I have not always been a cell phone technology enthusiast. Until my last phone — the world’s smallest brick — refused to charge. This sent me sauntering into the AT&T store, determined to keep my existing pre-historic calling plan. When it comes to cell phones, I am pretty cheap. I root for the vigilant “Rollover Minutes Mom.”
“I never use data services,” I haughtily told the salesperson.
And then it happened. I palmed (pardon the expression) an iPhone. Sheepishly, I upgraded my plan. I am a convert — to unlimited everything! The iPhone makes handheld technology fun and accessible. (I still get a kick out of the level application. I fire it up to randomly to test the lopsidedness of tables. I also play mobile Scrabble. Hours of geeky fun!)
In addition to entertainment value, the iPhone also provides opportunities for recruiters to improve productivity. Joel Cheesman and Michael Marlatt have written extensively about the coming mobile revolution. Joel, who has launched a mobile recruiting marketing agency, outlines why recruiters should be paying attention to mobile technology in an excellent whitepaper.
Most of the recruiting/job-related iPhone applications were developed for jobseekers. Here are a few apps that will help recruiters save time, allow greater mobility, or improve communication with networks and contacts. You may very well have some favorites to add; please include them in the comments.
Tweetie ($2.99). Do you keep your network informed via Twitter? Tweetie makes communicating via Twitter easy and fast. Tweetie provides all of the functionality of the twitter.com website, such as saved searches, inline web browsing, and the ability to manage followers. In addition, Tweetie supports navigation between multiple Twitter accounts, easy retweeting, automatic URL shortening, and uploading Twitpic pictures. I find Tweetie easy to use when tweeting from conferences. There are other, free, Twitter-for-iPhone apps, such as Twitterific, but I find that the additional features of Tweetie make it worth the small investment.
SearchOnTheGo ($9.99). SOTG is the first iPhone app written especially for recruiters by recruiters! SOTG turns your keywords into a full-blown Boolean search string. SOTG automatically generates search strings for resume searches, blog searches, PDF and Excel file formats, and more. SOTG will also execute web profile searches and public LinkedIn profile searches. After executing the search on the iPhone, users can save the search, email the search, or review results real time. Pretty nifty, especially if you dislike writing Boolean strings. Currently, SOTG returns only Google results. I would love to see other search engines included in future versions.
LinkedIn (free). Can’t live without LinkedIn? Then make sure you download the iPhone companion. The mobile version provides basic LinkedIn functionality — search, status updates, invites and more — for recruiters on the go. When meeting someone in person, try linking in instantly, instead of exchanging business cards. I am especially impressed with the Address Book Integration, which uploads contact info to the iPhone in one click. Unfortunately, there is no ability to receive or manage LinkedIn Groups information.
AgileMobile ($9.99). It was not until I joined Yahoo! that I became a big fan of instant messaging. Used properly, IM can improve the speed and quality of communication. Phone calls and emails are best for initial outreach, but nothing beats IM for quick confirmations and clarifications. AgileMobile is an all-in-one instant messaging service for mobile phones. Agile allows instant chat-on-the-go with MSN, Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ, and GoogleTalk. This kind of agnostic service is great for recruiters, who can communicate with candidates or colleagues regardless of IM service provider. AgileMobile also enables voice chat and media sharing.
Interview Pro (1.99). Technically, Interview Pro is an application developed for jobseekers. And a pretty clever one at that. This app provides a list of “50 of the most common behavioral interview questions.” Each question is accompanied by an answer that helps candidates navigate the interviewer’s intent and expectations. The questions are divided into categories such as “Team Dynamics,” “Planning,” and “Success Factors.” The interview questions are not all “behavioral” and the app does not come with instructions for the interviewer (such as how and when to drill down to get complete answers). With a few modifications, however, an application like this could be very useful to recruiters and hiring managers. Imagine if your hiring managers were able to download a custom interview guide. Never fear: the makers of Search on the Go tell me that they are working on just such an app.
beamMe (free or $1.99 for subscription updates). Finally, I can feel comfortable leaving the house without business cards! beamMe allows users to exchange vCards by inputting an email address, mobile phone #, or @Twitter id. The recipient is directed to a secure website, where he or she can download a vCard (including a photo or logo, and links to URL or Twitter id). Genius! The only downside is the subscription scheme; so far the free version works well for me. I’m not sure I want to be billed $2/month to continue to receive product upgrades.
There you have it. The future is here!