Mobile Recruiting – Part One

by Ryan Kohler

By now, it’s no secret that mobile recruiting is all the buzz in the hiring realms and for good reason since it is estimated that 68% of job seekers use a mobile device in their job search at least once a week. So why is it that less than 20% of companies have a mobile optimized career site? I can only assume that the reasoning behind this is that most employers don’t fully understand the value available to them. Chances are, you’ve likely found pages upon pages of stats supporting the ever-expanding mobile market, but I believe the missing link for HR people is that there’s no cathartic “so what” evidence to back these claims. There’s no “why should I care or how does this affect me” because it’s just assumed that the more data you throw out there, the more obvious it becomes that a change is necessary.

To be honest, I spent five years trying to convince HR departments that an online career site is an absolute necessity, so I’d like to spare employers the headache that comes from ignoring the impact of mobile recruiting by making it my focus this month. In today’s post, you’ll learn some statistics about which individuals use their phones in the job search (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not just limited to highschoolers and lower-income job seekers) to lay the foundation for why job candidates are more likely to use their phones to search for jobs and finally; in the upcoming weeks, how this impacts you in your hiring efforts if your goal is to hire quality applicants.

Did you know that in a 2011 survey, it was discovered that the age group with the highest smartphone penetration rate (64%) was actually people who were 25-34 years? Not only that, but that the demographic of young adults who own a smartphone (18-24) is actually only 1% higher than the age group of 35-44 who come in at a whopping 53% for smartphone ownership? I’m hoping that if you had any preconceived notions about only targeting teenagers with a mobile optimized site, it becomes clear that these statistics suggest otherwise.

What’s more is that the data also supports adopting mobile recruiting for higher income positions as well since 18% of job seekers making between $50,000 – $75,000 annually search for positions with their smartphones and that percentage jumps to 21% when a candidate is searching for a $75,000+ annual salary job opening. These applicants surely aren’t considered to be “low-quality.” The point is that if you don’t have a site that is mobile compatible, you could be missing out an almost a quarter of your top quality applicants; not to mention that smart device usage has been projected to surpass PC usage in 2014. Imagine the catastrophic effects of sacrificing even more of your potential quality applicant pool.

If you think those numbers are limited to salary ranges and age demographics, you’re mistaken because 38% of employed and unemployed candidates use a smartphone to apply for executive-level positions and 65% applying for executive positions use a tablet meaning that you’re sacrificing well over half of your qualified job seekers without a tablet friendly application interface.

For the amount you have to “invest” in a mobile optimized career site, you really can’t afford to overlook it. In next week’s post, I’ll walk you through some simple tactics for becoming mobile friendly, and how ApplicantPro helps its clients stay up-to-date on the latest hiring trends to capitalize on this growing, virtual market.


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  • More articles you might find interesting:

    What Do HR People Really Want?
    Mobile Recruiting – Part Two

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