If you are still posting job advertisements today the same way you did five years ago, I would not be surprised if your hiring process results are disappointing. And there's a good reason why. Candidate behavior has changed more in the past 5 years than at any other time in the past 30 — especially when it comes to how everyone uses smartphones and tablets. People are on their phones more than ever. According to Comscore, smartphone usage alone now exceeds total internet usage 4 years ago.
More and more, busy candidates are job searching from their phones. Without a strategy in place, you will miss out on opportunities to catch them where they are searching. And there are 3 ways in particular that make your non-mobile recruiting strategy look stupid:
1. Not making it easy to apply for jobs from smartphones.
When people have downtime, they pull out their phone. The average user pulls out their smartphone somewhere between 85 and 221 times a day.
Look at the Top Free in Business page on Google's Play Store (their app library). Indeed's Job Search app is #1. In fact, 4 of the top 10 apps are all job search related. Apple's App Store offers similar results. More than half the traffic on career sites is from people using mobile devices.
Imagine your top candidates are sitting on the train during their commute, or sitting in an Uber car. Maybe they're half-paying attention to a Seinfeld rerun. But they are browsing through the jobs on the Indeed app. They're not particularly unhappy with their job, but open to the possibility of a change. They find your open job, and they like it.
Then they encounter your application requirements (complete with the disclaimer that incomplete applications will not be considered). Do you expect them to try to fulfill your every requirement from a 3.5 inch screen? Or that they'll be so enamored with your position that they'll remember to come back to it on their computer and apply again?
Hint: they won't. Anything laborious and complicated on a smartphone is a headache. You're basically forcing them to play Angry Birds instead.
Or'you could make it easier to apply. Most of the job board apps have an “Easy Apply” button. If you're not taking advantage of it, you're missing out on busy, top candidates. Forcing people to jump through hoops doesn't show a candidate's dedication to your position — it encourages only the desperate to apply. Research shows that over 40% of candidates will opt out of a difficult application process, no matter the device.
2. Not putting your job postings where Google takes job seekers.
But are apps really important? Everyone's smartphone is littered with apps — just because you downloaded one once doesn't mean you consciously use it. Search companies realize this — it's why Google puts their search bar front and center on Android. You have a thought, you search it on Google, and Google probably sends you where you want to go.
According to CareerBuilder's research, 73% of all job search traffic starts on Google (on any device). Job seekers search their job title and geographic location, and Google puts the right results in front of them.
Search — both in general, and on mobile devices — had made people platform-agnostic. No one cares where the job is posted; they only care that they can find it. For restaurant reviews, I don't care if people wrote something on Yelp, or Google Maps, or OpenTable. I just want to know that the restaurant is good.
If you're not doing the same thing as candidates (Googling your open job's title, to see where Google takes you) before you post your job searches, kiss your results goodbye. Nobody who uses Google for their job search cares about your favorite niche job board'unless it's on the first page of results.
3. Not managing your organization's reputation on sites like Glassdoor.
Did you know that 98% of online shoppers read reviews (for anything)? Or that people trust online reviews more than anything said by your CEO?
The mobile revolution means that people can research something immediately when it occurs to them. There is no need to scribble down a name to look up later — someone hears about your organization, or that you have a job opening, and they can use the best research library around — Google — to see what you're about.
In our own fairly un-scientific research (i.e., we Googled a bunch of job titles in D.C. and wrote down the top 10 results) Glassdoor is often in the first few Google results — and candidates love Glassdoor. It has a fundamental grip on how your organization is viewed by potential candidates, because it provides a window into your brand that no organization’s website can capture. Your employer brand is not what you say it is; your brand is what your anonymous reviewers say it is.
Having the internet in your pocket is empowering. Some people consider it almost a duty to warn others of a bad experience. And with smartphones, they can warn people from anywhere — even while they're at work. After all, company IT can't see what they're doing on their own personal devices. Why wouldn’t they document a bad work experience while it’s still fresh in their mind?
Anonymous reviews are changing candidate behavior, but maybe not in the way you think they are. Here's how to mitigate the Glassdoor Impact.
The reality is that in most organizations, hiring practices have not kept pace with the changes in the job market and candidate behavior. This might be one reason why the Corporate Executive Board is reporting that the average time to fill job openings has increased 50% from 42 business days to 63 business days in the past 5 years.
If your recruiting strategy looks as dated as the parachute pants on a 90s sitcom, you're not alone.