The inevitable Mobile/Social Recruitment Convergence

Do you really understand how the mobile/social convergence will impact your prospect Candidates?

In the recruiting and HR technology sector over the past few years we have all been hearing the voices get louder and louder about the impact of mobile and tablet device usage is having and will have on how a prospect candidate will experience and use the web in relation to not only their personal consumer and social activities but also their career and job related activities.For me personally, there is plenty of white noise and opposing opinion out there on the subject and not much real clarity regarding the candidate consumer mobile/social experience.

So I thought I would get this out there for anyone who wants to get to the basics, the indisputable facts and then give you my pennyworth on what these facts are telling me.

So to the basics; some areas I think no one can dispute:

  • Though there are up to five different generations in the workforce today, more than 50% of these have either been born into a mobile and internet enabled world or spent 20 years or more within its development and growth and this generational experience is only going to get bigger.
  • Every recent communication distribution technology development since the telex (Fax, Job board, SMS, Bluetooth, search engines and social platforms) have been incorporated in to the custom and practice recruiters have used to improve efficiencies and effectiveness in their recruitment process and workflow and in the ways they try to develop a relationship with their candidate prospects. In fact, some of these developments may not have been so successful without recruiters.
  • The accelerated and massive growth in the use of the Smartphone, Featurephone and Tablet device since the launch of the first iPhone and its first generation peers is in this case really awesome. If you are one for stats (and I really doubt you have not heard this) by everyone's calculation at some point in the next 12 to 24 months there will be more people accessing the web from a mobile or tablet device than there will from the previously traditional PC or Laptop.
  • Now, I am not sure (there must be a stat somewhere) what the actual correlation is but it's not hard to see, just from my points so far, that the mobile and tablet device uptake will closely track the generational users that all recruiters are looking to attract into their talent networks and ATS databases.
  • Finally for now, off all these global device owners (who have their device with them 24/7 and access it to take some action at least 3/4 time an hour) who are accessing the web, almost all of them are using their device for three core actions. Email, Social Communication and Search, and if that's not interesting enough, almost 90% of everyone with a device who are under 30 have or will have within the next 12 months used their device to access the web for job or career related content. (The last stat is based on a study of 30,000 students and post grads in this age range from a recent 2012 study from Potential Park).

So I hope you agree, these are not just numbers anymore be real people using the latest technology to communicate, engage with and consume information they want to consume in a way that they want to receive it.

This is where I am going to go off the reservation and say many of the recent developments targeting the communication, engagement, conversion and transaction needs relating to Recruitment and Talent Pooling are missing a trick. Why is this Martin, I hear you ask; well because they have been made from the company or revenue generating perspective and not the candidate (the actual users we all want to engage with) experience and needs.

I want examples, I hear you shout! OK so just one or two. How many of these device users are getting any real value from the mobile apps being pushed on to the android and iPhone market places.

There may be some; I have not seen any that are really useful to the candidate user. Most mobile app creation that has been developed so far has either been made for the recruiter to use and not the prospect candidate and those apps given away to the prospect candidate have a short download lifespan because they are predominantly costly job posting platforms made for companies or commercial recruiters.

This smacks more of an ego trip from the content distributor to say they have an app for that. Look, as an individual and if your career focus is more permanent than contract or temp then being told every day or week what jobs someone has just becomes noise if I am settled in a position that i see as a fit for me and I could stay in that position on average for at least two years. I will quickly drop any app that is constantly posting me jobs and not engaging with me in any other way.

I said one or two, so for the second I will cover a social recruiting trend. This is the opportunity many technology companies and their clients are looking to get from the big daddy in social communities ‘Facebook'. There are at least four or five platforms or API developed integrations that are looking to leverage the 900 + million membership inside Facebook. Some are Client focused, providing improved company page, event page and job advert distribution capabilities. The model is to get the messaging out and hopefully, the candidate... they will come.

Others do target the actual individual members but not in a great way. Mentioning no names but on testing one such 3rd party integration I noticed the rights I had to give up to use the app was the ability for the app owner to spam and gather the information on all my friends. Taking out any permission from me on who they could or could not contact. I dropped the process but I know many out there who do not check these things and had this happen to them.

Now who has this technology really been designed for, not the member. For one I think my network of friends and contacts has a value, look how much is saved in direct hires specifically from a company's internal referrals and REWARDS programs. Why should this be any different for an external version?

I will be honest, some of the things we are working on right now do address this balance and that means this article has a vested interest for me, but I am genuinely motivated to get the message out because there is not enough being done for the main consumer and this mobile / social user group are way ahead of business in their adoption of the latest tools and online trends.

It's about time as a sector we caught up

Author: Martin Shaw

Please contact martin by email or call him on 07791 673 715

About RecruitSmart Technology

Founded by Martin in 2012, RecruitSmart is a company focused on applying any combination of technology, on and off line marketing and communications and all their years of recruitment industry expertise to support a company's talent attraction, acquisition and management strategies.

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