Is Your Mobile Recruiting Strategy Doing More Harm Than Good?

Is Your Mobile Recruiting Strategy Doing More Harm Than Good?

Mike Roberts

mobile recruiting stategies for tabletAlthough the iPhone is a complex piece of technology, it comes without a physical instruction booklet. Why? Because it’s intuitive and user-friendly enough for just about anyone to figure out. With mega companies like Apple, Amazon, and others delivering this type of experience, consumers have come to expect it. And, today, that expectation is quickly migrating into the business world.

Unfortunately, many enterprise software vendors have yet to deliver a similar consumer-grade experience. This is especially the case in the realm of talent acquisition, where legacy Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are leaving recruiters with few choices for optimizing their mobile application experience—among many other shortcomings. The question is, what are the disadvantages of continuing down this path?

In this post, we’ll inspect the drawbacks of relying on the mobile experience delivered by your legacy ATS, the cost of doing so, and what you need to know about next-gen mobile experiences.

Inspecting The Mobile Experience Delivered by Legacy ATS

It’s typical for companies to integrate the ATS with their careers site, so requisitions can easily be posted online, while enabling all applicant information to remain centralized. Presenting jobs in this way may suffice for applicants using a desktop computer, but as just about any recruiting professional knows, things start to get fuzzy when applicants are on a mobile device.

In many cases, the mobile experience delivered by an ATS is nothing more than a replica of the desktop experience. This tends to require a frustrating amount of zooming and scrolling. It also ignores the fact that it’s more difficult to type on a mobile device, forcing candidates to fill out the same fields as the desktop version. In extreme cases, though, candidates never even make it that far—they either get an error message or the option to email a link so they can complete the application on a desktop.

In general, the mobile experience delivered by a legacy ATS is far from that which today’s technology users have come to expect.

The Cost of Inaction

Most companies aren’t at a loss for why their mobile application completion rates are considerably lower than their desktop completion rates. It’s more a matter of what the experience should be like and how do they get there. More on that later, though. For now, let’s look at some data from a recent industry survey on the costs of continuing with the same mobile experience amid heightening user expectations:

  • 33% of HR professionals believe that if candidates are not able to apply for jobs on their smartphones, they’ll be less interested in working for that company
  • Many HR professionals also imagine that mobile hiring limitations will lead to negative company feedback shared by applicants among their friends and family (21%) and publicly on social media (21%)
  • 25% of HR professionals think that not being able to apply for jobs using a smartphone might even prevent candidates from buying products or services from that organization

The Ideal Mobile Recruiting Strategy Focuses on Candidate Experience

80% of job seekers expect to be able to do part of their search easily on a smartphone, and 70% are willing to apply for a position on one. This is a trend that’s likely to only accelerate as more Millennials enter the workforce and older generations continue to replace their mobile devices with smarter ones. That said, the costs of not offering a good mobile experience are likely to become more significant as time goes on.

To match the experience of leading consumer-facing technology companies like Apple and Amazon, recruiting organizations need to think like one. This means candidate experience should be at the center of the application process, and the following should be top considerations:

  • Simple and intuitive navigation: The goal is to not to frustrate applicants, but to make it as easy as possible for them to search for jobs and apply with a responsive, mobile-friendly interface
  • Less steps until completion: Think of a mobile experience as different from a desktop experience—the more fields required to complete the application, the more likely applicants are going to drop off
  • Social integration and parsing: Make it easier for applicants to fill in required information by using social integration and resume parsing tools, so fields are populated with a single click
  • Analytics on the back end: Today’s best consumer-facing companies are continually leveraging analytics to refine the user experience—for recruiters this means looking at data to optimize application flow performance based on candidate behavior

Your mobile experience should not be defined by the limitations of your ATS. In fact, delivering on the staples of a good mobile experience listed above often means exploring solutions that go beyond what your ATS has to offer. That’s not a statement meant to be overwhelming—you don’t necessarily have to replace your ATS—rather you can ameliorate your experience with third-party integrations. Here’s a good place to start.

candidate experience toolkitcareer site assessment

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