Why Workforce Diversity and Mobile Job Applications Go Hand-In-Hand
Mobile device adoption is more prevalent today than at any other point in history. In 2014, 90% of American adults had a cellphone, with 58% actually owning a smartphone. What’s more interesting, though, are the ways in which people are using devices. For many—and this extends far beyond the U.S.—mobile devices are becoming the only source for computing as well as Internet connectivity.
This trend is, perhaps, more relevant today to some demographics than others. According to comScore, two in five Hispanic Millennials in the U.S. are mobile-only Internet users. In the recruiting arena, where few companies have optimized their mobile experience for job seekers, continuing on that path could mean more than just lacking in user experience—it could impact workplace diversity in the near future.
In this post, we’ll dig a little deeper into the data, and discuss both why diversity is crucial and how today’s leading companies are meeting job seekers on their own turf.
The Rise of the Mobile-Only Internet User
Of the more than 300 million people living in America, the U.S. Census Bureau reported one in six are Hispanic. This demographic segment is expected to at least double by 2060. At the same time, Hispanics in America are also leading the mobile-only charge. Shown below, 21% of the entire Hispanic population in the U.S. aren’t using desktop computers or other traditional means to access the Internet, compared to 9% of non-Hispanic population.
This number is far greater when you look at the 18-34 year old segment of the Hispanic demographic. As mentioned above, 40% were mobile-only in 2014, and this number is expected to increase as time goes on. comScore attributed the disproportionate mobile-only use among Hispanic Millennials to the following:
“U.S. Millennials skewed mobile-only due to their greater proficiency in performing more functions with smartphones and perhaps less need for the advanced functions provided by desktop computers. It therefore makes sense that the cross-section of two populations known for having mobile-only tendencies might have an especially high incidence of this behavior.”
It should be pointed out that this data cut focuses on Hispanic versus non-Hispanic populations in the U.S. Non-Hispanic can, indeed, mean many things and we can easily deduce that there are a variety of mobile-only users hailing from other demographic segments. Still, though, this data just focuses on the U.S. There are some emerging nations where the mobile-only trend is dramatically more prevalent.
Why Should Employers Care?
Clearly companies not offering a good mobile experience (or one at all) are missing out on many candidates in general—let alone ones from particular demographic segments. But, of course, the benefits of targeting these job seekers and meeting them on their own mobile turf go beyond that. There are also considerations like equal opportunity and the actual benefits of a diverse working environment.
Forbes contributor Ekaterina Walter shared an interesting perspective on this topic. She said ”Diversity breeds innovation. And innovation breeds business success,” then went on to share takeaways from four different studies:
- A Forbes study has identified workforce diversity and inclusion as a key driver of internal innovation and business growth
- Lu Hong and Scott Page showed that groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers
- According to McKinsey, companies with diverse executive boards enjoy significantly higher earnings and returns on equity
- According to Harvard Business School, multicultural networks promote creativity
Benefits of innovation aside, if we continue with the example of Hispanic mobile-only users, there are some industries with a traditionally large Hispanic footprint that will likely see a large drop off in Hispanic workers and consequently diversity. For instance, hospitality, transportation, retail, and manufacturing, just to name a few.
Meeting Job Seekers on Their Own Turf
As we’ve shared before, 80% of job seekers conduct at least part of their search from a mobile device. And with the rising popularity of tablets and phablets, in addition to already strong smartphone adoption, it’s safe to say we’re really only at the start of the mobile-only user in the U.S. Both within the country and without, we can expect a sharp increase in the not-too-far-off future. The time to optimize your mobile job application experience is now.
Companies may take this a little more seriously when we consider additional projections like the one from Creative Strategies: by 2020, quality, powerful smartphones could cost as little as $10. Meaning, for many people mobile will not only be a preferential means for access the Internet, it will also make economic sense.
This is, of course, not the first time that technology has completely disrupted our daily lives, and it won’t be the last. If well-known examples like the ugly fall of Blockbuster and the rapid rise of Netflix have taught us anything, it’s that the businesses that stick around are those that not only adapt, but are as proactive as possible when it comes to disruption.
Talent acquisition needs to maintain this mindset, because attracting today’s talent means something entirely different than it did just a few years ago, and it’s likely to continue morphing as we move forward in time.
If you’re interested in learning what the next-generation of mobile job applications looks like, then look no further.