Job seekers are now mobile, making mobile recruiting mandatory.

Over the past decade, the recruiting landscape has gone through a dramatic transformation. Job seekers took to the internet, utilizing employment websites, company career pages and professional social networking websites, all as tools in their search for employment. With this change in behavior, hiring managers and recruiters were forced to drastically adjust their practices and evolve in order to be competitive in the new hiring economy. Just when employers were starting to get a handle on the latest trends and tools, the recruiting ecosystem has once again pivoted.

The reality is, we are in the midst of the mobile revolution. This past year, mobile search outstripped search on traditional computers and according to reports, smartphone users in the US will reach 207.2 million (2 billion worldwide) by year’s end. With this proliferation of mobile technology, it can be guaranteed that we will see further transformation in the way that job applicants engage with and utilize their mobile devices throughout the job search.

Mobile job search rates soar

In separate independent studies conducted by Glassdoor and Kelton, it was found that 9 in 10 job seekers utilize mobile devices in their search for employment (equating to 1 billion job searches each month amongst Americans). According to employment search engine Indeed, over 70% of clicks initiated by Millennials and Gen Xers come from mobile devices. Furthermore, amongst Baby Boomers, a surprisingly high 50% of clicks come from a mobile source.

mobile apply

With mobile search rates rising, mobile recruiting presents a big opportunity

From these statistics, it is clear that smartphones have become the go-to tool for job searching. But how about for more complex tasks further down the application process, such as writing cover letters or filling out and submitting an application? Studies are showing that candidates want smartphones to replace desktops for these tasks as well. In a recent survey conducted by Pew, it was uncovered that:

  • 50% of smartphone job seekers have used their smartphone to fill out an online job application.
  • 23% of smartphone job seekers have used their smartphone to create a resume or cover letter.

Besides these early adopters who are already using their smartphones to complete the application process, indications show that many more applicants have the desire to do so. A study by the Pew research Center found that 70% of applicants want to apply for jobs directly from their mobile device  and 55% of candidates want to upload their resume to a career site from their mobile device. With such high interest in mobile apply, one has to beg the question, “why do the majority of candidates still waste time and efficiency searching for jobs on their smartphones (90%), only to switch to a personal computer to complete their application?”

Cumbersome mobile recruiting offerings lead to low candidate conversion rates

The answer is quite simple- most applications are still not properly optimized for mobile recruiting. As such, applying to a job from a smartphone can be an incredibly cumbersome process. Glassdoor found that “1 in 2 job seekers believe it is difficult to apply to jobs on a mobile device.”   This difficulty drives applicants away and many qualified candidates don’t even bother completing the application for a job posting that they have accessed on a mobile device. Of those that do, they are forced to switch to their personal computers to complete the application. The amount of complexity and time involved in this cross-over is far too burdensome for the typical time sensitive job applicant. These factors lead to significantly lower conversion rates for job postings when accessed by mobile devices. Currently, 8% of desktop candidates who click through a job posting will complete the application, compared with just 1.5% of mobile candidates. The infographic provided by Glassdoor below offers an overview of the pain points associated with mobile recruiting:

mobile apply

Increase conversion rates and improve the candidate experience

In our previous blog post, we highlighted the importance of a simple application, observing how more complexity in the application process correlates directly to lower candidate experience rates and higher candidate drop-off rates. Considering that 9 out of 10 candidates may well be accessing your job posting from a mobile device, it is essential that your application process is optimized accordingly to avoid candidate drop-off. Mobile is already far and away the most popular form of search for job seekers. If the job search is initiated on a candidate’s smartphone and job postings are accessed from this search, it is only logical that candidates should be able to easily apply from their smartphones as well.

Learn how to optimize your mobile recruiting

Join us Tuesday, April 19th at 10 am PST / 1:00pm EST for our #nowmobile Bootcamp. In this month’s session, our co-founder Joel Passen will explain how to develop a unified mobile recruiting strategy and explore techniques for optimizing your mobile recruiting approach.


Tuesday, April 19th at 10 am PST / 1:00pm EST.


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