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How Does Your Mobile Strategy Compare to the Fortune 500?

by
Ed Newman
Jan 7, 2014, 12:09 am ET

What do companies like McDonalds, Macy’s, Dow Chemical, General Motors, AT&T, and Wal-Mart have in common? Well, aside from being some of the world’s most successful companies, with internationally recognized brands and billions in annual revenue, these are the only six companies who met all of the criteria in the third edition of the “Corporate Mobile Readiness Report.” This report is the third installment in an ongoing study conducted by iMomentous to specifically analyze the Fortune 500 regarding how prepared they are for the increasing volume of mobile job seekers.

The most shocking result of the research is that 95 percent of the Fortune 500 doesn’t have a mobile optimized job application process for candidates. Many of the most successful companies in the world are behind the times and at risk for alienating a workforce that is now dominated by people with smartphones and tablets.

As mobile devices continue to grow in popularity they are rapidly becoming the primary means of accessing information on the Internet, and the job application process is no exception. Just consider recent research from Glassdoor showing that 68 percent of job seekers search for jobs on mobile devices at least once a week. Is your company ready for this kind of mobile traffic?

With the understanding that the Fortune 500 companies provide a representative sample of all employers, we started tracking the rate of adoption of mobile technology among the world’s largest enterprises. We looked at seven different criteria ranging from the presence of a mobile corporate site, mobile pages to browse and apply to jobs, as well as the availability of mobile apps in the app store. A detailed description of the scoring methodology is available in the report.

The third edition of our study provides an 18-month trend line that shows a steady increases in all criteria. Since the inception in July 2012 the number of companies with mobile career sites nearly tripled from 65 to 180. However, the findings indicate there is significant room for improvement. Consider the following:

  • There are 200 mobile corporate sites
    • Only 71 of them have a link to careers
    • 41 of the links lead to a non-mobile career site
    • 9 of those 41 companies actually have a mobile career site that is not linked
  • There are 180 mobile career sites
    • More than 60 percent do not redirect a mobile user, meaning a candidate searching for jobs on a mobile device may never find the mobile careers site
    • Only 26 allow a job seeker to complete an application, that’s just 5 percent of the Fortune 500
  • An astounding one third of the Fortune 500 met none of the criteria.

This is reminiscent of the 1990s when the web first emerged.  HR departments were publishing career sites before the company ever had a web page. Corporate websites were designed without ever a thought of posting jobs, let alone the employment brand. Battles ensued between HR and Marketing to get the link to careers on the home page. Remember when CareerXRoads started tracking the first employment-related websites? It’s déjà vu!

This is all a strong indication that we are on the cusp of a major inflection point where companies are finding it difficult to keep up with the pace of technology. Things have changed so rapidly that simply building new interfaces to old processes won’t be good enough.  Organizations need to rethink everything they are doing in order to capitalize on the new mobile medium.

The report serves as a reminder that companies adopt new technology at different rates.  However, if your company has been slow to adopt this time, beware.  With Internet recruiting we had a choice. Post jobs on job boards, or run ads in the newspaper. But with mobile Recruiting you have no choice. The job seekers are coming on mobile devices whether you like it or not. The only question is how good their experience will be.

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. Kenneth Fung

    These findings represent a great opportunity for any organization prepared to be agile in setting its mobile strategy. With one third of Fortune 500 companies failing to provide adequate mobile resources for recruitment, the field should be open for those which are savvy enough to use technology to find the right candidates. This doesn’t mean that large companies are necessarily out of the running. Only that the rules of the game have changed.

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