Today’s job seekers value their time, and they’re careful about where they spend it—from visiting professional meetups, to applying for jobs, and everything in between. When looking for a job IS their job, they’ll do anything to save some time in the process. Which is part of the reason why more job seekers are turning to mobile first to search and complete job applications.
Why Companies Should Optimize Recruiting for Mobile
Searching and applying for jobs via mobile is the new norm.
As a 2015 Pew Internet study indicated, 43% of smartphone owners used mobile to look up information about jobs, while 18% submitted job applications on mobile. A year later, as many as 50% of smartphone job seekers submitted their applications via mobile.
Mobile is about more than speed.
When we think of “mobile,” things like speed, convenience, and portability come to many of our minds. For job seekers, mobile may also be about receiving bite-sized fragments of useful, relevant information that helps them make informed decisions.
Depending on the job app they use to complete their searches, they’re able to find key information with just a few taps or swipes, including:
- Job title
- Salary or hourly wage
They may even be able to find how many other people have applied for the same job, or determine whether or not they’re qualified.
How You Recruit on Mobile Matters
Not all mobile job application experiences are the same.
For the most part, mobile job searches start the same. A job seeker opens their preferred job app and keys in an initial search—usually job title and location. (Or they open the app after they’ve received an alert about a job that matches their criteria.) They review the job postings that pop up on screen, and learn a little about the company. From there, they select a tab that takes them to more specific job details. This is the moment when things can go in different directions:
- Some applications allow job seekers to link to their professional portfolios or LinkedIn pages to continue the application. Others do not.
- Some allow job seekers to upload a copy of their resume and/or cover letter from their phones, or access them from a cloud-based storage solution. Others ask job seekers to manually key in this information.
- Some employers allow job seekers to apply within the app. Others send job seekers back to their career sites via a third-party vendor, where the job seeker must continue the application.
One thing that is consistent: whether candidates are applying on phone or by computers, many will quit an application that falls into their personal “not worth my time” category. In fact, as many as 60% of applicants will quit filling out an online job application right around the mid-point—and some experts think the rate is even higher.
A poorly designed online job application looks even worse on mobile.
Consider things from the view of a job seeker:
- Super small font makes it difficult to read.
- A series of “read more” dropdown arrows cause you to lose your place.
- You’re asked to fill out basic contact information for the fifth time today.
- You’re told you can save and continue your application later, but you don’t see the button that tells you exactly how to do that.
In a hiring environment that’s increasingly mobile, not to mention competitive, candidates expect job applications to keep up with the times—and not waste their time. When a job seeker starts to question whether or not the application is worth their time, you’ve already started to lose them.
Like what you’re reading? Our latest Spotlight report, “Mobile and Social Strategies Help You Maximize Time for Candidates and Your Company,” provides deep insight into social and mobile recruitment. It’s available now.
So how can you present an application process that is mobile friendly for job seekers, but still provides you with the information you need?
3 Tips for Recruiting on Mobile
It’s essential that you try to strike a balance in what you ask, and how you ask it. Here are a few questions to consider as you prepare your job application for small screens:
- How many questions does your job application ask?
As SHRM notes, job applications with 25 or less questions have twice the completion rate as do applications with 50 or more questions. If the goal is to encourage candidates to complete your online job application, fewer questions is better.
- Is your application redundant?
Even if the application doesn’t ask the same question twice, are there questions that applicants can answer in other ways? For instance, does your application let job seekers link to their online portfolios, or share a link with their social media platforms? By doing so, you save them time from having to key in information that already exists elsewhere.
- How does your application measure up when you consider information you’ll get from a resume?
According to Jibe, 23% of mobile job seekers have access to a resume and/or cover letter via their smartphone (either as a saved document, or through a link to cloud-based storage). That means they can post their resume while they’re standing in line for coffee, rather than having to open up their laptops. Check to see if your mobile process lets candidates submit these essential documents via the mobile experience.
As mobile device usage continues to grow as a tool for job seekers, businesses that focus on a mobile-friendly application process will continue to connect with the most qualified talent, especially in today’s competitive hiring environment. Most importantly, candidates may very well appreciate the fact that they can apply on their time.
Applicant Tracking Systems & Mobile Recruiting
The length of the hiring process can be maddening for executives, administrators, hiring managers, HR professionals and job candidates alike. Keeping things simple for applicants is one way to help move things along quicker. As applications come in, myStaffingPro creates powerful workflows that alert the next person in the process to take action—so your hiring managers aren’t left wondering if they’ll ever get that new employee on the floor.