Mobile Recruiting: Here's the Guide You Can't Live Without

Mobile recruiting is a great tool; but one wrong move, and a serious hiring mistake could be made. Here's how to avoid that.

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By Heather R. Huhman • Mar 3, 2017 Originally published Feb 2, 2017

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About a year ago, Betts Recruiting was looking to hire an entry-level recruiting coordinator. Although the company is an established international recruiting firm, this was one of its first forays into the mobile-recruiting world.

Related: Why Smart Entrepreneurs Are Swiping 'Right' on Recruiting Apps

"We were piloting [the app] Jober, which has since been acquired by Monster," Jamie Coakley, managing director at the Betts Recruiting office in New York, told me. Jobr -- and other such recruiting apps -- allow organizations to promote specific roles directly to people who have signed up for the app.

Betts found a candidate this way and hired him, Coakley went on to say. "We would not have found this candidate using traditional methods such as LinkedIn in-mail -- mostly because this was a college grad who wasn't on LinkedIn, nor was anyone he knew."

Now, Betts Recruiting uses several forms of mobile recruiting, and has seen some great results. "We estimate that 25 percent of placed candidates are from mobile recruiting," said Coakley. "Two years ago, it was zero percent."

However, with mobile recruiting still being so new, it can be difficult to know how to implement it and which technologies to trust. One wrong move and some serious hiring mistakes could be made. Luckily, though, mastering mobile recruiting is easy and comes with plenty of benefits. Here are some tips and tricks:

1. Find talent earlier in their search.

"I'm seeing that most job applicants start with mobile," Jane Wang, CEO of Optimity, a corporate wellness company in San Francisco, told me. "They then end up on a desktop to check out more in-depth [company information] about the culture and blogs."

Given that pattern, mobile recruiting creates an opportunity for H.R. staff to get onto talent's radar sooner in their job search. That's a good reason to make sure your company's recruiting material is mobile friendly so when candidates beginning looking for new openings, they can easily access it.

Tip: Optimize your job ads for mobile-listing sites. Use short, concise descriptions that are visually appealing on a smaller screen. Share job ads frequently on social media to get job seekers' -- both passive and active -- attention early. Above all, be aware of the ubiquity of mobile searches: A 2016 comScore report found that 79 percent of people surveyed said they now access social media from mobile devices.

Related: 6 Recruitment Trends You Can't Ignore in 2015

2. Get more responses.

There's something about text messages that just demands they be read. As a matter of fact, in a 2016 Deloitte survey of nearly 53,000 people worldwide, 43 percent of the smartphone users among them said they checked their phones within five minutes of waking up; and 35 percent checked their phones five minutes before going to bed.

"Culturally, mobile communication lowers the barrier to contact a candidate and is more likely to have them respond," said Coakley. "It's more instantaneous and attention-grabbing than an email that gets lost in an inbox."

By using texting to reach out to passive candidates, you may have a greater chance of interesting them in job openings. In fact, 35 percent of respondents in the Deloitte survey said their texts were the first thing they checked in the morning. Only 22 percent said the same about email.

Tip: Use mobile-recruiting tools like TextRecruit to organize your communications with talent. The app reports open rates of 99 percent and response rates of 30 percent. It's easy to use and allows employers to engage with multiple candidates at once.

3. Make the process less onerous.

The hiring process is rarely fun. It's time-consuming and work intensive. Understandably, hiring managers will often try to put it off as long as possible.

"From a managerial perspective, hiring is almost universally viewed as a necessary evil. Managers love putting hiring off," Jake Zerrer, product manager at Untapt in New York, said. "Here, mobile outreach is critical; if a hiring manager can review a resume while they're in the elevator, they're much more likely to take action immediately."

Tip: Make hiring as easy and time-efficient as possible for your managers. Think about turning to a tool like HireWire, which lets users swipe through candidates on their smartphones so they can quickly review talent whenever they have a spare moment.

4. Hire faster.

A lot of factors about mobile recruiting allow it to cut down on the time you require to hire. Mobile is quick, instantaneous communication; information reaches candidates sooner; and candidates can be reviewed from anywhere.

"Recruiting outreach has become increasingly more efficient due to mobile recruiting technology," said Tiffany Servatius, HR manager at Scott's Marketplace in Scottsdale, Ariz. "Previously, it could take us 90 to 120 days to find qualified candidates for open positions. Now, we have found, we are interviewing qualified candidates anywhere from 14 to 30 days after the position has been posted."

Improvements in hiring time, like the kind Servatius describes, mean less wasted time and resources. Instead of interviewing for weeks or even months on end, hiring managers -- and the new hire himself or herself -- can focus on the job itself much sooner, and focus on growing the company sooner.

Related: 4 Ways to Cater to the Mobile Job Seeker

Tip: Expand your job application process to the mobile sphere. That way, when job-seekers come across your open position, they can immediately submit their information instead of waiting to have access to a desktop.

Heather R. Huhman

Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended

Waldorf, Md.-based Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager and president of Come Recommended, the PR solution for job search and HR tech companies. She writes about issues impacting the modern workplace.

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