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Why a Mobile Career Site is Vital to Reaching Diversity Candidates

by
Scott Garrett
Oct 9, 2013, 6:34 am ET

al_dia_logoWhat if you built a diversity website, marketed it, but no one showed up?  This was the dilemma facing the Dallas Morning News. In an effort to reach the growing Hispanic market in Dallas, the News built and heavily promoted the targeted website “Al Dia.” Despite several months of promotion, traffic to the site was minimal, according to Russell Smeed, Dallas News sales manager. They were puzzled as to why this was happening, so they did additional market research into the Hispanic audience they were trying to target.  

What they discovered was that the Al Dia site was not mobile friendly, and as a result it was not gaining traction in the very audience it was meant to target. A large percentage of the Hispanic community only access the web via mobile, and they were not interested in using the site in a non-mobile-friendly format. After quickly upgrading the site to a mobile-friendly format, it is now a successful and thriving site for the Dallas Morning News and a great conduit into the growing Dallas Hispanic community.

Smart phones have become the dominant phone in the hands of most Americans. In the U.S. diversity communities, smart phone ownership outpaces ownership by whites. The lack of access to job searches and applications for mobile job seekers is becoming a growing diversity issue. Here are some recent statistics that should make every you start considering mobile options for your career site immediately:

  • Smart phone ownership: Among adults, 49 percent of Latinos and 50 percent of African-Americans own a smartphone versus just 46 percent of whites.
  • Going online from a mobile device: Latino Internet users are more likely than white Internet users to say they go online using a mobile device — 76 percent versus 60%. Meanwhile, Latino and African-American Internet users are equally likely to access the Internet from a mobile device — 76 percent and 73 percent respectively, according to Pew.
  • Mobile only access: 51 percent of African-Americans and 42 percent of Latinos who use a mobile device to access the Internet say that’s the primary way they go online — about double the 24 percent of white Americans who say they rely on their mobile devices for access.

The trends all show that smart phones and tablets are replacing PCs  In fact, according to IDC, by 2017 mobile phones and tablets will account for 87 percent of all connected devices sales. The adoption of these devices in diverse communities is accelerating and mobile is becoming the primary way these audiences go online now.  Recognize this and put technology in place to allow job seekers on mobile devices to search for jobs, learn about your organization, and if possible apply to jobs.

Steps to Take

  1. Go to your career site on a smartphone or tablet to search and apply to a position with the understanding that 15-30 percent of all job seekers to your site are on a mobile device, and this is the experience your company is giving them. Take notes of what can be improved.
  2. Create a mobile landing page and search option for their career site. This can be done quickly and fairly inexpensively.
  3. Provide the mobile job seeker the option to have the job sent to them via email link so that they can apply when they can find access to a desktop.
  4. Create a road map to budget for a mobile apply in the near future. Most HR departments do not know that this option is available. It is and it is available to you right now, no matter your ATS.

The hard reality for corporate America and human resources/recruiting is you don’t get to decide which device your job seeker uses to access the Internet. They get to choose. It’s your responsibility to deliver essentially the same experience to them — deliver a good experience to them — whatever device they choose to use.

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. Brad Beaton

    Where did you get these statistics about smart phone ownership and mobile only access? I don’t remember checking a box for race at the Apple store.

  2. Scott Garrett

    Hi Brad. The information was pulled from several surveys that were done. Pew does a really great job of these sort of analytics. I also found a great survey done on a site called Colorlines. Here are links to some of the sites used.

    http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Smartphone-Ownership-2013/Findings.aspx#footnote1

    http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/07/young_latino_smartphone_users_spend_176_billion_on_mobile_devices.html

  3. Lauren Smith

    It’s really incredible how fast the internet is moving towards Responsive Design.

    A mobile apply app, or a mobile landing page isn’t enough.

    Your entire site needs to be Responsive, or you’re going to be pushed to the bottom of search results.

    This article is worth re-reading. Talks about how important Google thinks Responsive Design is: http://www.ere.net/2013/07/10/the-mobile-candidate-experience-its-already-too-late/

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