The Most Sought-After Talent Prefer Mobile Recruitment

By Roy Maurer Feb 2, 2016
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Employees designated as high-potentials are especially attracted to searching and applying for jobs using mobile devices, according to new research.

Nearly 70 percent of high-potentials surveyed by the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute said they are more drawn to organizations with a mobile recruitment option, compared with 51 percent of other employees. About three-quarters of high-potentials use mobile devices for job searching while just 40 percent of other employees do so.

IBM surveyed over 16,000 workers from 23 countries in 2015. High-potential employees are those who said that they have been formally identified as such by their employers, and are currently enrolled in their organization’s high-potential development program. All other respondents were categorized as “other employees.”

Mobile recruiting could improve the odds of finding top talent because of the popularity of mobile job searching among high-potential employees, said Haiyan Zhang, Ph.D., an industrial organizational psychologist with the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute. “Organizations cannot afford to ignore mobile recruitment if they are to attract top talent.”

Among those who have used mobile devices in their past or current job searches, 3 in 4 high-potentials say they want to use mobile devices in their future job searches, a figure almost 20 percentage points higher than for other employees.

Convenience is one of the top reasons high-potential talent use mobile devices to search for and apply to jobs. Similar to other respondents, about two-thirds of high-potentials said they use mobile devices because of their convenience.

“Candidates today want it their way,” said Jeffery Giesener, founder and CEO of SourceMob, a social recruiting company based in Minneapolis. “They want to control their recruiting process, and mobile is vital for attracting the demographic of 18-40-year-old candidates into hiring funnels today.”

High-potentials said they are more likely to use mobile devices to get job information fast compared with other employees (73 percent vs. 66 percent) and to respond quickly to job postings (57 percent vs. 44 percent).

Most job seekers, whether they are high-potentials or not, use mobile at some point when searching for jobs, according to the survey results. However, high-potentials go further. They are more likely than others to use a mobile device to:

  • Research companies advertising jobs (58 percent vs. 52 percent).
  • Receive job alerts (58 percent vs. 50 percent).
  • Express interest in positions (41 percent vs. 29 percent).
  • Complete a job application (29 percent vs. 20 percent).
  • Take a job-related assessment (23 percent vs. 12 percent).

“The fact that high-potential employees use mobile devices more broadly in the entire job search process highlights the importance for organizations to offer a breadth of functionality in the mobile recruiting process,” Zhang said. This could include integrated mobile-enabled careers sites, job applications and skill assessments, she added.

All respondents cited a strong preference for receiving job-related information through e-mail, but high-potentials were almost twice as likely as other employees to prefer text messages (40 percent vs. 23 percent) and significantly more likely to prefer communications via social media, such as LinkedIn (37 percent vs. 23 percent).

Building Your Mobile Program

Mobile recruitment strategies should include:

  • A candidate relationship management tool optimized for mobile devices which can nurture potential talent through personalized e-mail marketing campaigns, keeping them engaged until job openings become available.
  • A streamlined, mobile-responsive job application process. “You don’t want your candidates to pinch and zoom job descriptions, and certainly you want to close the loop and make it very simple for candidates to apply through mobile,” Giesener said.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy

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