Is HR Missing the Mark on Mobile?

Author

Vorhauser-Smith, Sylvia

June 19, 2013

There are 4.5 billion mobile phone subscriptions in emerging markets, and worldwide mobile subscribers are expected to reach eight billion by the end of 2016, led by rapid mobile adoption in China and India. Portio Research indicates that by 2016 Africa and Middle East will overtake Europe as the second largest region for mobile subscribers.

Telecommunications companies clearly see the opportunity, as do mobile marketers. What’s less visible – but crucial for organizations with a multinational footprint – is how the rise in global mobile communications can give prepared companies an edge in talent acquisition and opportunity to engage qualified talent beyond their borders.

Mobile can deliver a better, more personalized candidate experience and puts opportunities literally in a candidate’s hands. This empowers them to respond in real time and helps organizations get to qualified talent faster. Yet, according to research from The Candidate Experience Awards (CandEs) and other high-profile organizations, many employers are out of step as their mobile recruiting efforts don’t sync with the dynamic opportunities created by mobile technology.

But from career sites that aren’t mobile optimized to making candidates apply through traditional modes, employers are hindering their talent acquisition processes. In fast-changing emerging markets where high volume hiring takes place, HR organizations can’t afford to ignore mobile’s role in recruiting qualified talent.

Capture the promise of mobile

Those shortcomings are all the more surprising given that mobile technology could be the most disruptive force in recruiting talent in emerging markets. In BRIC countries and other emerging markets, demand for mobile is high and driving growth — mobile devices have leapfrogged PCs in many countries because they’re more affordable and accessible. Mobile web speed is also becoming faster, with 4G data networks contributing to a better end-user experience.

Mobile use is widely embraced and forcing big changes in user behavior – immediacy rules the day when constant connectivity is the norm. If employers can’t meet these expectations, the reaction is similar to anyone who has to revert to a legacy process: frustration and disengagement when candidates can’t get to what they need when they’re ready to make a decision.

HR has the opportunity to offer convenient, consistent and positive experiences through mobile. For example, instead of circling interesting positions in a local paper or needing to return to the home or office to complete an application, today’s job seeker should be able to click on a link and be taken right to the application from their mobile device. Even in rural areas, it’s no longer necessary to make candidates queue up at a kiosk to apply for a position or learn more about a company. It should be available through mobile optimized content available on the device they carry with them wherever they go.

Mobile inspires action

Research shows that 70 percent of mobile internet searches lead to action within an hour. Making it possible to apply for a position or join the talent pool via a mobile device offers the best experience and is likely to result in better apply rates and candidate engagement. Consider the person commuting via train: If he or she sees an interesting position posted by someone in their social network, what’s more likely: to complete the application right there on the spot or needing to return to the office, remember where they saw the opportunity and interrupt their activity to go back and apply?

Mobile recruiting can drive on-the-ground success and get recruiting efforts to scale. Accessing job apps on the mobile device will soon be the new standard. Focusing on the candidate and providing a positive experience can help organizations fill the pipeline to meet their talent goals.

And once an employee is hired? With managers often located in a different country or time zone, mobile onboarding can create a more cohesive, connected workplace and provide new employees with instant access to resources, company leaders and other information to support success.

The new – and non-optional – landscape

Unlike the 1990s, today’s growth in mobile uptake isn’t a first-world, middle-class phenomenon. Mobile is fast becoming the connective structure that brings candidates, employees and employers together globally and helps organizations strengthen their employment brand and demonstrate value in a consistent and accessible manner.

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