Mobile Candidate Experience: 4 Signs Yours Is Outdated

Mobile Candidate Experience: 4 Signs Yours Is Outdated

Mike Roberts

Back in 2007, Steve Jobs said the phone was no longer “just a communication tool but a way of life.” This was an interesting statement to make, because at the time consumer-oriented cellphones were used primarily for calls, texts, and sending pixelated pictures to friends and family. Fast-forward to 2015 and smartphones play a major role in just about everything we do—including the tasks of searching for and applying to jobs.

In a survey conducted last year, 80% of job seekers reported having the expectation that they’d be able to easily search for a position on their smartphone. And 7 in 10 actually said they already had or would apply for a job from their smartphone given the option. A decade ago, few people would have expected to see statistics like that, but technology has a tendency to advance and transform our lives in ways we couldn’t even dream up.

When it comes to mobile candidate experience, today’s recruiters find themselves in an interesting predicament. As we’ve shared in past posts, the talent acquisition field is replete with reliance on outdated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and, unfortunately, when applicants come across an ATS interface on a mobile device, the mobile candidate experience delivered tends to do more harm than good—pushing applicants away rather than pulling them deeper into the apply flow.

If you’re wondering if you’re mobile candidate experience is suffering, here are four signs it might be time for an upgrade.

bad mobile job application in recruiting1. You Don’t Have Responsive Web Design

Although a good mobile candidate experience goes well beyond having responsive web design, from a user interface perspective this is a must-have. Basically, responsive web design means that an experience adapts to whichever type of device is being used—so images are automatically resized and text is easily readable. Sites that haven’t made the move, though, like the one shown to the right, require zooming in and out to interact with.

While your corporate site may have already transitioned to responsive web design, that doesn’t necessarily mean your careers site has as well. Because most careers sites are run on the ATS, even complete redesigns of a corporate site won’t make an impact. This experience is not something you’d expect in 2015, but it tends to happen more often than not.

2. Your Job Requisitions Aren’t Search Engine Optimized

Last month you probably saw the term “Mobilegeddon” on your newsfeed, which referred to Google’s major algorithm update that took place on April 21, 2015. Essentially, Google gave webmasters a deadline to optimize their site for mobile, and those who didn’t comply are now likely feeling the impact in organic search traffic. Translation: job seekers aren’t going to be able to find your requisitions via search engines.

So, what’s the big deal? Studies have shown that as much as 30% of all searches in Google are employment-related. It’s become almost instinctual to start any type of search in Google, and that trend will probably only increase as younger generations become more predominant in the workforce. Your careers site homepage, landing pages, and specific requisition pages must be built with on-page SEO best practices in mind, or you’re likely to miss out on a ton of candidates.

3. You Aren’t Leveraging Any Type of Social Connection

Today’s “digital natives” expect there to be some type of social media connection in just about everything they do—especially when having to fill out a form. Since LinkedIn has all demographic information stored, as well as employment history, it’s becoming more common for companies to allow applicants to apply using their LinkedIn profile.

Shown to the right is an example of a next-generation mobile resume upload screen, which is designed to optimize application conversion rates by providing applicants a number of resume upload options and just a few simple steps. At the end of the day, recruiters want to get applicants from the beginning to the end of the apply flow, and an outdated mobile candidate experience that doesn’t provide these options is counter-intuitive to that goal.

recruiting software saved progress4. You Don’t Allow Applicants to Finish Later

While candidates are filling out an application on their smartphones, there’s a good chance something might interrupt them. For instance, they may get or call or a text, the device may crash, or they might just get bored and decide to play a game. Most mobile candidate experiences do not account for this type of scenario. As a result, applicants that do leave the process are unable to return at a later time to finish. And they’re unlikely to start over if that’s the case.

Again, having the option to pick up where they left off is an expectation among today’s savvy technology users. Conversion rate optimization is a concept widely used in eCommerce marketing, and it’s not a bad idea to take some of those best practices into the apply flow. In eCommerce, if shoppers add something to their cart and then leave the site without buying, there is almost no doubt they will be able to log back in and continue with that purchase later.candidate experience toolkitcareer site assessment

What’s your mobile candidate experience like? Let us know on Twitter at @Jibe!

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