There is No Such Thing as Mobile Recruiting

By Ed Newman

If you have been following recruiting technology trends over the last few decades, you have seen the evolution from electronic recruiting in 1995 to Internet recruiting in 1999 to social recruiting in 2008. More recently, you have seen the emergence of mobile recruiting.

But I am here to tell you: There is no such thing as mobile recruiting!

That’s a surprising statement coming from me. I have been working diligently in the mobile recruiting space for the last three years and am single-handedly responsible for about a third of the hype around the importance of mobile technology in recruiting.

But after living and breathing it and working with clients on solving the ever-growing number of challenges in talent acquisition, I have come to the conclusion that it is wrong to consider “Mobile Recruiting” as a category. I am not saying that the mobile trend is not real or important. What I am saying is that focusing on mobile as a segmented category creates unwanted downstream effects.

The problem with putting too much emphasis on the technology du jour is that we sometimes miss out on real opportunities for change. We get so caught up in the individual channels that we end up with fragmented systems and, in turn, a horrendous experience for the candidate. We forget that the candidates who browse jobs on a mobile device are the same people who visit later on a desktop or tablet. It’s not about the channel or medium, but the totality of the experience and where a candidate is in their process as a consumer.

This doesn’t mean it is not important to accommodate visitors on mobile devices. Mobile accessibility has become the price of admission. However, if your focus is on just patching up your mobile apply and you’re not thinking holistically about the entire candidate journey, then you are thinking about this the wrong way.

While completing the fifth edition of the Corporate Mobile Readiness Report, I visited every corporate career site of the Fortune 500 and personally experienced the fragmentation candidates encounter.

Fragmentation comes in many forms:

  1. Diluted brand – Some companies have several different vendors providing a variety of landing pages for different purposes with very inconsistent branding. As a consumer, it makes you wonder if you have found the right company.
  2. Dead ends – Whether it’s an out-of-sync job list, stale job postings or incomplete mobile optimization, too many paths are leading job seekers to broken links and error messages.
  3. Navigation – With multiple solutions picking up different segments of search and apply process, poorly designed responsive web, or pop-up browser window after browser window, career sites can be impossible to navigate.
  4. Data – One of the biggest impacts of the fragmented front end is the inability to access all the candidate traffic data. Companies spend millions to drive candidates to the career site, and only track information on the very small percentage who apply to a job.

It’s time to stop focusing so much on the tools we use to get the job done. What is most important is providing a high-quality candidate experience, no matter the device. We need to focus on how to provide a candidate experience that is consistent with the brand and make it seamless across all channels and mediums.

For some reason, every time technology changes, we like to give recruiting a new name. Isn’t it really still just about recruiting?

About the Author:

Ed Newman is the vice president of strategy for iMomentous, a recruiting platform provider in Horsham, PA

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