Mobile-First Is The Future For Recruitment Strategy

In today’s world, smartphones are one of the most powerful tools we possess, and are used for far more than just communication. Even for job searches, which previously required thumbing through classified ads or searching on a desktop, mobile’s popularity has taken off. In fact, strategic consultancy Kelton found a whopping 86 percent of active candidates use their smartphones to begin a job search.

Nevertheless, job applications remain a long and laborious process that employers presume weeds out uninterested candidates (even though they don’t). And what’s already an annoyingly tedious process becomes a nightmare on a shrunken down mobile device. Therefore, attracting this new generation of talent will require businesses to design their recruiting process under a mobile-first approach. Here’s why.

Numbers are growing, but conversion rates aren’t. In recent years, applications through smartphones have seen a steady rise, but conversion rates haven’t, due to the shortfall of mobile-friendly web design. And while it’s the potential employees that have to deal with the insufficient design, it’s really the employers missing out.

Our current data suggests that only 2.8 percent of submitted applications come from a mobile-friendly website, despite the fact that those websites tend to be accessed much more frequently. It’s no huge surprise, though. In the same survey by Kelton, one out of five candidates said they would be deterred from completing an application if they couldn’t do it from a mobile device.

Even with a mobile-friendly design, job applicants are bound to encounter a number of challenges in the process. It is for this reason that we have found conversion rates to be 10 times better on webpages with a mobile-first design than a mobile-friendly design.

“Without using a mobile-first approach, employers run the risk of isolating many individuals with enormous ability and potential.”

Weak mobile functionality could limit diversity. In previous years, a computer might have been the best option for connecting to the Internet. However, times have changed. While smartphone usage has increased across the board, Hispanics and African-Americans are particularly dependent upon technology for access to Internet.

In fact, 2015 data shows that 55 percent of Hispanics and African-Americans had used their phone over the past year to find job information (compared with only 37 percent of whites), and are more than twice as likely to submit a job application via their phone.

Therefore, without using a mobile-first approach, employers run the risk of isolating many individuals with enormous ability and potential. And given that diversity and inclusion is a key driver of internal innovation and business growth, employers could limit their success as a result.

Poor mobile design means wasted advertising dollars. In an effort to attract top talent, employers have made it a priority to advertise their organizations as enticing places to work by pumping large amounts of money into testimonials and other types of content. However, this falls on deaf ears if it isn’t appealing or accessible by mobile.

To create more appealing content, information that is repurposed from desktop websites must be reworked to fit the mobile-first design specifically. This takes on even greater importance considering we found that over 70 percent of traffic that comes from job boards and aggregators comes from a mobile device.

Video is one of the easiest and most effective methods to communicate with mobile users today. In 2015, across LinkedIn globally, videos shared in the feed had 100 percent greater engagement and 75 percent greater share rate. The same approach would work well for mobile-first recruiting.

Ultimately, keeping up with job seekers’ changing demands and expectations requires companies to leverage a mobile-first design in their recruiting strategies. If they don’t, it’s not just the job seekers who will suffer—companies will suffer, too.

Othamar Gama Filho
Othamar Gama Filho is co-founder and CEO at Talentify.io, a results-as-a-service recruitment solutions provider that integrated technology, marketing and recruiting to create captivating hiring experiences for candidates, hiring managers and HR teams at the world's most innovative companies. He is an entrepreneur with 10-plus years of experience in areas such as e-commerce, mobile, digital media, HR tech, and recruitment.

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