Job seekers use mobile devices to search job openings, apply for jobs

If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, you may be missing out on applications from good candidates. Kevin Walker, director of employer insights for job search engine Indeed, says mobile technology has already disrupted the status quo for employers and job seekers.
Just how mobile-dependent have we become? Smartphone usage is up nearly 400 percent since 2010, and tablet use is up more than 1700 percent in the same time period, according to web analytics company comScore. Around three-quarters of Millennials and Generation Xers (a significant chunk of the current and future workforce) use a mobile device to access Indeed to search for job openings.
That means you can (and should) expect that job seekers are using mobile devices to search for and view your job postings. How many hurdles are they encountering on the way? HR administrators should make an effort to rid their hiring processes of those hurdles. “If you can’t engage with a mobile job seeker with your content or job postings, you’re losing out,” Walker said.
Some of those hurdles include the following:

  • Asking job seekers to submit an application later from a desktop.
  • Asking job seekers to attach a résumé when applying, which creates formatting and compatibility issues between operating systems.
  • Asking users to type in their résumé information, which is a challenge with a mobile device.
Employers that succeed in making their application process mobile-friendly will have a strategic advantage. “…You can address a market that your competitors can’t, and likely make placements that your competitors can’t,” Walker said.
The mobile advantage extends to hourly workers because most service organizations still rely on paper applications to fill hourly positions. The best hourly employees are often hired in less than a week, so there’s little time to process a paper application and get it to someone with hiring authority. According to Joshua Ortega, chief operating officer and cofounder of Montreal-based WorkJam, “These companies may be missing out on the most skilled prospects…Highly skilled workers don’t stay unemployed for long. Enforcing a sluggish application process encourages strong candidates to look elsewhere.”
To get a feel for how well your job postings meet candidate needs, HR administrators should check the amount of time users typically spend on their job site. If prospective users think what they see is relevant, they’ll spend more time on the site. If they don’t, they’ll leave your site quickly (in 10 seconds or even less). This “bounce rate” is a metric you can track to see if your postings are of interest to job seekers.
There are other simple steps you can take, including ensuring that your career content site is readable, that applications are easy to complete on a mobile device, and that your site is optimized for mobile searches.
—“The Mobile Moment Has Passed: What Recruiters Need to Know,” by Roy Maurer, SHRM online, Nov. 2, 2015.
—“In Focus: 90% Now Access Facebook from Smartphones,” by SHRM online staff, Nov. 9, 2015.
—“Paper Applications Keep Hiring Practices Stuck in the Past,” by Roy Maurer, SHRM online, Nov. 13, 2015.