There is a huge disconnect in mobile recruiting!

Pew Research  came out with some cool data recently on mobile usage and recruiting and a few things actually shocked me!  Check this out:

Americans with relatively low levels of educational attainment tend to lean heavily on their smartphones for online access in general, and this also play out in the ways members of this group utilize their smartphones while looking for employment. Among Americans who have used a smartphone in some part of a job search, those with higher education levels are more likely to use their phone for basic logistical activities – such as calling a potential employer on the phone or emailing someone about a job. On the other hand, smartphone job seekers who have not attended college are substantially more likely to have used their phone for more advanced tasks, such as filling out an online job application or creating a resume or cover letter.

If you’re an HR Pro like me, you believed the opposite of this was probably true! I think most TA pros and leaders would believe they couldn’t rely on mobile recruiting technology because those with lower education (thus lower income) would not have access to a smartphone. The opposite of this is true.

Lower educated individuals actually rely more on their mobile device to get online and communicate about things surrounding employment.

Currently, in the TA space most of the mobile recruiting push is around Tech hires.  Everything you read in regards to mobile recruiting will speak to the importance of having if you hire IT, but almost nothing if you’re trying to hire unskilled workers.  In fact, conventional wisdom still holds court when it comes to unskilled recruiting – paper applications, career page applications, job fairs, etc.

So, what is the major issue facing unskilled and lower skilled job seekers?  

Employers are still stuck on resumes and applications to get someone to apply.

Have you ever filled out an application on the screen of an iPhone 5?  It sucks! You won’t complete it. You’ll go to another company that is hiring and makes it easier to apply via another means, or by giving way less information.

Employers who are struggling to hire lower-skilled workers need to make some major changes to their mobile recruiting strategy.

Here are some tips: 

1. Have a mobile recruiting strategy, specifically designed for unskilled and lowers skilled candidates

2. Figure out what is the bare minimum of information you need to have some apply to a position via their mobile device. Get the rest when you see them in person.

3. Start measuring how your candidates are coming to you. Understand, while they might come to from a job board or online resource, that is still probably done by a mobile device. We need to change our mindset about how we attract lower-skilled workers via mobile.

This is a huge eye-opener to TA pros and leaders. Take note. Lower educated workers are more likely to use a mobile device to apply to your jobs than a highly educated worker!



3 thoughts on “There is a huge disconnect in mobile recruiting!

  1. Very interesting and compelling research, Tim!

    Mobile is one of those always stated “must haves” but one of the few that I think organizations truly measure to understand today’s true impact of the channel.

    Totally anecdotal but we’ve seen very similar results when it comes to organizations we talk to. Industries like truck driving are very dependent on mobile Career Sites and applications whereas when we talk to other more “white-collar” industries or look at the data, around only 20-25% of traffic on the Career Site comes from Mobile (and most orgs should have a mobile version or a responsive Career Site.)

    My stance is always that mobile is and will continue to grow in importance but it’s incredibly important to build and measure the impact of mobile searches to understand the right level of investment into the channel today. And it makes sense to start at the mobile Career Site to gather this data before moving on to the application and further mobile tools and solutions.

    I appreciate the research and how you are adding to the conversation around mobile.

  2. Thanks for the post Tim. Very interesting findings.

    Finding an ATS that can handle mobile applications can be tough. PCRecruiter does have mobile job board functionality. It will allow applicants to use their Resume stored at Dropbox or Drive; their Indeed resume; their LinkedIn profile. It has to be easy to apply with a cell phone.

    Did the research look into using Texts as an alternative to emails? It seems to be moving in this direction as well…..

    Thanks again for the informative post.

  3. We’re in manufacturing, and our applicant pool is highly mobile/smart phone dependent. We have not found a single ATS that uses mobile applications appropriately for this audience. Their mobile apps appear to be built to show investors, not to be used by actual applicants. As a result, we still use paper applicants. To hire 900+ applicants a year.

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