Mobile Recruiting Increasingly Essential, Especially for Millennials, Consultant Says

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By Martin Berman-Gorvine

May 27 — Employers need to improve their recruiting over mobile platforms, which younger workers are especially apt to use to apply for jobs, Elaine Orler, founder and president of San Diego, Calif.-based Talent Function, said in a May 27 webinar sponsored by the Human Capital Institute.

Speaking of “millennials,” Orler said: “This is a fully connected generation. They would rather lose their wallet then lose their phone. They would rather not have access to a car for a week than not have access to a phone.”

At the same time, she said, it's necessary to use recruitment techniques specially targeted to attract the right kind of candidates—not all job applicants—through mobile platforms. “Recruiting is marketing in many cases, and recruiting on this platform is different,” she said.

For example, the average time for a candidate to apply for an open position is 30-45 minutes, which is not acceptable for someone using a mobile device, Orler said. “It's about marketing to the right audience, and getting them to apply to those descriptions,” she said.

Test Your Tools

Start by thoroughly testing your organization's existing mobile recruitment tools, Orler suggested. Just because you have a job application “app” for mobile devices doesn't mean it works, she said.

“If you have not actually attempted to apply to your own organization through a mobile device, tablet or phone, that's your first step,” she added. For example, Orler said, check how many times a candidate needs to click to complete an application, and that it's actually possible to complete the process without getting disconnected.

Properly worded job descriptions are essential for attracting the right candidates, she said. “The job description is where the rubber meets the road, where candidates decide whether to apply,” Orler said. “If we don't have quality job descriptions, we're getting the wrong candidates.” These descriptions might include testimonials about working for the organization, which survey data show is otherwise often overlooked by applicants, she said.

Another basic aspect Orler cited for mobile job recruitment is “permission-based communications,” which means the potential employer should request permission to start marketing to the candidates and grant them permission “to do what they like doing,” such as “liking” open positions and referring them to friends.

Talent Function's survey data show that about half of job applicants would report about a positive job application experience through social media while almost one-third would use the same means to report a negative experience.

There is an amplifying effect, in that “millennials consult four or more sources when choosing a product or service,” Orler noted. This generation is energetically using Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter to look for work, she said, while older professionals are gravitating to LinkedIn.

To contact the reporter on this story: Martin Berman-Gorvine in Washington at mbermangorvine@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at snadel@bna.com