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Delivering a Mobile Experience that Works


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You know the feeling: You get the sweats. You shake and shiver. You pat your pockets and frantically search your handbag or backpack. Panic sets in. You’ve left your mobile device in the car, in the office or at home. If you’ve experienced this, you are suffering from Nomophobia. We can go weeks without food, days without water, but in the modern era, it’s instantly unsettling to be without our mobile phones.

Five years ago, fewer than nine million Americans owned a smartphone. Today, nearly 110 million carry mobile devices, changing everything from how individuals shop to how they look for jobs. Successful recruiting and sourcing strategies need to consider these changing behaviors – and that means creating content and experiences that are not only available on mobile devices, but that are designed for mobile viewing and interaction.

Mobile is a great conduit for reaching candidates. Location-based services make it possible to deliver content that is relevant and geo-targeted, so job descriptions can be optimized to deliver the best and most personalized experience possible.

According to Nucleus Research, mobile Web browsing accounted for 30 percent of all Web traffic in 2012 and is expected to account for 50 percent by 2014. Sourcing professionals and recruitment marketers need to leverage mobile connectivity to showcase vacant positions and their organizations’ strengths – and this requires creating meaningful, interesting and engaging mobile-specific content.

Consider these rules of the road when developing a mobile strategy:

Elevate Your Game – According to Google, in the U.S., 59 percent of users used a mobile search engine for a product search while just 25 percent used mobile for a job search (In the UK the data is 60 percent and 16 percent, respectively). Why? Because the experiences differ so vastly. Employers have not yet elevated their mobile destinations or content to the same level that users experience when searching for consumer goods, restaurants, and films.

When you are in the car and want to go see Skyfall, you Google the movie title. You get search results that show the theaters playing the movie, the show times, movie trailers, user reviews, and a link to purchase tickets. When someone is on the bus searching for a job at your company, do they get a good mobile experience or not? It’s time to focus on creating outstanding mobile user experiences.

Size Matters – As your company establishes its mobile presence, think about how your site will look on a mobile device. Screen size real estate is valuable and there is a world of difference between content that is mobile friendly – easily manipulated with pinch and zoom – and that which is mobile optimized – designed to be thumb-friendly and consumed on the mobile device. Many organizations are beginning to look toward the use of Responsive Web Design (RWD) as they craft their next career site strategy. RWD allows for a single site to be built that will automatically reconfigure the content being displayed based upon the size of the screen real estate of the device being used to view it.

RWD may not be the right solution for every situation, and careful consideration needs to be given to the most recent site redesign and the long-term career site strategy. For example, if you have just recently launched a new career site, perhaps a mobile detection agency and a mobile site are the best approach rather than a complete RWD overhaul. In this case, save the RWD for the next iteration of your site.

No One Likes to Wait – Waiting for content to load is frustrating for users and may cause them to abandon your site before it renders. When creating mobile content, particularly video or graphic-rich text, keep the user experience in mind. Barriers between the user and your content already abound, from weak signals to bandwidth limitations and more. Design for lower-performing mobile devices and make sure content is delivered in a way that’s consumable on a wide range of phones.

KISS (Keep it Short, Seriously) – Keep job descriptions to fewer than 400 words and minimize the amount of swiping between screens. Short videos, succinct copy and fast message delivery give candidates the best experience. Even better – give consumers an opportunity to flag something they are interested in and the capability to return to it later.

Some Is Better Than None – In mobile, the best experience is one that works. As mobile moves up the priority list, organizations need to focus on optimizing mobile job listings and content delivery. As with all other digital platforms, your mobile product is ultimately about delivering the best branded experience to your users and potential candidates. Today, make sure you at least have a mobile-friendly destination for your users if not a fully mobile-optimized site.

Splitting his time between London and New York, Steven Z. Ehrlich, Global VP of Client Development for TMP Worldwide works closely with agency teams and clients to explore, develop, and implement strategic initiatives leveraging social media, new technologies, and innovative employer brand delivery channels. Ehrlich has leveraged emerging tools and technologies to enhance both brand articulation and recruitment for a multitude of organizations including Deloitte, Capital One, Walmart, P&G, Areva, GlaxoSmithKline, Disney, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Yale University. He currently holds a non-executive board seat at SIFE, serves as an Advisory Board member for the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI), and is a member of The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE). Ehrlich was recently named one of HRMarketer’s “Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting,” and is a recipient of the 2010 SIFE Champion Award. You can connect with Steven on Twitter @99GR81 and LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenzehrlich
  • http://twitter.com/GoSnapHop SnapHop

    Great tips. I’d also encourage recruiters to emphasize social as part of their mobile recruiting efforts. Social media referrals are a great way for visitors to pass on information about jobs that don’t match their skills but may be a good fit for someone in their network. Even if mobile visitors don’t apply to, share, or save jobs, a social follow helps them keep connected with the company so they’re sure to spot the opportunity that’s right for them, once it surfaces.

  • Steven Z. Ehrlich

    Agreed. There is really no way to parse social media from mobile these days.

  • http://www.researchgoddess.com/ ResearchGoddess

    My personal feeling is that before a mobile strategy is executed, a company needs to make sure its regular website is in order. Adding mobile to an already crappy website is only going to spotlight and magnify the existing problems. Develop a strategy yes, but include in the first part of that strategy “Make sure our full website is up to par.”