Millennials Would Like to Work for You, If They Can Apply on Their Smartphones Young workers expect to be able to search for jobs on mobile devices and draw negative conclusions about companies that don't accommodate that.

By Joe Essenfeld

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The millennial generation is a mobile generation, period. If this wasn't an already known fact hammered home by the proliferation of mobile devices, it certainly has been reinforced by the impact this generation is having on the evolution of today's businesses.

It then stands to reason that corporate talent acquisition teams, who rely on this generation to carry the company torch into the next several decades, should be making great strides in adopting and deploying mobile recruiting solutions. The results of the recent 2014 Jibe Talent Acquisition Survey tell another story: companies are struggling to keep up with mobile generation, and risk becoming virtually obsolete to the new generation of millennial job seekers if they don't move faster.

Related: Why Millennials Are Immature, Entitled and the Best Hire

The survey, conducted by independent research firm Kelton Global polling more than 1,000 job seekers and more than 300 HR professionals, highlights the disconnect between expectations and reality when searching and applying for jobs. Unsurprisingly, results showed that a clear majority of job seekers use, or at least expect to use, mobile in parts of their job search. Eighty percent of job seekers expect to be able to do at least part of their job search easily on a smartphone, and more than half (54 percent) reported that they have used a mobile device in numerous ways to aid in their job search. Many noted that if they couldn't, they'd move on to other opportunities.

Furthermore, of the in-house recruiting and HR professionals surveyed, 36 percent said that if they were in a candidate's shoes, they would not say their application process was optimized for mobile. Another 27 percent of respondents at companies of 500 or more employees reported that they've done absolutely nothing to optimize for mobile.

Related: The Problem With Hiring Millennials Is Their Age, Not Their Generation

It is abundantly clear that today's, and most certainly tomorrow's, workforce is ready for a mobile search and apply process. As more and more millennial job candidates enter the workforce, companies that ignore mobile and rely on the desktop application as the sole means for attracting talent, run the risk of alienating themselves to the best candidates. The impact, however, is not just limited to candidates. It could also affect the company's product side as well: one quarter of talent acquisition practitioners think that providing a poor (or non-existent) mobile application experience might even prevent these candidates from buying products or services from that company. Now we're not just talking about applicants, we're talking about potential customers and a company's bottom line.

The good news: the need for mobile optimization is deemed a priority amongst HR and recruitment professionals, with a full 76 percent acknowledging it's an important problem to solve. The bad news: many companies are still struggling to push this as a priority within their organizations. So where is the resistance? Well, 43 percent of professionals said that IT issues are the most common roadblocks, with budget constraints (35 percent) and internal resistance (32 percent) following closely behind. It is a broken process, but fixing it isn't as difficult as you might think.

New technologies and solutions are available, right now, that allow companies to implement a mobile apply process outside of the constraints of their legacy recruitment systems. This next-wave of solutions was built with the mobile job seeker in mind, front and center. Adopting optimized mobile application solutions can significantly improve the conversion rate of potential candidates who use a mobile device for applying for a job.

Investing in mobile solutions will impact and enhance all of the investments that talent acquisition and recruiting professionals make, including sourcing and recruiting spend, branding and marketing efforts and targeted outreach programs.

The proverbial "line in the sand" has been drawn. Old recruiting methods are no longer good enough. Companies that adopt recruitment marketing tools designed with mobile in mind, and not cobbled together to address it after the fact, can significantly improve both the recruiter and the candidate experience. This includes ensuring consistency in a prospect's application experience, strengthening an employer's brand and capturing top talent everywhere (smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop included).

It's time to go "all-in' for mobile. Let's not keep the mobile generation waiting any longer.

Related: Want to Nab Top, Young Talent? Millennial-Proof Your Office.

Joe Essenfeld

Founder and CEO of Jibe

Joe Essenfeld is the founder and CEO of Jibe. Prior to starting Jibe, Essenfeld was COO of Insomnia Cookies, where he was responsible for hiring hundreds of employees. It was his experiences with those hires that led him to start Jibe. Essenfeld received his Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and currently resides in New York City with his wife and daughter.

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