Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Importance Of Mobile Accessibility And Recruiting

Evan Cobb, Director, People Potential

clip_image002clip_image004Look down at your hand right now. Are you looking at this on your phone? Tablet? Or are you at work on a desktop? Chances are you may be on a phone or tablet. In the world of recruiting, companies are always competing for top talent. Anything that a company can do to ensure that we are positioning ourselves to best enhance the candidate experience is vital. Which brings me to one of the hottest topics in recruiting today. Mobile! Mobile accessibility is now the name of the game when it comes to the candidate experience. Given how much time everyone spends on their mobile device, if a company doesn’t have the ability to apply online, or doesn’t provide information in a way that is easy digested on a mobile device, they are missing out on key opportunities to engage with their potential recruits. Not only do you want a robust and responsive site that can be viewed on any device, but it is even more important that a candidate can submit an application from anywhere, at any time.

clip_image006According to research, 80% of job seekers expect to be able to do part of their application process from a mobile device, yet only 20% of organizations have optimized their career sites for mobile apply! Why? It takes a great investment to upgrade your ATS to be mobile-apply friendly, and it takes an even broader campaign to ensure that candidate's actually UNDERSTAND that they can apply on their mobile device, whether it be by uploading their resume from a cloud storage site like Dropbox or feeling comfortable using their LinkedIn profile in place of a traditional resume (HINT: Rightpoint is AOK with all of the above!). If a company is able to hire just a few more candidates because they provided accessibility on a mobile device, that investment quickly pays for itself. In fact, according to Indeed, 78% of people in the US would apply to jobs on their mobile devices if the process were simplified.

clip_image008Last year’s Mobile Recruiting Insights Conference reported that only 26 of the Fortune 500 companies offer a mobile-optimized job application process; but prepare for those numbers to change. Eighty percent of businesses don't have mobile optimized career sites. How can that be? Sometimes larger companies turn like slow moving ships, and staying ahead of these trends involved changing the ways things are done. Ultimately, not having the ability for a candidate to apply on their mobile device is like collecting hard copies or resumes, or not allowing candidates to even apply online 5-10 years ago. So for both Job Seekers and Employers, what do you need to know to ensure that you are not left in the dust with this mobile revolution? Here are a few tips and tricks from my experience evolving our careers website to the world of mobile earlier this year. Partnering with our ATS provider, Jobvite, we were able to transform our careers website, making it 100% mobile and responsive from the main careers page all the way through to the candidate application process in no time at all.

For Employers: What you need to consider:

· Make sure your ATS supports mobile online applications!clip_image010

· Talk with your website development team to make sure your careers site is fully responsive and mobile optimized. Still in the Stone Age? I've heard Rightpoint has a great development team that can help!

· Keep your job descriptions short, sweet, and to the point! Think your job description is long now? Try reading it on a 4 inch screen.

· Walk through your mobile application process through the eyes of a job seeker and think through their user experience. Does the experience on your mobile device seem clunky? You probably just lost a great candidate during the time you realized this. Take action!

· Keep screener questions to a minimum. Your goal is to keep good candidates engaged, and the last thing you want to do is for good prospects to drop out unnecessary. Especially for your hardest to fill roles, where good applicants are scarce already, only ask what is really important. Use screeners only when you need to narrow the field.

For Job Seekers: What do you need to do?

· Keep your LinkedIn profile current. It's an extremely easy way to quickly apply, and your LinkedIn profile is just as effective at communicating your skills and experience as any resume ever has!

· Keep a current copy of your Resume on a cloud storage platform like Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud or other online cloud storage solutions. Each ATS may have different capabilities for attaching a resume, so the more options you have the better. Remember - keep the resume generic! Don't include a company name in the document, as there is nothing worse than applying to a company with a resume addressed to another company (HINT: keep your file names generic too - we can see those!)

· Don't slack! Just because it's easier to apply on mobile - still make sure you are applying to a role that is a good fit for you. Don't go with a "Spray and Pray" approach.

· Take advantage! Companies that are progressive and allow you to apply online are trying to make your lives easier and are investing in technology to do that. Capitalize on this opportunity and apply to that perfect fit job when you are on the bus during your commute! Hopefully this investment in technology is an indicator of other similar investments they have made across the Company.

Having just gone through this transition in early 2015, I've learned many lessons along the way. In a hotly competitive market for talent here in Chicago, anything that can be done to ensure that the right candidates apply and making the process as convenient as possible for them to do it anywhere, at any time, is extremely important. Roadblocks in the process are just going to cause good candidates to drop off, so remove those roadblocks! Good luck to both employers and job seekers alike and I hope these tips and tricks prove helpful! If you're curious to see the end results of our mobile evolution, check out!

-Evan Cobb