In the last post of this series we looked at some of the technical aspects of mobile. Most of the conversation is around mSite, apps or responsive web design, and what the best solution is. The really important discussion though as with any change or innovation is what it means in real terms to people and practices.

Probably the best mobile development that I have seen over the last year is the HireVue iPhone app. This enables candidates to record answers to pre-recorded questions, to view employer brand video, and to switch to a Skype style live, two-way interview if required. When I first looked at video selection a few years ago, I could see the potential but the market wasn’t quite ready because of user attitude to being filmed, and the availability of technology. This has all changed, now most of us have a camera in our pocket, and we have got very used to video calling as a result of Skype, Facetime etc. I think HireVue have the lead at the moment in the video selection space because of the iPhone app, but Irish company Sonru are not far behind, and Dutch company Camio, and US based Green Job Interview and Wowzer (formerly Ovia) are not too far behind. Clooks are also worth a look.

As the pricing comes down and the technology gets wider adoption, this will become mainstream over the next year. This is also a busy space with lots of new products being launched each month in local markets, being fully multilingual is a challenge most tech companies will need to overcome if they are to compete on the world stage. The benefit of video is that it needs no translation, once the operating platform has been changed. Employment branding video content needs to be local, and in a language understood by the target audience, with support and recruiting process that reflects this. No point switching from a video in Spanish, to a Spanish video selection assessment, then on to an English based ATS. You need to be speaking the language of your candidates for hire and selection, and considering images and content according to local attitudes, getting properly in tune with local attitudes.

What I am confident about is that communicating by video, and video selection is going to become far more common over the next year and as more and more start-ups are entering the market, and the established vendors are integrating with the enterprise ATS’s, we can expect the costs to become more competitive, and use to increase. The mobile aspect of the HireVue application really opens things up in this area.

At #truLondon, Felix Wetzel, the Strategy Development Director at Evenbase ran a track talking about what he terms mobility. Mobility is the term used to describe how mobile has changed the when, where and how of recruiting on-line. I find this the really interesting aspect of mobile and social, because accessibility has become anytime and anywhere. 75% of e-mails are opened on a mobile device. This means thinking about the length and content included, and that any links go to a mobile optimised location, and that any images or video are view-able on mobile. The peak times for access to web destinations are also changing. The golden hours are 6.15 – 9.15, 10.45 – 11.20, 12.10 – 2.15 and 4.40 – 9.30. This is really important because these are the times recruiters need to be live to respond to questions, updates and conversations. The traditional 9 – 5 just won’t cut it.

What is also clear about these times are that people are accessing web locations, viewing content and browsing on the move.  The data from Evenbase companies Jobsite and Broadbean show a pattern of browsing and searching for jobs in the morning and bookmarking opportunities, looking at supporting employer branding content and companies in the day, and spending time applying in the evening from a desk top. The data clearly shows that this is what is happening, but I think that this is really a result of what is possible via mobile rather than what job seekers really want.

Research among job seekers by Potential Park, shared at #truStockholm shows the following data: (The survey was taken from 5000 students)

> 88% of job seekers are or would search for jobs via mobile Internet.
>The biggest current activity is to “search for jobs”, followed by “looking for career related information”.
> The second largest desire is to be alerted of jobs to look at
> Nearly 1 in 3 job seekers want to apply from their smartphone.

> Information on an employers recruitment process and tips ranked highly

This shows that the desire to complete the full process via mobile is there, the opportunity is not (yet!). This means employers need to think about the technology that enables candidates to go through to the apply stage on mobile. The other point Wetzel makes is that mobility means people seeking access to content on the move. This means browsing on journeys such as the daily commute where internet access may be dipping in and out. Wetzel makes the point that because of this, it is important to consider making the caching of data possible and simple, which leans towards an app approach.

My own feeling is that we need to move away from asking every applicant to go through a lengthy and painful application process which has to be done on a desktop. From the clients I work with, 55% of people who bookmark jobs on a mobile never get around to applying. They are lost in the delay. Better to make it possible to express an interest with very basic info, like access to a LinkedIn profile, and get the profile in front of a recruiter to decide if the talent network is the best route, or if the candidate should be applying because they match the spec. That is going to reduce significant seepage and be better for everyone. LinkedIn apply and applications like Jibe make this very possible. Jibe are a bit different because they make it possible to apply from any device, and take the application data to the ATS. There’s also a referral and job distribution product integrated. I’ve watched Jibe for a few years now, as they have evolved from what was a social e-mail plug-in that didn’t work brilliantly in to the product it is now, that solves a real problem in the market for candidates and employers.  Expect this approach to gain momentum in 2013.

For job seekers the trends are clear. They are tired of applying for jobs and then disappearing in to a black hole. In a test I conducted this year the average application takes 1 hour 55 minutes, and takes a minimum of 50 clicks and screens. That is close to impossible on mobile and has to change.

Job seekers are now only applying for jobs they are sure they want, for organisations they want to work for, and in jobs they are confident they will get an interview for. For me, this means thinking of jobs as content rather than adverts, and this content needs to be accessible by mobile with simple navigation and a mobile user interface. Think Amazon on job content, you might also be interested in this, and think video, photo, blog, social connections etc as well as job descriptions with an early notification of minimum requirements clearly set out. Make expressing interest with a social profile possible and easy from every piece of content from Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook etc through to job boards. Think on-line events around jobs like Google hangouts and chats, scheduled in the golden hours and available via mobile. When you think this way, you start to recruit socially, and providing all the content candidates might want, in the format they want, with the opportunity to apply. It’s an interesting prospect we should all be thinking about.

In Part 7 I’m going to be looking closer at just what LinkedIn became in 2012, and a real example of social gravity. Thanks for sticking with the series so far.

Bill

Disclaimer: Jobsite sponsor #TruLondon and I have worked with Felix Wetzel as a consultant.

Clooks and Camio sponsor #TruAmsterdam