Dispelling the Mobile Recruiting Myth

by Tim Sackett | Posted | Talent Acquisition

Dispelling the Mobile Recruiting Myth

Chances are in the past 12 months you’ve experienced at least one of these scenarios. You’ve purchased, been pitched on, or looked at a product that claims it will solve all of your talent acquisition issues via a wondrous mobile recruiting solution.

Am I right? Admit it, I am.

As part of the whole experience, you were probably shown some really large and impressive statistics around mobile use, and how people now look for jobs. You were probably introduced to some really cool mobile-enabled career sites from organizations that are having tremendous success with mobile recruiting.

Here’s the kicker…

Then you were shown how your site looks, which wasn’t nearly as cool. In fact, at this point, you probably felt inadequate as a talent acquisition professional and vowed to get on the mobile bandwagon, because — heck — 17% of 10-year-olds now have smartphones… or so they told you.

Mobile recruiting: Way of the future, or not?

Mobile talent acquisition solutions theoretically sound like they’re the way of the future. These solutions and their gigantic smartphone user statistics make us feel like we’re totally missing out on the biggest thing since, well, smartphones. There is one very sizeable statistic these mobile solution vendors aren’t telling you, and it’s even bigger!

Only 8% of Internet traffic comes from mobile browsers.

Although mobile devices account for 55% of total Internet traffic (I’m sure they shared this with you as well!), most of that traffic is from apps (47%). Think Angry Birds, Instagram, Twitter, Words with Friends, etc. People aren’t using their phones to find your career site! And they certainly aren’t applying for jobs on your career site from their phone! 45% of ‘normal’ Internet traffic is still coming from desktop-type PC devices. So, I guess what I’m getting at is that when people want to apply for jobs, they still use a desktop-type device.

Here’s the one big question no one is asking when it comes to mobile recruiting solutions.

How many people have a Word doc or PDF of their resume on their smartphone?

Seriously, do you know even one person? I bet you don’t. How is someone supposed to apply for your open job positions without a resume? Fill out your online application/resume/profile on a 3.5 inch screen? That isn’t happening.  

Making mobile recruiting work

I do think amongst all the mobile recruiting solution hype there is a way. Let’s go back to the mobile app traffic number of 47%, and growing. If we can find one universal app that people would be willing to accept, job seekers and employers, profiles from for your job openings, mobile recruiting would be gigantic!

Let’s say you would be open and willing to accept LinkedIn profiles, instead of a standard resume (by the way, many applicant tracking systems already have this functionality). LinkedIn’s mobile app is great. People would and could easily apply for jobs they find on your site, or wherever you advertise your jobs, simply by using their LinkedIn app.

That is an example of how we could actually make mobile recruiting work. For the most part, though, today, 95%-plus employers still are not willing to accept non-traditional resumes. Most of this is our own paradigm as talent acquisition pros.

We need to get out of our box and look at how can we attract talent, not how can we put limits on how talent finds us! We don’t really need a traditional resume. If a person is talented, all I need is a name and a way to contact them. Frankly, I don’t care if their resume is tattooed on their back (note the Prison Break reference)! Take a picture and text it to me, I’ll make it work.

Don’t get caught up in smartphone user numbers when looking at potential mobile recruiting solutions. Think about your reality — and the reality of the talent you are going after. Although folks are using their smartphones a ridiculous amount of the time, are they really using them to find a job? The real numbers say no. Myth successfully dispelled.

Your Turn: LinkedIn profile vs. traditional resume? What’s your preference?

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