Successful recruiting is about making connections with candidates on their own terms -- if those terms include being able to search for and apply to open positions on their mobile device, you'd better have a mobile presence or candidates will pass you by.
"Remember how quickly Internet adoption took hold in the 1990s? Mobile technology adoption is on pace to far exceed those adoption rates," says Dan Finnigan, CEO of career networking and recruiting site Jobvite.
"The majority of Internet usage is initiated via mobile for the first time ever. Mobile is a major sea change for all Internet behavior; any business that has an Internet component has to consider the impact of mobile and recruiting is no different," says Finnigan.
Jobvite's own research reveals that 55 percent of the 1,855 recruiters surveyed for their annual Social Recruiting Survey plan to use a mobile career site to support recruiting efforts, and of those that already have a mobile recruiting strategy in place, 14 percent are seeing reduced time-to-hire and 13 percent report finding higher-quality candidates.
Invest in a Mobile Recruiting Strategy
The first step to boosting your mobile recruiting strategy is making sure your first point of contact, a mobile recruiting site, is up to par. Your mobile interface is often the first thing candidates see, so it must be easy to navigate, clean and user friendly.
"Right now, mobile job sites are so ugly and clunky. Our clients who are head of the curve are already reaping the benefits of mobile recruiting technology, but there's going to have to be a widespread push for new, reconfigured career sites that are optimized for mobile or organizations will lose out," says Finnigan.
You also should make it simple for candidates to apply for positions using their mobile device, or to refer other qualified candidates. This is especially important for passive candidates who are currently employed and who may not be able to access recruiting sites on their desktop or laptop, but who access social networks on their mobile device.
"We've included a feature on our own mobile site that allows candidates to apply with either their Jobvite profile or their LinkedIn profile. Candidates can also take a picture of their resume and upload it. It's not difficult to add these tools, but they make a big difference for candidates," Finnigan says.
Leverage Mobile in Conjunction With Social Networks
Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others have become recruiting powerhouses. In fact, 70 percent of iPhone and Android users visit Facebook on their devices and more than 2 million jobs are listed on Facebook's Social Job Partnership application, according to this research cited by Forbes. LinkedIn, especially, is the ultimate mobile recruiting tool, and the social job connection site even has its own mobile recruiting playbook.
An whopping 93 percent of those surveyed in Jobvite's 2014 Social Recruiting Survey use or plan to use social media in their recruiting efforts. Why? According to respondents, leveraging social media improves candidate quality by 44 percent over using only traditional recruiting techniques like phone screenings and filtering resumes based solely on skills and experience.
That's because social media allows not just information about a candidate's experience and skills, but a better glimpse into their lifestyle, values and their cultural fit, which is crucial for companies looking not just to recruit and hire, but to also engage employees and improve retention rates.
The emphasis on cultural fit is a major reason recruiters are doubling down on social media as a tool -- the Jobvite survey revealed that 80 percent of recruiters are using social media to evaluate a candidate's potential culture match.
Don't Neglect Personal Contact
While mobile is a powerful recruiting and referral tool, personal contact is still the mainstay of any successful recruiting process, according to LinkedIn's mobile recruiting playbook. And candidates using mobile expect that recruiters are doing the same, so quick responses are critical to keeping talent interested and engaged once initial contact is made.
"Job applicants often expect immediate attention, especially if they are in high demand. Stay in touch with them through quick text messages, emails or phone calls. Make sure your recruiters have a smart phone that they can use anywhere," according to LinkedIn.
Make Sure Your Strategy is Flexible
Once you've started developing a mobile recruiting strategy, make sure you're maintaining the technology and shifting your strategy to account for market changes and the needs of talent, especially when hiring from Generation Y and Generation Z.
"Mobile is the dominant way that millennials communicate and operate, so we expect the way that companies find new talent will continue trending toward more social, and increasingly using mobile devices, as connections are made based on geo-location proximity, interests, passions, experiences, extended network and the like. Using mobile technology is more in line with how millennials will expect to experience their job searches and how recruiters should target prospects," says David Hirsch, managing partner of Metamorphic Ventures.
A solid mobile recruiting strategy will help ensure your organization is best positioned to find and attract candidates on their own terms, and make the application process smoother and easier for both applicant and hiring company.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.