The Future Of Mobile Recruitment (1)

In four blog postings I’ll describe the latest developments in mobile recruitment. Many developments have only recently gained momentum and its outcome is uncertain. Nevertheless with some common sense and figures there is a lot to be told and predict. This series about mobile recruitment serves as a guide to […]

In four blog postings I’ll describe the latest developments in mobile recruitment. Many developments have only recently gained momentum and its outcome is uncertain. Nevertheless with some common sense and figures there is a lot to be told and predict.

This series about mobile recruitment serves as a guide to the HR manager or Recruiter who understands that this topic will become an important issue in the coming years and is looking for independent advice. Internet Marketing Agencies often neglect or in best case, promote mobile websites as an one-size-fits-all solution at the cost of mobile applications (Apps). Also the prejudice is that mobile applications are complex, expensive, and risky projects. The truth is more nuanced.

One thing is certain. We’ll hear a lot about Mobile Internet in the coming years from technology blogs, like TechCrunch or Mashable, and the online marketing field.

That’s not without reason because at the end of 2011 it is expected that more smartphones will be sold than PCs! The tablet PC category, which includes the iPad will be, the fourth largest consumer electronics category. And this decade, 2013 is the prediction, mobile internet usage will be larger than fixed internet!

(R)Evolution in Recruitment

Online recruitment was a revolution about 10 years ago because it was a way for much faster and cheaper recruiting practices. I’ve seen numbers of companies where the cost-per-hire in just a few years declined from 16,000 to US$ to 3,000 US$ per hire. Social media again caused a new revolution by cheaper and, more importantly, recruiting better qualified staff. Social media also has the potential to further improve the selection process.

Personally I am convinced that Mobile Internet will mean another evolution in recruitment. An evolution in how (potential) candidates) will seek more information about a company, get in touch and find new work.

But it will not be a revolution as not much will change to the recruiting process. Wherever you use ‘online’ know will be replaced by “mobile “. All resources and opportunities that we know in the field of online recruitment will move to a mobile equivalent. Not a revolution but an evolution.

This decade will be the era of

  • Mobile Employer Branding (Mobile Employer Branding campaigns, Mobile websites / applications, Mobile guerrilla / viral campaigns, Mobile games recruitment)
  • Mobile sourcing (mobile advertising, mobile applications)
  • Mobile selection
  • Mobile interviewing

will be common words soon. It will just be a matter of time before Recruiters will soon flock to mobile recruitment conferences and workshops!

But recruitment is essentially a simple process; publish vacancy, searching or selecting candidates, interviewing and making an offer. Mobile devices will not change or add anything to this process. What can such a device in this process do substantially different or new? Sourcing? During the selection process?

No, smart phones and tablets will not change recruitment. At best, it will be old wine (online) in new bottles (mobile). “Mobile” is not a new medium or channel. It is new technology that serves your candidates and hiring targets. Consumers will expect, and even start demanding, that information is easily accessible via mobile devices. The good news is that your online recruitment strategy, with some minor modifications, can be used for your mobile recruitment efforts and can strengthen each other.

Let’s do a test first. Go to your career site via a smartphone or a mobile devices (such as an iPad), try to search for jobs and apply. Good chances that this does not work!

Your competitors in the labor market, who already take this group of mobile users serious, will soon win the battle for scarce talent. So ask for budget in advance to create a mobile website and/or applications so you will not be surprised by this.

In itself it is again fun to see so many parallels with the development of social media recruitment. While 70-80% of professionals are active in social media, many companies are currently still wondering what the benefits are.

© 2011 Jacco Valkenburg

About Jacco Valkenburg

Jacco Valkenburg is an international recruitment expert, trainer and author (5 books). He has more than 20 years experience in global recruitment strategies and execution spanning numerous countries for leading companies. As founder of Recruiter University and Recruit2 he provides companies with recruitment training and consultancy. His mission is helping companies ‘from good to great staffing’.


  1. Great to see more people tackling this topic! If you fancy posting on contact me.

    However my opinion differs a tad, but only around detail!

    Mobile is a different channel – while the tech is can be very similar to desktop web the User eXperience is not! As such rolling it up as the same strategy may well introduce serious weaknesses.

    The stats a huge and speak for themselves mobile Interet is growing fast- it’s increasing our overall web time and seriously changing the household media mix. We see big activity for job seeking on mobile 6am to 8am lunch and 19:00 to 23:00 about 50% appears to be via wifi. Browsing at the breakfast table or on the sofa is replacing printed media.

    The coupling with social is key- if a company posts job links on FB or Twitter over half of the clicks on those links will be on a mobile phone. If that link is a mSite and also there is a native app this becomes a fantastic tool to attract app downloads which deliver higher retention and critically allow for an ActiveTalentNetwork to be built via push notifications.

    Push notifications is the app USP (I do not suggest a company should offer candidates an app without also a mSite). Push allows candidates to be alerted with 1:1 matched jobs. This may be similar to jobs by email but push is similar to SMS- it’s fast and read immediately. On average it takes 72 hrs to read / respond to an email, 6 hours to realise you have lost your car keys, 3 hours to realise you lost purse / wallet and 30 mins to realise your mobile is missing- a text message (or push notification) is read in 4 minutes! This is a key strategic Comms tool!

    Please don’t make mobile easy by saying it’s the same as your online Rec strategy! A lot of firms don’t have a decent online rev strategy and probably should be encouraged to rethink!!

    We must speak soon!

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