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The Mobile Recruiting Market Is About to Get Very Hot

by
David Martin
Jun 29, 2012, 5:45 am ET

The social recruiting hype went huge and has not burst, but mobile has followed a stealth, almost, cult adoption. Over the next 12 months the continued convergence of mobile and social will catapult mobile to the front of recruiters’ minds.

As an industry, recruitment is suffering the growing pains of mobile web. You know you need to support mobile, and reap the rewards of the powerful digital marketing and engagement channel, but it is not clear what the objective is, or how to go about it.

Is mobile the ultimate connectivity tool providing employer information and candidate communication? Or is it the new way to apply for jobs? Maybe it is the next best referral tool? Perhaps it is the ideal back-office device allowing the candidate database to be carried in your pocket! Perhaps the true jackpot mobile recruiting solution is still waiting to be discovered.

Recent research shows that 31% of the global $5.3 billion mobile advertising spend is to achieve market presence, while 25% is for lead generation. If recruitment followed the same pattern, this would be 31% for employer branding and 25% to attract applications; but today most companies have pushed mobile off the agenda in place of social media. The problem with this typical approach is social media is rapidly morphing into mobile!

When recruiters first started to experiment with social media the challenge was around what candidates wanted. On mobile the problem is not what do candidates want to do via mobile, because the answer to this is very easy — everything and anything! We only need to look at other sectors such as finance, retail, classifieds, vouchers, restaurants, travel, healthcare, education, publishing, etc. to realize that the user already knows the power of their handset. It is the recruitment industry which is slow to fulfil the candidate demand.

The recruitment industry’s difficulty is that today’s candidate processing workflows and systems are not always mobile friendly. This is no shock, as they were designed to solve a different problem: mass volume of resumes sent by email.

So what innovation is coming out of the marketplace to maximize candidate engagement via mobile? Where can you start using connected smartphones to make a difference?

Jibe, the firm from New York better known for its social recruiting solutions, has launched a branded mobile website solution which it feels opens up mobile as a job application channel. Its approach integrates with the ATS and mashes up “LinkedIn Apply.” The end result allows candidates to “import” their LinkedIn profile as a resume to the ATS application process. This works very well and for simple online application journeys is a great approach.

It is of course not the only vendor to recognize LinkedIn as a mobile-friendly CV, but it is one of the few to integrate with the ATS to support things like “filter questions.” When I watched the Jibe demo, I was grinning from ear to ear. It answered all the challenges I have never seen good solutions for.

CareerBuilder, who we typically consider to be a “traditional” job board, is making waves in mobile. Instead of flirting with social media gambles such as Monster with BeKnown, it has invested in mobile recruiting services. The latest service is known as “Mobile Ambasador,” which is a mobile intranet spiced up with social networking features such as chat and video. On the surface it would appear that CareerBuilder is moving into the social collaboration space, going head to head with Yammer. It has kept its recruitment roots in this new product with a great recruitment referral feature. With some top global 100 companies achieving 40% referral/ internal/alumni hires, the opportunity to maximize each and every employee as a recruiter is very powerful. I am sure this space of mobile-based corporate collaboration with recruiting undertones will be a boom space.

Now that we have an internal referral tool and a public application solution, what about mobilizing our back-office operations? I recently chatted with Bullhorn about its mobile features. It has delivered a feature-full, mobile-friendly solution to provide recruiters full access to candidate databases and customer databases. This allows edits to made directly to customer records during on-site meetings or straight after a call. It provides the very latest information of potential candidates prior to a company meeting. CRM is a powerful tool, but carrying it in your pocket is going to enhance the service that recruiting firms can deliver to companies and to candidates.

I see the missing piece to the puzzle being great brand and campaign management tool on mobile. But guess what? I spoke the other day to a seedling startup focused on that exact issue.

My final thought is a question posed to each reader: How long is it before you start  focusing on mobile web as a recruitment channel? Via email and your website, your candidates are already finding new jobs via mobile with you, but the experience is not good. The recruiting industry is lagging far behind other industries when it comes to maximizing potential returns from the mobile Internet, with Facebook about to play big time in mobile (read up on the Facebook App Center); now is the time for you to start scheduling those plans and fishing where the fish are!

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  1. Paul Tseko

    Dave, excellent article! While what you are saying is not, for the most part, new information, still it is a call to arms for traditional recruiters and organizations to embrace new ideas, which is not only a good idea, but a necessary one.

    This will be a tough sell to companies as paper resumes still dominate the office space. Don’t believe me? Go to a college career fair, or any job fair for that matter, and see what you get for an introduction! A standard, traditional 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. I don’t know about you but I don’t have time to scan resumes.

    I am an old timer and I am starting to embrace mobile recruiting. Who is with me???

    Thanks again Dave.

  2. Louis Welcomme

    Thanks for this. Time for third party recruiters – and recruitment software – to catch up!

    Louis Welcomme
    @ColleagueRS
    http://www.colleague.eu

  3. Jeff (Jeffrey) Perry

    Are there any examples out there of successful mobile campaigns? Our mobile site (startribune.com) gets over 4 million page views a month and many employers would find the reader demographics highly desirable (68% household income $75k+, 74% college educated, etc). If there is a way to turn this audience into an effective talent stream for hiring companies, I want to know how (and presumably the hiring companies do too)!

  4. Dave Martin

    Jeff – I checked out the site, my guess is you first need to review the success of your exiting recruitment section and then consider how to migrate that to mobile. The numbers sound high, but this I presume is general traffic not just recruitment.

    If you want we can chat off line about this – mrdavemartin@me.com

    Dave

  5. Dave Martin

    Thanks Paul for your comments.

    I disagree about the tough sell.

    If you are actively using social media for recruitment campaigns and are not thinking about mobile, it will not be long before your social effort will have diminishing returns. That is one of the numerous tipping points for mobile recruiting.

    Dave

  6. Todd Raphael

    Jeff – to address your question – this isn’t a mobile-only campaign but it’s at least a partial example –
    http://www.ere.net/2011/02/15/ups-says-its-now-delivering-hires-not-just-fans-and-followers/
    Here’s another tiny example, though without numbers on hiring.
    http://www.ere.net/2011/12/07/for-adidas-qr-codes-are-already-a-big-thing/#more-22611

  7. Anna Rasuna

    Nice article, thanks for the information.

  8. Geraldine Slevin

    Dave,

    Mobile recruiting is definitely being driven by the rise of social media for recruiting–the two increasingly go hand in hand.

    Thanks for the great piece!
    Geraldine

    http://www.work4labs.com

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  12. Kathryn McMillan

    Thank you for the article, Dave.

    Like many people, I live with my cell phone practically glued to my hand. As a talent acquisition enthusiast, I am excited to have recruitment practices meet mobile demands.

    In my experience, some of the only candidate interaction via mobile I have seen is through Craigslist. Applications are sent to the job poster by email, however, this leads to the aforementioned trouble of a “mass volume of resumes.”

    I was intrigued by Paul’s comment about paper resumes being exchanged at job fairs. I recalled a commercial for Samsung’s new phone, the Galaxy S3, and the S Beam feature. Assuming this is a Bluetooth type of connection, a user can share photos, videos and music instantly with other users simply by touching the phone backs together. Could this be the new wave of college career fairs?

    Again, thank you for continuing the conversation about mobile demand in recruitment.

    Kathryn

  13. Dave Martin

    Kathryn,
    Thanks for your comments. I was recently involved in a job fair for software developers for start ups, we used a simple mSite to leave your contact details and rate yourself against 3 core skills using an easy tap interface. Candidates rated using a 5 star system where 1 star was “rookie” and 5 stars was “guru”.

    The stand was plastered in QR codes as were the business cards being handed out with job titiles on.

    It was a great success leading to hires.

    Dave

  14. Matt LaFramboise

    Pepsi has a great mobile app called Possibilities – it has employee videos talking about what they do, current openings, etc. It’s pretty slick – at least it was a year and a half ago when it came out.

  15. Dave Martin

    Matt,
    I think Chris Hoyt did a great job in being an market innovator and getting an early career native app out. However, he did have mobile web support from Jobs2Web in tandem.

    I worked with Chris on this project, but I have no details as too its performance now a 18 months later. I understand that Chris is speaking at mRecruitingCamp (http://mrecruitingcamp.com/agenda/) sharing his experience at Pepsi as a Case Study, so you may learn more about it there?

    Dave

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