We’ve talked about mobile jobseekers in the past and every time we have the conversation, executives get frustrated at the speed at which job seekers are going. The sheer velocity of mobile adoption has those in the recruiting and HR Technology fields scratching their heads and worried about their wallets.
In fact, a full 75% of jobseekers find themselves searching for a job via mobile, although only 44% apply via mobile, according to a Glassdoor mobile survey, opting instead to send the information to themselves on a desktop and finishing the application process online that way. But with tools emerging that will allow more than just job search on a mobile device and even various job boards getting in on the smartphone jobseeker universe, it’s only a matter of time before true application online via a mobile device becomes a reality.
Here is what’s standing in our way:
The Big Guys
For some reason, despite not being the massive job creators we all thought they were, the Fortune 500 still holds some cache in the recruiting space. We look to them for best practices and case studies as though their recruiting experience reflected what most of deal with on a day-in, day-out level. In fact, less 95% of the Fortune 500 companies have a mobile-optimized application process, according to the Corporate Mobile Readiness Report. Needless to say, this makes searching for information on a career at these companies very difficult from a smart device. Because these companies usually have significant brand recognition, it feels like a wasted opportunity.
I’ve heard recruiters say they were likely to take a candidate less seriously if they knew they applied from a mobile device, which is fairly ludicrous. After all, if one can apply via mobile and upload a resume from an iPad, while sending a link to their portfolio via smartphone, that shows a range of technical skills that we used to be willing to pay more for. However, for some professional hiring specialists, this ability (by applicants) to multi-task and use technology for the job hunt translates somehow into a laissez fiare attitude about the job in question.
Lots of candidates are terrified of making a grammatical or spelling mistake (thanks autocorrect!) on a mobile application. It’s a relatively healthy fear, based on what we’ve discussed above, as recruiters who see thousands of applications over the course of their career tend to get tired of seeing mistakes. Smartphones are making strides in being more usable, but only on June 2 did Apple release third-party keyboard apps into their iOS as an option. Since the iPhone is fairly ubiquitous among the job seeking public, it’s fair to say that maybe the editing features will become less of a hurdle in the coming months.
The Sisyphean length of job applications: For the love of everything holy, you don’t need someone’s social security number to allow them the privilege of applying for a job. Front loading applications is something marketers have been doing for years. Name, job, email, link to online profile. It COULD be that easy but it’s rare the company that wants to chase down the additional information. But imagine for a moment (since the job cycle is still up to 45 days anyway) that the applicant could provide a minimum amount of info, just enough for the reported 6 seconds recruiters spend looking at a resume /profile anyway and then be prompted to add another “chunk” of data if they were suitable to proceed? Wouldn’t that make mobile easier for the recruiter and the jobseeker to swallow?
Of course there are additional hurdles to keep mobile at the back of the proverbial school lunch line when it comes to online applications, but these are the ones that keep it from becoming an early adopter paradise and slow down the pipeline of what COULD be the biggest thing to hit jobseeking in a good long while. But still isn’t.
Bio: Maren Hogan
Maren Hogan is a community builder and seasoned marketer in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, a full-service marketing and advertising agency serving the HR and Recruiting sectors. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the recruitment and talent space.
You can read more of her work on Marenated.com, HRExaminer.com, Recruiter.com, Inc.com, Forbes, Entrepreneur and the Glassdoor and Peoplefluent blogs. Follow her on twitter @marenhogan — she’s funnier there.