As a Millennial, I use my smartphone for just about anything—from online shopping and social networking to scheduling appointments and conducting conference calls on the go. Undoubtedly, the rise of technology and mobile apps have made a huge impact on business trends over the past decade, but how have mobile devices impacted the HR industry?
According to the Pew Research Center, 94 percent of people ages 18 to 29 and 89 percent of people ages 30 to 49 currently own a smartphone. This includes the vast majority of our workforce population today. Traditional broadband services are no longer the primary means of online access as a growing percentage of the working population now use smartphones not only as their primary means of communication but also, for many, the means by which they exclusively access the Internet.
Ninety-eight percent of text messages are opened within two minutes, while the average open rate for e-mails is only 20 percent. It seems like a no-brainer for marketing and recruiting departments to utilize text messaging to interact with their prospects and candidates. With these statistics, why hasn’t communicating to candidates via text messaging become an integral part of a company’s recruitment strategy? If we know that most people prefer interacting with the world from their smartphone, why haven’t recruitment departments embraced text messaging and mobile applications to engage their candidates? Perhaps businesses perceive it as unprofessional, but the reality is that smartphones are driving behavioral changes in today’s ever-connected workforce, and HR departments are missing a huge opportunity to engage candidates by not catering to this mobile-savvy audience.
ERE, a reputable source of information for talent acquisition professionals, called mobile phones “the most effective recruiting communication platform” back in 2008. This has become even more evident 10 years later as Apple and Android devices have swept the mobile market and 3G data is more and more affordable. Any tool that increases candidate engagement must be considered valuable. Human resources departments are missing an opportunity to differentiate themselves and extend the reach of their job postings and interviews by not embracing this shift in job hunting strategies from candidates in the prime of their careers.
However, it doesn’t appear that talent acquisition software has caught up yet as texting from an ATS is still very clunky and expensive. Even if HR software struggles to keep up with the growing pace of technology, there are several tools that talent acquisition departments can utilize in order to improve their candidate engagement. A mobile-friendly application process, online video interviews and allowing for text messaging communication to candidates can reduce the time to hire while providing a “cool factor” for an organization.
Mobile is fast becoming the rule rather than the exception, and businesses need to start embracing the implementation of mobile technology throughout all departments, especially HR. Below are five immediate benefits that recruiters will experience as they improve their strategy for connecting with candidates by embracing mobile recruitment processes.
1 | GLOBAL REACH
Recruiters can connect with candidates who are located in just about any area of the world. Gone are the days in which candidates walk into a business and complete a paper application! Talent acquisition departments won’t be limited to recruiting from just their local pool of candidates as they implement online applications and digital interviewing
2 | DIFFERENTIATION
Implementing technology throughout the recruitment process communicates to candidates that an organization is innovative and tech-savvy. There is a huge opportunity to brand and differentiate oneself with online recruitment software.
3 | INCREASED RESPONSE RATE
Communicating to candidates through their smart phones will provide a remarkably improved click-through rate. Talent acquisition professionals also have an opportunity to engage with candidates quickly through pop up text notifications.
4 | ACCOMMODATING TO COMMUNICATION PREFERENCES
Candidates appreciate mobile access to information just as much as customers. Just as businesses have allowed for online and mobile orders, they will be able to engage a wider pool of candidates by implementing mobile-friendly application and interviewing processes.
5 | EFFICIENCY
Implementing mobile-friendly HR technology will undoubtedly reduce the time to hire. Candidates will be able to submit to a job application on the go, interview from their smartphone camera and interact with recruiters through text, all of which add to the efficiency in which candidates can move through the recruitment process.
Internet-connected mobile devices are changing job-seeker behavior, and mobile technology and apps have already made a huge impact on both internal and external HR functions. Employers who want to attract this emerging workforce should incorporate mobile recruitment strategies in order to increase their HR efficiencies. Supporting these ever-evolving trends is critical to remain competitive in an increasingly technologically advanced world.