Skip To Content

The Role of Smartphones in Job Searching

A person typing into an app on their iPhone.

A new study uncovered some interesting insights on the modern job search, particularly regarding the role smartphones play and which candidates are most likely to use them as their primary tool to hunt for employment.

The study, conducted by employer review site Glassdoor, sought to explore not only who is searching for and applying to jobs from their mobile phones, but also the kinds of jobs they're most attracted to and how they’re impacted by the levels of complexity in the online job-application process.

Below are some of the key findings from the study:

  • More people use smartphones to search for jobs than don’t.
    • Almost 60 percent of Glassdoor users are now looking on their phones for jobs. 
  • The percentage of job seekers using their phones to search for and apply to jobs decreases as education increases.
    • 56 percent of the study's job seekers with a high-school education used mobile devices to search for jobs.
    • Only 42 percent of job seekers with a doctoral degree did the same.
  • Lower-income households are more likely to use mobile devices as a substitute for personal computers.
    • According to a Pew Research Center survey, 22 percent of the polled households where the highest level of education among its members was high school didn’t have broadband Internet at home but did have smartphone access.
    • That number dropped to 10 percent for households where the highest level of education was college or higher.
  • The youngest candidates aren’t the heaviest smartphone users.
    • The use of mobile devices peaked in the 35-to-44-year-old age group at 55 percent, dropping to a low of 44 percent at both ends of the age spectrum (job seekers between 18 and 24 years old and over age 65).
  • Efficiency decreases with smartphone applications.
    • Mobile job seekers on average successfully complete 53 percent fewer applications and take 80 percent longer to complete each application than those applying through other avenues.
  • Advertising the brevity of your job application process is a good idea.
    • Reducing the time needed to complete an online job application by 10 percent is associated with a 2.3 percent increase in job applications from mobile job seekers and a 1.5 percent increase in applications from job seekers using desktop computers.
    • Promoting the process as mobile-friendly increases the number of applications started for that job by 11.6 percent.
Was this article helpful?

HR Services

TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
HRX Logo

Subscribe to HRX

Stay up to date with all the latest HR news and trends by joining the HRX mailing list!