millennials and Gen Z spending an average of more than 4 hours per day on their mobile devices, the conversations have changed. Not only are they spending more time on their devices, they are continuously connected; instead of spending blocks of time on one thing, they’re constantly shifting between content in their professional and personal lives.

This is especially important at the top of your recruiting funnel, since it means that your potential employees will be looking to see if you can quickly establish who you are. A presence on Snapchat or another micro-messaging service may not be necessary, but at a minimum your website and content needs to be easy to engage with and designed for bite size access.

Prioritize Responsive Design, and Responsive Content

Because screen size and capabilities vary by device, it is important to provide a flexible experience for mobile users. And while you may already know the importance of responsive design, you might not be as familiar with responsive content.

The idea is to address a variety of content formats and attention spans. Quickly looking through a slideshare may work for some, while video or even simply reading a blog post may be preferred by others. The key is to make it easy for someone to engage in whatever way makes sense for them at that moment.

Do You Need an App? Maybe not.

Somehow over the past few years Apple and others convinced companies that to be cool and reach people on mobile, you had to deliver via apps. But apps are expensive to produce, often require a full team to integrate and implement, and are constantly in need of an update.

Fortunately, browsers are making a comeback and are more flexible, and as sites are becoming more optimized for the mobile web, reaching people on their tablet or phone is once again more of a matter of making the design and content responsive rather than spending time developing a stream of apps that are expensive and time consuming to upkeep.

A businesses’ adoption of technology and an innovative work culture is part of what attracts candidates. This means that what your company’s mobile presence looks like and how your recruitment efforts are taking mobile into consideration says a lot about your company in general. Having a good, smart mobile strategy will go a long way to helping you attract the best quality candidates into your recruiting funnel.

Image: Bigstock

Recruiting + Mobility = Perfect Match? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full collection of highlights and resources from this week’s events? Read the #TChat Recap: “Recruiting: Going Mobile by Demand?“)

Are you reading this post on a smartphone or tablet? If so, you’re among 35% of TalentCulture visitors who interact with us via mobile devices. And those numbers are growing fast — in only the past 6 months, the rate of mobile TalentCulture visitors has increased by more than 100%.

But this big mobile shift makes us wonder what the impact is on “people-oriented” business processes like recruiting.

Just how rapidly are employers integrating new communication channels into the hiring process? And what issues and opportunities are arising from all of this innovation?

Mobile Recruiting Trend Snapshot

Participants at the recent Mobile Recruiting Conference (MREC) confirmed that job candidates are increasingly connected while “on the move,” and recruiters recognize the implications. For example, according to Talent HQ Mobile Recruiting Insights:

•  62% of passive job seekers use a mobile device to research potential employers
•  61% have a better impression of a brand after a favorable mobile experience.
•  62% of recruiters say that mobile recruiting is the top trend for 2014

According to industry analyst Josh Bersin, companies like LinkedIn and Prudential already attract more than 50% of their candidates through mobile channels. Yet, other organizations seem to be lagging behind. Talent HQ reports that only 16% of U.S. talent acquisition “leaders” have optimized their career sites for a mobile audience — including only 26 of the Fortune 500 companies.

So, what does this mean for today’s changing world of work? That’s what we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two well-known talent acquisition experts:

•  Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, Founder and Chief Blogger at Blogging4Jobs and
•  Rayanne Thorn, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at Technomedia, global talent management solutions provider.

Recently, Jessica framed the topic in a brief “sneak peek” Hangout with me. Watch now:

What are your thoughts about the emerging role of mobile technology in finding and hiring top talent? Join us this week to share your ideas and opinions!

#TChat Events: Mobile Devices + Recruiting = Good Match?


Tune-in to #TChat Radio

#TChat Radio — Wed, Oct 30 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Jessica Miller-Merrell and Rayanne Thorn about the changing dynamics of recruitment. Tune-in LIVE online this Tuesday afternoon!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Oct 30 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will moderate an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: Does mobile recruiting enhance an employer’s value proposition?
Q2: What is keeping some employers from adopting mobile recruiting?
Q3: For candidates, has mobile job search reached critical mass?
Q4: Is mobile recruiting mostly about hiring young candidates?
Q5: Look ahead 10 yrs. What tools will drive recruiting?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Recruiting Trends & Effect on Job Seekers

Today’s post is by Ty Abernethy — founder and CEO of ZuzuHire, a multimedia candidate screening tool incorporating video, voice, essay and multiple-choice questions. He has a background in executive recruiting, and currently manages the finance/accounting recruiting division of Chase Professionals.

The hiring process is changing–not only for companies and recruiters, but also for candidates. With companies facing challenges like budget cuts and understaffed recruiting departments, they are looking at new tools to simplify the hiring process. Things are changing quickly, and it’s hard to keep up. But it’s also difficult to tell which tools and innovations will stick once the dust has settled. Here’s a breakdown of some of the exciting new technologies that will (most likely) stick and how candidates should adapt to keep up.

Ding, Dong the Job Boards Are Dead (well sort of…)

Once upon a time, all hiring strategies went like this: 1) post an ad to a major job board, 2) review resumes, 3) interview, 4) and hire. But things are changin’. Now, with the advent of social media, companies and recruiters have so many more recruiting gadgets in their tool kit. And with aggregate job sites like Indeed and SimplyHired, there is no longer a need for employers to post with the major job boards. Companies can use the smaller, lesser known (and cheaper) boards and get great results. And LinkedIn has now become the largest “resume” database in the world. Soon companies and recruiters will use LinkedIn profiles interchangeably with resumes. And before too long, companies will start allowing applicants to apply to their job postings via the “Connect with LinkedIn” plug-in instead of having to upload a resume. For candidates, this means they must have a professional, updated, and detailed profile.

Video Is Not Just For Pop Stars!

Video is fast becoming a major component to the hiring process, both as a marketing tool and as a candidate screening and interviewing tool. Companies are realizing that the more they differentiate their jobs from their competitors’, the easier it is for them to attract exceptional candidates. And video is a great way for a job seeker to get to know a company better. YouTube and Facebook videos help to give a company a face and a personality and make candidates more excited about the organization. Additionally, video offers a great time saving solution for companies during the interviewing process. Companies can interview candidates in a fraction of the time by incorporating video, and save on travel costs as well. Very soon it will be commonplace for companies to screen and interview candidates via video before bringing candidates in-house to interview. Job seekers need to purchase a webcam so they can keep up!

Mobile! (It’s not just a town in Alabama!)

Mobile recruiting will be huge in the future. Currently, companies looking for a competitive edge have started to incorporate mobile apps and text messaging into their recruiting campaigns. New technology allows recruiters to send out a job via an app and candidates can “check in” if they are available. Recruiters see not only that the candidate is available, but where he/she is geographically located. Then recruiters can reach out to candidates that are in the closest proximity to the job. Crazy, right! Additionally, recruiters now have the capabilities to mass text message candidates with job specs. Instead of having to wait for a candidate to check his/her email, recruiters send the message directly to the one device candidates never put down—their cell phones! Powerful stuff, especially for recruiters sourcing for time-sensitive temp jobs. Job seekers should update to smart phones to keep up.

How Job Seekers Should Adapt

Job seekers that adapt the fastest will see the best results. Being prepared for these changes really helps a job seeker stand out from the crowd. First off, it’s imperative for candidates to leverage their social media communities. Great sites like StartWire make it extremely easy to keep your networks updated on your job search and to ask for assistance and support along the way. It is imperative to find and apply to jobs within the first 24 hours that they are posted. Candidates should set up Indeed and Bing job alerts for target job titles in their geographic location. Signing up for social media job search tools like BraveNewTalent can also be quite effective for finding companies that are hiring. Job seekers should purchase a webcam and become comfortable communicating and interviewing online. If job seekers can keep up, they will stand out among the crowd.

The times are a changin’, and if you adapt you will thrive. What are you doing to update you recruiting or job search strategy?

IMAGE VIA  Bramus!