‘Celling’ to Candidates: Recruiting Goes Mobile

By Aliah D. Wright Jun 21, 2013

CHICAGO—Mobile devices have evolved and revolutionized recruiting, said recruiting expert Terry Terhark during his June18, 2013, session, “Celling to Candidates: Mobile Recruitment,” at the Society for Human Resource Management's Annual Conference & Exposition.

According to Terhark, divisional president of TheRightThing, a Findlay, Ohio-based ADP company, 57 percent of organizations agree that social media is important for recruiting. In fact, 89 percent of recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn. Companies say they use social media sites for recruiting because it is a valuable tool to identify new talent and they believe it helps them gain a competitive advantage in finding talent, Terhark said.

Gone are the days when recruiters sifted through resumes posted online. Today, recruiters approach passive candidates across the web, consider their social reputations, build relationships through talent communities and increasingly use mobile platforms to interact with potential employees.

“I’ve been in recruiting for 25 years,” Terhark said, “and the elusive passive candidate, well, that’s the Holy Grail. It always has been; it always will be.

“The candidates of the future will not have the patience or tolerance to deal with job boards,” he said. “‘Post and pray’ does not work anymore,” Terhak said, referring to the recruitment model in which companies post job ads online and pray for the right candidate to apply. “You’re getting fewer and fewer of your candidates that way. The folks who are generally looking at job boards are those who are unemployed and are dissatisfied with their environments. The happily employed don’t go to job boards. Employers want the person who’s not looking.”

Addressing the HR professionals at his session, Terhark asked how many of them use LinkedIn to find candidates; more than half of the hands in the room went up. Some told him they use mobile devices in the recruitment process.

According to Terhark, 1.2 billion smartphones will enter the market by 2018; 67 percent of organizations currently allow employees to use mobile devices, and 72 percent of job seekers want to receive information about career opportunities on their smartphones.

Mobile phones “are a great business tool,” he said. “They enable us to be connected all the time. If you think that recruiting is not going mobile, then I think you’re dead wrong.

“While technology has changed the way we recruit, it has certainly made it more complex. It’s hard to find people and understand what they expect. Your processes have to be candidate-friendly. Companies always dictated how you found work with them. I’m starting to see a change that the candidates are now driving how they engage and how they become employed.”

It is, imperative, therefore, that recruiters begin to optimize their career sites for mobile devices, he warned the audience.

Recruiters can do this by sending job openings to candidates through multiple mobile channels, for which the candidate has opted in, including:

  • Mobile career sites.
  • E-mail alerts.
  • Text alerts.
  • Apps.

Mobile recruiting applications, including mobile interview software, can be downloaded to a recruiter’s phone. Most work with Android, iPhone and BlackBerries, he said.

Aliah D. Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM and author of A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ... and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites (SHRM, 2013). Reach her on Twitter @1SHRMScribe.


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