As more candidates use mobile devices to seek out new positions, companies need to adopt strategies to embrace these mobile applicants. Mobile is now a central part of life for most job seekers, and they expect to be able to use these devices for everything, from checking email to banking. Applicants need to be able to apply for jobs on their devices as well. Otherwise, these brands will fall behind competitors that do. Candidates often look for jobs when they're on the go, which means they are using their smartphones and tablets. When companies offer a mobile-friendly application process, applicants can apply as soon as they see something that looks like a good fit. All in all, it means more qualified candidates in your pipeline.
Follow these tips to make your application process device-friendly:
Optimize career page
The first step recruiters need to consider is the career page itself. Candidates often start their process with an online search, so it's crucial to optimize your page for mobile searchers. If a job seeker comes across a page that doesn't function on a small screen, her or she is likely to hit the back button really quickly.
At worst, candidates might not even come across your site at all. Google continues to update its algorithms to favor mobile-friendly sites, particularly in mobile searches. If your site isn't optimized for mobile, it will fall in Google's search rankings, making your employer brand less visible to those on smartphones or tablets.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when optimizing your site for mobile:
- Make it user-friendly: If a mobile user can't easily navigate your website on a smaller screen, the experience isn't optimized. It should be easy for a mobile user to browse a site without pinching to resize the content or zooming in to read. Another aspect to this is linking. Can browsers easily tap the link they want when on a device?
- Keep it simple: When it comes to mobile, a simpler design is often better. Smartphone users are accustomed to scrolling, so it's a good idea to create a single column that visitors can scroll through. Consider reducing unnecessary copy so it doesn't overwhelm job seekers using smaller screens.
- Avoid certain software: Don't use Java, Flash, or other software that might disrupt the mobile experience. Instead, it might be a good idea to substitute video.
Mobile-friendly app processes
The next stage is the application process. Even if your job site is mobile-friendly, job seekers won't get far if they discover your application process isn't optimized for devices. When it comes to applications, the tried-and-true processes might not work. Take the resume, for example. Requiring candidates to upload or attach a resume could be a major obstacle for mobile job hunters. Instead, recruiters should consider accepting social profiles instead.
In fact, these days, opting for a social profile instead might be more effective. As social professional networks like LinkedIn grow in popularity, candidates are more likely to keep them up-to-date than their resume. Resumes may soon be a thing of the past, so why not embrace the future and encourage candidates to apply via social profiles? For businesses that still rely on the resume for now, make it easy for candidates by integrating Drop Box or Google Drive so job seekers don't have to download a resume onto the phone and attach it.
Another thing to consider is how many forms you require job seekers to fill out on your site. Forms can be difficult to complete on mobile devices, so it's a good idea to keep these fields to a minimum. The more steps the application requires, the fewer people will finish it. It's a good idea for recruiters to perform a test run on a mobile device to make sure the process is streamlined enough for real job seekers.
"Share job openings on social and email."
Consider other mobile channels
Finally, it's important to keep in mind the other channels mobile-seekers use. While mobile job seekers might start with a search, they are equally likely to discover a posting through social media or email.
Many visitors to social platforms arrive through smartphones and tablets. For instance, 38 percent of LinkedIn's unique monthly visitors use mobile apps, along with 30 percent of job viewers on the platform. Twitter and Facebook also have a significant amount of mobile visitors.
Don't forget email either. More people now read more messages on devices than they do on desktops, according to Email Monday. If you're going to share job openings via email, be sure your email messages are also optimized for smaller screens.
The future is mobile
Mobile is now at the center of consumer activities, including applying for jobs. The faster recruiters adapt to the behaviors of mobile users, the more competitive they will be.