July 6, 2017   view past issues

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The Next Mobile Era

Let’s begin by reviewing the history of mobile applications in online sourcing and job search. The first stage, of course, was to make job boards and other employment sites (your corporate career page, for example) accessible from smartphones. The use of those devices in the U.S. lagged the experience in other parts of the world, so most U.S. sites were late to the party. In fact, the majority of respondents to the TAtech (then IAEWS) Global Job Board Survey in 2015 reported that less than 20 percent of their traffic came from a mobile device. An astonishing 15 percent of the respondents weren’t even tracking mobile usage.

That all changed as smartphone adoption soared in the U.S. and continued its rapid expansion elsewhere around the globe. Job boards rushed to make their sites mobile accessible, but the user experience remained rooted on the desktop. In other words, instead of creating an experience that was specifically designed for the small screen of a smart-phone and thus native to that device, sites simply repurposed their PC experience on the phones. Yes, job boards and corporate career pages were then mobile, but mobile users were more often than not frustrated by the constrained visibility and limited functionality they found on their devices.

So, now we’ve come to a new generation of mobile sourcing and job hunting tools that were expressly designed for a mobile phone. Called “mobile first,” they tout features and functionality that are native to a smartphone, enabling them to make much better use of its capabilities and to be much less constrained by its limitations. Adaptation has been swift with LinkedIn introducing its first native app in 2014 followed by a host of others including CareerBuilder, Monster, JIBE, Proven and Glassdoor.

Where to Next?

That rapid buildup brings us to the next stage in mobile introductions, a period that is just now getting underway. Call it the second phase of the mobile first revolution. You see, being native to a smartphone is no longer a sufficient value proposition to differentiate a site or the company using it to post jobs. In essence, saying you have a mobile first job search or recruiter app is like newspapers saying they were in the print business back in 1995 when job boards first came online. Those companies didn’t understand that print was simply the medium and information – in this case, about open jobs – was their real business, and we all know where that misperception took them.

What then is the second phase of mobile first introductions?

Filters. Ever finer filters. Providing the ability to narrow a job or candidate search down to something less than the entire country or even an entire city. Take WorkHere, for example, and a similar app in Europe called Job Today; their mobile first applications filter by geography. The job seeker experience is improved because the user doesn’t have to wade through a bunch of jobs located in places they’d never want to work.

In the case of WorkHere, job seekers for hourly positions can actually specify a company location that is, say, just a ten-minute walk from their home. That makes employers happy, because experience shows that workers who live near a company have much higher retention than those with longer commutes, and that makes job seekers happy because they don’t need a car to get to work. In essence, the information the app provides optimizes both the job seeker AND the recruiter experience.

There are an unlimited number of other ways to use filters to micro-target the user experience on a smartphone, and the employment sites which leverage that capability will lead the industry in the next phase of mobile recruitment and job search … and provide a better yield for employers.

TAtech® Insights and the Peter Weddle’s Technacious Recruiter are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2017 events are open to corporate, staffing firm and RPO recruiters and include:
• September 27-29, 2017 Denver: The TAtech Fall Congress & Deal Center, with The World Job Board Forum and the 2017 ReSI Awards Gala. Meet the thought and business leaders of the worldwide talent acquisition technology industry.
• April 22-23, 2017 Chicago: The TAtech Spring Congress & Deal Center, with The Business Accelerator has now occurred. See you at next year’s Spring Congress in … Miami!
• May 17-19, 2017 Barcelona: RecTech, The TAtech Industry Congress in the EU in partnership with the AIM Group. See you at next year’s RecTech in … Dublin!
• May 31-June 1, 2017 Minneapolis: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying, featuring two tracks: Programmatic Ad Buying Applications & Programmatic Ad Buying Technology. See you at next year’s Programmatic Summit!