“If it’s tough to navigate for you, if you’re frustrated by the user experience, I guarantee you job seekers are feeling the same way. And that’s going to end up hurting you,” says Eric Offner, a mobile recruitment expert with CareerBuilder. In a recent phone interview, Offner discussed the opportunities and advantages of mobile recruitment, and offered me his thoughts on the following concepts:
On why employers need to join the mobile recruiting space:
“That’s where all the people are. If you think about CareerBuilder, for example, when this company started, everyone was using print to search for jobs and advertise jobs. Then things started shifting to the web and by 2005, internet was the primary space. Now, more and more people are moving from web to mobile. The audience is even larger on mobile, so it’s important to realize what your audiences’ habits are and adapt to them. Just look at the way big businesses have started using mobile apps and mobile sites to make it easier for consumers to search for items and make purchases from their phones. Consumers are job seekers, too, and they’re starting to expect the same kind of user-friendly experience when shopping for a new job.”
On mobile usage’s remarkable growth in the past few years:
“The growth of mobile usage alone is phenomenal. Just look at Google’s numbers: In 2010, 4 percent of Google’s searches was generated from mobile devices. Last year, that number went up to 14 percent and by now I suspect the figure to be at 20-25 percent or higher. The numbers are becoming big fast, and it’s happening for career-specific behavior as well. Right now, CareerBuilder averages around 3.5 million page views per day across our entire mobile platform. When we first launched our mobile site, we quickly grew from 30,000 to close to a million users a month. In the last two years alone, traffic has increased tenfold.”
On the unique advantages and opportunities mobile recruitment provides:
“If you think about how people utilize mobile search – it’s so fast and so quick, it literally takes two minutes for a candidate to find out about an opportunity and apply. The opportunity never existed before to reach people any time and so quickly, but now, candidates are always on their phones. It takes less than 120 seconds to grab people from offline media and send them to your opportunities online with QR codes, and immediately give candidates a glimpse into your brand or company.”
On why “waiting to see” just doesn’t cut it:
“I talk to companies all the time about mobile recruitment, and they’re hesitant to get started because they want to know, ‘What’s the ROI today?’ There are a lot of big questions and, because it’s so early, we don’t have all the answers yet, so right now, a lot of companies are just waiting to see where this goes. The reality, however, is that those companies that adapt now will have the greatest advantage. The time to take advantage of this opportunity is now. If even 1 percent of your traffic is from mobile users, get on it. We saw mobile traffic to CareerBuilder’s site increase from less than 1 percent to almost 10 percent in just 18 months – that’s incredible growth of very large numbers. A lot of people are migrating to mobile, and it’s time for companies to take notice and take advantage of that.”
On evaluating your current career site:
“Go to your career site from your smart phone. First of all, how long does it take to load? A good mobile site should load in three seconds or less. Most people are not going to stick around and wait for a site to load. Next, how easy is the site to navigate? If a job seeker really wants to work there, they’ll tough it out, but otherwise, they aren’t likely to stick around. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile use, go look at a careers site that IS and experience the difference. It’s significant. All of these companies that are spoiling mobile users by providing easy navigation – guess what? It’s working to their advantage.”
On the long-term effects of not going mobile:
“When I go somewhere from my phone, and I can’t navigate the site, I’m gone. That’s what’s happening to job seekers. If you’re not making it easy for them, you’re losing them, and the effects aren’t just short term. Eventually, it’s going to have a negative effect on your employment brand.”
On the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to mobile technology:
“Go for the user-experience. Don’t just put a Band Aid on it. Put effort into creating and maintaining a clear, clean, fast and easy-to-navigate mobile site. That is the perfect user experience. The user experience is what will set you apart and keep job seekers engaged.”
Have you started implementing mobile marketing techniques in your recruitment strategy? If not, what’s stopping you?
Forget what you think you know about HR... it's all about to change.
Sign up to start getting exclusive content designed to empower you with the insight necessary to go from HR professional to strategic business partner.