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Almost 90% of the Fortune 500 Doesn’t Have a Mobile Optimized Career Site

by
Lance Haun
Aug 16, 2012, 7:55 am ET

It’s just like 1995 all over again for Ed Newman, the new VP of strategy at iMomentous. It’s a company you probably haven’t heard of but you may have used. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Newman is having a Back to the Future moment because in 1995, 70% of the Fortune 500 didn’t have a corporate website. Now though, 90% of them don’t optimize their career sites for mobile usage.

That’s according to a report that his company recently completed surveying the mobile recruiting landscape of the entire Fortune 500. He sees the same lost opportunity and slow adoption that plagued companies well into the new millennium when it came to overall Internet adoption.

Only now, things are bound to be much more difficult for late adopters.

Going through the report, one thing is striking: a lot of companies do have native apps. In fact, over 50% of them have a downloadable app of some kind. So companies do recognize that there is a real opportunity with mobile devices.

From there, it drops significantly. Most don’t have a mobile corporate site, much less a link to the career site (mobile or not), a mobile career section, or a way to apply for jobs online.

In fact, only one company aced the report when it came to mobile readiness: McDonald’s. It is the only one who scored points in every category without any deductions. Those categories included native consumer apps on iTunes, Mobile optimized corporate site, careers link on optimized corporate site, mobile optimized career section, mobile optimized apply process, and a native careers app in the iTunes store.

After McDonalds, even the top 12 didn’t look to be in that great of shape. Most seem to have the some of the basics down. They have a mobile site but there might not be an easy way to get to it. Or they have mobile apps for their consumer side but not for their jobs.

Newman felt the disconnect between companies who recognized the importance of mobile marketing but never made the connection to their jobs to be less than surprising. “One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing,” he said via phone yesterday.

The stakes are upped significantly now, too. While user adoption of the web as a whole grew pretty steadily in the decade following 1995, mobile web adoption has exploded. According to IDC, mobile Internet use is going to surpass desktop internet use by 2015.

Of course, with any mobile careers platform, the last step — namely, applying — is typically the most difficult to implement. But what we’re seeing is that most large companies haven’t even started yet.

Now about the company that wrote up the report, iMomentous. It’s a mobile technology company, but that’s not surprising, considering the subject matter of the report. What is surprising is that iMomentous is a white label solution delivered exclusively through a partner. “Most of the companies that use us have no idea we are powering their mobile career sites,” said Newman. “If you asked them if they are using iMomentous, they would say, ‘Who is that?’”

Newman was brought on to change that. “We’re going to build out teams to take this solution directly to market,” he said. “We’re still going to have channel partners of course, but now you can come to us directly if you want.” And he’s looking forward to working full-time with a company again. “It’s been 18 months and I’ve been antsy to get back in the groove of things.”

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. Steven Rothberg

    Many of the foremost experts on mobile recruiting will be at mRecruitCamp http://mrecruitingcamp.com/ in Atlanta in a month on Fri 9/14/2012.

    Full disclosure: I’m not involved at all as an organizer but attended the first conference last year in San Francisco, loved it, and CollegeRecruiter.com is exhibiting at this year’s conference.

  2. Richard Araujo

    Doesn’t surprise me. Most companies seem to have a ridiculously convoluted application process driven by reporting requirements more than anything else. First you create a profile, then you upload a resume, then you’re invited to enter all the information that’s in your resume, then reporting questions, then what damn high school you went to, and all in finicky entry forms that repeatedly direct you back to the entry page to ‘correct’ the fact that your phone number isn’t formatted to their liking.

    I always make sure a simple email link is always in our ads somewhere so people can just submit their resume for God’s sake. The only entry requires contact info and a resume upload only to create your profile. I have to wonder what some of these companies are thinking with these multi page, overly finicky and overly in depth applications they keep foisting on people.

  3. Steven Rothberg

    In my experience, it isn’t the employers who are building out these convulated application systems. It is their applicant tracking system vendors. The employers are responsible, of course, as they’re deciding which ATS to use and should refuse to consider ATS which don’t make the candidate experience a positive one.

    We have one Fortune 500 client with dozens and sometimes hundreds of jobs on our site and I am bewildered at how they generate any applications at all as their ATS uses language like you’d see at an on-line store. For example, you don’t apply to a job, you add it to your cart. Huh?

  4. Steve Levy

    From MobileThinking.com:

    http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats/a#subscribers

    “At the end of 2011, there were 6 billion mobile subscriptions, estimates The International Telecommunication Union (2011). That is equivalent to 87 percent of the world population. And is a huge increase from 5.4 billion in 2010 and 4.7 billion mobile subscriptions in 2009.”

    “Ericsson forecasts that mobile subscriptions will reach 9 billion in 2017, of which 5 billion will be mobile broadband connections.” Heck, why would a company desire to have a great mobile site?

    Steven’s POV notwithstanding, don’t hate the ATS – just the bad recruiters and their poor processes. While at some convoluted level job search is like shopping, so is the idea of mail order brides. Both are just plain odd…

  5. Ed Newman

    Steve – I actually disagree. It is totally on the employers. First because just about any ATS can be configured for a simple resume up load, verify the data was extracted, and submit. Second – the features they build into the ATS is based on input from the customers – they are asking for the complexity.

  6. Steven Rothberg

    Yes, the ATS may be customizable as you’ve described but what some of our clients tell us is that the ATS vendors charge a fortune for such customizations. The very largest organizations can afford it but often choose not to pay the tens of thousands of dollars for the customizations as the perception within the organization is that the out-of-the-box approach is good enough.

    I agree that the buck stops with the employer and indicated so in my initial comment. If the ATS creates a bad candidate experience, then the employer should use a different ATS or have their install customized to create a good experience. There are many, many ATS vendors out there. This isn’t 1995 when there were just a few and the industry was in its infancy.

  7. Ed Newman

    With almost every ATS system the configurations of the apply process is in the hands of the system administrator of the employer, not the vendor and usually cost nothing to make. I am not aware of an ATS vendor that even does custom work anymore.

    If a company is using an ATS Vendor who charges tens of thousands of dollars to configure the apply process – they should switch – and I doubt a vendor like that could remain in business very long.

  8. Keith Halperin

    I’m waiting for this:

    “Siri, go to AMD.com/Jobs.
    Show me Sunnyvale positions.
    Apply to Job Numbers 3, 8, 12, and 17.” or…

    I go on my smartphone to AMD.com/Jobs/Sunnyvale, and have my finger move the little icon of my resume over each position I want to apply to, and THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO DO.

    ATS: Don’t get me started! ATS are designed by clueless engineers to be sold to high-level muckety-mucks who never have to use them. IT is NOT the Recruiters’ fault- nobody bothers to ask us (the users) what we want and need them to do.

    No Cheers,

    Keith

  9. Dave Martin

    Great article, and very interesting to see the responses. The depressing FACT about this situation is so little has changed over the last 12 months.

    Last year I published this infographic on ere http://www.ere.net/2011/09/30/mobile-by-the-numbers/ which shows that 92% of the Fortune 100 supported mobile career sites. Thats 8 companies!

    This latest update to the original research shows that about 2 more Fortune 100 companies have targeted mobile web.

    Given the rapid growth of mobile, the usage of mobile in social networking and the focus companies have around social recruiting this is simply a missed opportunity. I would go as far as saying it is stupid!

    As an evangelist for mobile recruiting it is great to see iMomentous doing such a good job!

    For those who do not know, I recently joined the board of a start up where the mission is to move career sites and all jobs to mobile web. (WARNING shameless plug:) If your interested, you can register for the beta at PocketRecruit.com

  10. Jay Silver

    ERE PLEASE GET DISQUS! It’s almost impossible to have any real dialog in your comments!!!

    http://disqus.com/ PLEASE.

  11. Ed Newman

    @Dave – I agree it is a little sad to see how slow companies are responding to the growth in mobile user traffic. But there have definitely been more than 2 Fortune 100 companies stepping up since your original infographic. Our research has found 20 (as of July 1, 2012) of the Fortune 100 with mobile optimized career sites. The problem is that it is sometimes hard to find the mobile site because the company does not set up any redirect from the Corp site when a mobile device is detected. We found many of the mobile career sites 3 or four links down the search results list. I am sure we missed a couple.

    The real cop out is that only 2 of the Fortune 100 let the job seeker apply all the way on the device. This means when a job seeker gets to the point of applying – they are told to email themselves a link to the job – which is really dumb because don’t most of us check email right there on the mobile device? Might as well ask them to send a Fax. (i digress)

    Lot’s more data in the report – definitely worth a download http://www.imomentous.com/download

  12. Jay Silver

    Hi Ed,

    Can you please share who those 20 are?

    “The real cop out is that only 2 of the Fortune 100 let the job seeker apply all the way on the device.” Yeah – so any other work done is pointless. Who are those 2?

  13. Ed Newman

    Jay – Probably the best thing to do is download the report – The Fortune 500 with all the data is listed out in 2 tables – 1 is sorted alphabetically and the other sorted by their CMRi score. There were 65 companies in the F500 with optimized career sites, and 11 with mobile apply.

    But to answer your question – here are the 20 F100 companies with mobile optimized career sites in F100 rank order:

    General Motors
    General Electric
    AT&T
    Verizon Communications
    CVS Caremark
    Citigroup
    UnitedHealth Group
    Microsoft
    Boeing
    PepsiCo
    Dell
    Comcast
    Best Buy
    Prudential Financial
    Morgan Stanley
    Google
    Humana
    Aetna
    American Express
    Tyson Foods

    The 2 in the Fortune 100 that have an apply process are Humana (F79) and Tyson Foods (F96). In the Fortune 500 – there are another 9 that have mobile apply. The best overall we found was McDonald’s currently at Fortune 107.

  14. Richard Araujo

    @Steve,

    I think your clients are poor shoppers. I work for a medium sized company and yes, SOME of the custom stuff they offer is expensive, but the application process is highly configurable and part of the set up process, and those configurations are cheap or even free most of the time. I shopped around for several ATS systems and this was true of all of them. My guess is they wanted to get their ATS from the same vendor as their ERP or payroll for integration purposes, because the feed between such systems is a pain in the ass to set up and maintain.

  15. Steve Levy

    @Ed – you can’t disagree with me if we both agree; it is on the employers – I just wasn’t clear enough

    @Richard – disagree…the competitive differences between the top ATS’ is so slim as to make the purchase decision one that is based on factors other than performance. How these ATS’ are customized is what leads to a poor customer experience. As far as being poor shoppers, CareerXRoads’ secret shopper research shows otherwise. Finally ERP/ATS connectivity is an IT decision not an HR/recruiting one.

  16. Dave Martin

    @ed – interesting and saddens me further! My audit test is as follows…

    1. Search for company name careers in Google on a mobile. eg General Motors Careers
    2. Click the link that is returned which is clearly the company and careers site.
    3. Review it for mobile optimisation.

    If the company has invested money, time and effort into an optimised mobile site but is failing to SEO or device detect and redirect then as far as candidates are concerned the company is NOT mobile optimised. I think this situation might be sadder than not doing it at all. The problem with this tick box situation is they company will struggle to get any value out of mobile – since no one can see it – then they will write it off as a waste of time and money, which will be a BIG MISTAKE.

    If you are reading this and have completed mobile optimisation go and see if you can be discovered – if NOT then you to fix this!

  17. Anthony Morrison

    Mobile and social are essential for recruiting — many companies do this quite well — but for many others it seems like these methods of candidate engagement are an afterthought.

    The simple fact is that it takes a lot of effort to do it right and some companies just do not have the resources to get it done on their own.

    We have put a lot of thought into making it easy for any company to implement a fully branded social or mobile recruiting solution. Our technology helps employers hire the best by building talent communities of highly engaged candidates. Find and engage relevant candidates where they exist on social platforms and mobile apps, and help candidates to stay connected to you and keep up with your available opportunities.

    This is a subject on which we are intensely focused right now.

    In support of the “Steves”, who all have valid points, rather than focusing on what some company has not done, or done well, why not focus on giving companies the tools they need to accomplish their social and mobile recruiting objectives.

  18. Ed Newman

    @Steve – I think you and i were in violent agreement – I was actually disagreeing with Steven’s comment about the ATS being at fault.

    @Dave – I agree 100% and commented in this issue in the report – if the redirect is not there, it is as if the mobile optimized site does not exist.

    But it actually gets worse.

    Another pitfall we cite in the report is when the company has a corporate mSite with no Careers link on it (only 23 out of 141 have a careers link). Because it’s the corporate mSite, they set up the redirect. Then when you use your common sense approach of searching company name and careers – you click the careers link and it detects your device and redirects you to the Corporate mSite with NO link to careers, you cannot even get to careers.

    What’s also weird is that of the 23 that have a link to careers, only 7 lead to an optimized career site – the rest is like running into a brick wall.

    Anyway – clearly a long way to go for most companies.

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  21. Richard Araujo

    “disagree…the competitive differences between the top ATS’ is so slim as to make the purchase decision one that is based on factors other than performance. How these ATS’ are customized is what leads to a poor customer experience. As far as being poor shoppers, CareerXRoads’ secret shopper research shows otherwise. Finally ERP/ATS connectivity is an IT decision not an HR/recruiting one.” – Steve

    Hi Steve. In general I agree, but my point was that this is not brain surgery, and one of your statements here goes to that point. The nuts and bolts of the connectivity may be an IT issue, but as an HR/Recruiter, you own that. It’s up to you as the owner of the system to look at it from the applicant’s point of view. It’s up to you to make sure the contract is in order so if the feed between the systems goes down, it gets dealt with in a timely manner and security isn’t compromised. And it’s up to you to get enough quotes for ATS systems to make sure you’re getting a competitive price, for the base system and for customization.

    The attitude of kicking the can, or ownership, for different aspects of the system and its implementation to different departments is what happens when you go so corporate as to resemble the DMV and lose accountability. You get these kinds of results when people are more concerned with avoiding responsibility than taking it. As the recruiter at my company, it was my job to make sure the ATS system was implemented right, to make sure everyone got some training on how to use it, and to make sure the applicant experience was acceptable. If these companies are indeed so great, it begs the question of why no one stepped up and took responsibility for avoiding the foreseeable issues they’re currently having.

  22. Keith Halperin

    I’m interested in which companies have optimized their sites and ATS so that the RECRUITING and SOURCING can easily be done mobiley.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  23. Gareth Jenkins

    I read both this article, and Dave Martin’s original audit of Fortune companies with both interest and dismay. At 4MAT we launched our first mobile optimized site for one of our agency clients over 5 years ago, and have launched a great deal of mobile optimized sites for both our agency and corporate clients since then.

    RWE nPower’s mobile traffic has gone from 8% to 16% within four months of the launch of their mobile site in Feb. The other thing we are seeing on our mobile sites is a higher rate of returning visitors, along with a lower bounce rate showing a higher engagement.

    Many of our clients are creating highly effective mobile landing pages, to support their offline and online campaigns. With highly relevant content and good use of video, they are finding very good responses through this use.

    Details of one such site we launched a while back can be found here: http://www.4mat.com/tpp-mobile-website

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