The holiday season is in full swing, which means the sidewalks and malls of America are packed to the gills with shoppers looking for that perfect gift. If you survived getting trampled at Best Buy on Black Friday, you’re likely amongst the throng yourself.


But this year, as has become increasingly the case, the crowds at the malls are probably a little thinner than usual as online shopping continues to grow its ever-increasing stranglehold on the world of commerce. Dig a little deeper into this year’s Black Friday numbers and you’ll notice another trend: the rise of mobile in the online shopping game.

mobile black friday chart 

On Black Friday in the US:

  • Mobile drove 50% of all online shopping traffic, up from 40% last year.
  • Mobile sales accounted for 28% of total e-commerce sales, up from 22% last year. 

Clearly, the consumer retail sector has optimized for the mobile generation, which has spurred a steady increase in not only traffic coming from mobile, but transactions as well. Only a few short years ago, it wasn’t like this. Consumers could use their phones to browse, make their lists and get ideas, but the actual purchases were primarily made either in-store or from a laptop/desktop.

So, why are we talking about Black Friday and mobile shopping on a recruiting software blog? Well, because this is exactly where we are today with regard to mobile recruiting. The parallels are unavoidable. In the retail sector, companies identified the massive shift toward mobile as a preferred platform amongst key demographics and optimized their services accordingly. The same thing is happening, albeit at a much slower pace, in talent acquisition. That’s the true state of mobile recruiting today.

Not so long ago, the very notion of applying for a job from your phone seemed unrealistic at best. But today, companies like Comcast and Chipotle are reaping the benefits of being early movers in the mobile recruiting movement. In it’s first week live on mobile apply, Chipotle received 5,000 applications via mobile. Again, that was just in the first week of going live. One has to assume a good amount of those applications would never have been received if the career site forced those applicants onto a desktop to finish.

Let’s think of the retail parallel for a moment. Say you’re in a taxi, pressed for time to find that perfect gift, using your phone to browse. You find something that you think will work well and you feel relief, but then go to purchase that item only to then be told you can’t from your phone. Are you going to get out of the cab to find a computer? Or even bother to file it away to purchase later? No. Most likely, you’re going to keep browsing until you find something you can buy with your phone.


Let’s look at Comcast. In 2013, the global media and technology giant saw that 25% of the traffic coming to its career site was doing so via mobile, yet they had no way for those applicants to apply from their phones, surely leading to candidate drop-off. In 2014, Comcast implemented a mobile apply solution, and by the end of this year will receive somewhere around 200,000 applications strictly through mobile.

These companies realized that a healthy chunk of the candidates they desire live almost exclusively on mobile, so they pushed ahead full steam to ensure that they’re catering to those job seeker in order to provide an optimal candidate experience. And now, they are seeing the benefits, just like retailers with mobile commerce solutions have seen a steady rise in sales from that channel.

Again, this is all about candidate experience. As Matt Charney from RecruitingDaily waxed about in a recent post, mobile recruiting and candidate experience go hand in hand. To improve the candidate experience, you must go all in on mobile apply. You simply can’t have one without the other. It’s like…

PBJ3 (1)

While some more progressive companies have made the move and are now seeing the benefits, the majority of the corporate world is still dragging its feet. Jibe’s 2014 Talent Acquisition Survey revealed that more than a quarter (27%) of large companies haven’t done a single thing to optimize their application process for mobile candidates.

Simply put, these companies are putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage in the battle for talent. The most coveted candidates — the ones who have options — aren’t going to put up with a sub-optimal application process. So if you want to improve your candidate experience, you better take this mobile recruiting thing seriously in 2015.

After all, nobody likes a jelly and jelly sandwich.

To learn more about improving the candidate experience through the use of mobile, analytics and more, tune into the HCI Webcast, “ Why Is HR Struggling With Candidate Experience?” on December 17th at 1 pm EST.

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