Would you buy recruiting software from me if I told you it would only work 80% of the time? You’d say yes, but what about the other 20%? Would you buy an ATS if I told you that at the moment it could handle% of your applications, but within 2 years most of the applications could not access your system? You’d think I was mad, and send for the men in the white coats.
When you set out to build a career site or recruitment website, one of the options is to add mobile compatibility. This seems like madness. Shouldn’t all new sites be built for mobile as standard, and any A.T.S. or other career technology that doesn’t function with mobile should be upgraded or phased out? It seems madness to me that vendors are even asking the question of new customers. We should just build to mobile. It seems like robbery to build something for a customer that you just know isn’t going to work. Mobile is not an optional extra, and selling any type of web technology without mobile compatibility is frankly thieving.

When considering mobile, I think we also need to consider how this is going to impact on the way that you work.It goes well beyond the technology. Building the mobi site, the application or the browser sniffer. As with social, infrastructure is more about people and how they behave with this technology than about the techie geeky bits, and that’s what most people fail to think about. Give people an avenue to talk to you, and they probably will do.If you are doing any kind of social recruiting, then people are more likely to be coming to you by mobile than not.

Times are a big factor you need to consider.Mobile has shifted when people are looking to engage or coming to your site. Mobile is busiest in the down times. That means generally when they are commuting, and increasingly when watching TV etc in the evenings.Get on a train for a commute, pretty much everyone is on a device. Stand in a que for a sandwich, and their doing much the same thing. Mobile is a down time device, and for the working, job browsing is mostly a down time activity. I refer to job browsing as the people who are not actively hunting but are curious, tempted by tweets, links etc to have a look, and that the majority of the people you are probably trying hire.People are inherently nosy, and social recruiting plays to this.If you are looking to engage and respond to your audience, to woo them with conversation and answers to their conversation, then you are going to need to be live when the audience is active.

Video is a big part of employer branding. A video lets people look inside the organisation and see if they can picture themselves there. When I heard Richard Cho of Facebook giving a few stats at #ATCSoMe, I was amazed at the volume of video that is watched on mobile devices. Whilst I can’t recall the exact number, I remember that it exceeded the volume watched on a PC. Since then, I’ve been looking at what you need to do with video to make it effective via a mobile device. In the extreme this means 3 videos for 3 different types of device: Phone, Tablet, PC., determined by a browser sniffer that reads what device you are using, but for most of us it means no flash and thinking about content. Flashy graphics and lots of movement might look great on a PC, but how does it look on a smart phone? Can you even read it? Talking head, or limited movement between shots and images look best. The same applies if you are embedding slideshare or prezi. Single screen images with single line text, easy to read. The best advice is to run the proposed content through a mobile to check what it looks like before going live.

At #trulondon5 Peter Gold ran the track on applying by mobile. It was generally agreed that what most people actually want to do is talk to you or express an interest rather than apply. They have seen enough to be interested but not enough to commit yet.This is when you can convert them from curious to candidate. It’s the point of taking a social approach to recruiting, and mobile is only going to increase the volume of curious. If you manage these people as traditional ad response rather than the curious, and leave them waiting till you are ready to respond then you are going to fail. Plan who, how and when your going to respond to requests to talk, because it needs to be instant. You want to be able to profile people quickly, and that means adding social sign ins like apply with LinkedIn, showing the headlines of the profile to the recruiters before they respond.

Final thought, in amongst all this shiny new stuff, don’t forget text. What I’m seeing is those recruiters who are using text are getting great results, because you are texting a link mostly to a smart phone with internet access. Texts get almost instant opens, and quick response. A.T.& T’s Carrie Corbin gets a fantastic response with this for their talent network. Don’t underestimate text.