Mobile Recruiting: The Dawn of a New Era

Today’s labor pool is the most diverse in the history of the United States. More generations are in the workforce than ever before; women comprise roughly half of all workers; and most companies’ employees come from a plethora of ethnicities and national backgrounds.

However, there is one thing they pretty much all have in common: mobile devices. In the U.S. alone, 262 million people subscribe to wireless services. More than 138 million of them send and received text messages. If you think texting is just a “Gen Y thing,” think again. Fully 72 percent of wireless subscribers use text messaging, and 53 percent of texters are 35 and up. The impact of this trend on recruiting is clear. Potential employees are increasingly mobile. They are no longer just waiting for a phone call – or an email, for that matter. They are on the go – and savvy employers need to reach them wherever they are at any given moment.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of employers lack a basic understanding of how to take advantage of the mobile web when it comes to their talent sourcing strategy. According to a study by online recruiting research lab Potentialpark, a limited number of employers have implemented mobile recruiting strategies via apps and mobile websites. Only 29 percent of the top 10,000 websites have a mobile version and a paltry 7 percent of career sites are mobile-enabled. Just 3 percent have a mobile job app.

Compare those figures to these, also from Potentialpark:

* 57 percent of job seekers would like to be able to conduct their job search online

* 51 percent wish to receive job alerts about new positions via SMS/mobile email

* 39 percent want to be able to track their progress through the application/recruiting process via mobile

* 39 percent would like to see a mobile-friendly online calendar of recruiting/career events for target companies in their job search

Nearly 80 percent of job seekers now use mobile applications when searching for a job. With smartphone sales rapidly outpacing sales of regular cell phones, those numbers only stand to increase in the very near future. It’s no wonder mobile recruiting was one of the hottest subjects of 2011 – and promises to grow even stronger in 2012. Mobile phones are revolutionizing the way employers reach potential candidates.

A mobile-enabled site is not just your website adapted to be accessible on a mobile device, but a mobile-optimized version, made to automatically detect when someone is visiting the site through a mobile browser. Granted, mobile recruiting should never be looked upon as a replacement for standard talent sourcing strategies. However, for specific campaigns and targeted candidate segments, it is a powerful instant response tool.

Mobile recruiting can be a key component of a company’s talent sourcing strategy. Companies that ignore this powerful trend do so at their own peril.

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