Mobile Recruiting: It's time to develop mobile-friendly recruitment websites

Much has been bandied about the web on mobile recruiting, further not helped by ridiculous-sounding statistics like “By the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth”, which is actually true! (Source: Cisco Global Mobile Data white paper). Note: Don’t get scared, this is not the realisation of iRobot. It’s not just mobile phones, it also includes things like RFID tags which track products and parts being shipped around the world.

But what we simply cannot ignore is that mobile internet traffic has grown significantly even from as recently as 2010 (that same Cisco report states that 2011 mobile internet traffic grew 2.3 fold over 2010). As more and more people around the globe switch to smart-phones (an internet-enabled mobile phone), it presents us with opportunities for communication directly with consumers and potential employees like promoting our vacancies to them, promoting our company, products and services to them, and presenting promenant calls to action that people can do what we want them to do: in our case as recruiters, it’s apply for a job.

Heed our call now though: forget about the hullabaloo from last year, 2012 IS the year of mobile recruiting, and it’s official. Here’s why:

  • 12% of Google searches for jobs in the UK are from a mobile device (source Google AdWords)
  • 8% of traffic to UK job-sites is from mobile devices (source: thesocialcv.com, Dec 2011)
  • Job Apps consistently rank in the top 10 of Business Apps in the Apple AppStore and Android Market.
  • Internet-enabled Mobile devices officially outsold desktops and laptops in 2011 (source: Canalys)

While these facts are gradually dawning upon businesses, it’s about time we start planning and actioning for mobile websites for an essential service: finding a job. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Where is my CV stored?

You can be sure that people do not have their CV stored on their phone. While some will have it saved in an email somewhere from long ago, try this quick experiment: try and load that specific attachment in to a CV database or job site to apply for a job role all using your mobile phone. Hint – it’s next near impossible. Conclusion? Job seekers WILL NOT bother. So you’ve lost them from fulfilling your call to action (ie, Apply Now). Solution: install a “save for later”, “apply with LinkedIn/BranchOut/Be Known” button on your mobile site instead.

Does your recruitment website look like this on a mobile device?

Does your recruitment website look like this on a mobile device?

2. User Experience

Building a mobile website or a mobile-adapted website is the only way to have a quality user experience. Otherwise, users will encounter common problems like long load time (usually due to large-file images, web formats and videos), flash-built websites that are not viewable on iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, not being able to read text because it’s so small (remember the device will shrink the page to fit the screen), pinch and zoom hell trying to read the text on the page, and the tricky dilemma of drop-down menus and forms (if you’re a smartphone user, I’m sure you’re aware just how difficult and irritating it is to select a tiny drop down menu with a relatively large finger, and the nightmare of filling out forms – especially with AutoCorrect on…)

Mobile Web Strategies for Recruitment Websites

– KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid

Strip out unnecessary images, heavy-loaded pages with high-res images and unpopular sections of your website (use your web analytics to determine which pages receive the most hits and only put your top 5 on your mobile site). Your pages should be in a vertical list format, and in a large enough text that is easily pressed by a clumsy finger and can be read by a normal human being. A mobile site should contain the basics and make it really easy for people to do whatever it is that you want them to do, signalled by strong (large) calls to action.

– Redirect to Mobile Site or Mobile App

We strongly recommend that your mobile site automatically detect that a visitor is using a mobile and will redirect them to the m.domain.com version of your site rather than the www.domain.com version. Alternatively, you can redirect them to your iPhone or Android App version of your site either, if you decide to go down the App route. Consult with your web developer for options.

– Social Sign-In

It’s really hard to fill out a form to join a site when on a phone, probably standing up on some form of public transport and only have one hand free as it is. Think about incorporating a social-site API login, like using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc to log in to a site all by using one click.

– Email or SMS alerts

Why not include a location-based email or SMS alert service that is activated when members of your site enter a particular location? Mobile devices mean that location data is collected too, so once someone enters a particular post code, why not send them a quick alert to say who’s hiring in that location?

– One Click

Make the application process as easy as you possibly can. Charge your web-developer with a task that requires all actions to be carried out using a single click.

Getting started:

Check your website analytics, and continue to monitor them for changes and increases (or decreases – you never know!) in mobile traffic to your site. If you’re getting above 7% of your website visits coming from mobile devices, then you should definitely consider a mobile site. When we created our mobile site we had just hit 8% mobile visitors. That figure has now increased to 10% because we’re now mobile optimised, and what’s more, their page-views-per-user has trebled from an average of 1.03 pages per mobile-visitor to 3.6 pages per mobile visitor. We created our mobile site using WeeverApps, a free WordPress and Joomla plugin since we host our site using the WordPress CMS (content management service). The guys at WeeverApps gave us plenty of support when we needed it (thanks Andrew, Steve and Robert!), but you could technically create yours yourself in the space of a day. Another similar service is WPTouch, which works for WordPress, Drupal and Joomla-hosted sites.

Have you got your site mobile enabled yet, or are you planning to for this year? We hope we’ve given you the push to go for it. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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