By Lee Slimming

In my years of experiencing working with employers and candidates, I have seen a big shift in the way job seekers look for work: they haven’t just gone online, they’ve gone mobile.  However, organisations have been hesitant in following them.

Mobility is transforming job search in the same way that the internet did a decade ago. As an employer, your target candidates are mobile and more connected than ever before – and this will increase exponentially in the years to come.


A Few Numbers

In mid-2012 the global rate of smartphone ownership exceeded that of personal computers.  Business Insider has found that by the end of 2013, there will be two smartphones for every nine people on Earth, that’s 1.4 billion smartphones.

The Middle East and Asia have a higher smartphone penetration than the global average. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have the highest rates in the Middle East at 74% and 73% respectively.

Research shows that 40% of all job seekers and over 60% of professionals are initially attracted by a corporations own career website making these sites the No.1 source of hires.

While these numbers speak for themselves, there is a host of reasons why you need to ensure your deliver a good mobile experience to your candidates.

1. You are losing candidates, permanently
Smartphone users expect mobile-optimised sites and their patience wears thin if it’s not available. You have one opportunity to sell your talent brand to mobile users; get it wrong and you could lose a valuable prospective employee.

2. To elevate your corporate brand 
52% of visitors to a non-mobile optimised site were less likely to engage with a company and 48% felt the company didn’t care about them according to Google’s 2012 “What Users Want From Mobile” survey.

3. You want to outperform your competitors  
If your career website is difficult to read and navigate on a mobile device, you will lose top candidates to competing employers who deliver a better user experience. Reverse that scenario and you could be the one gaining the mobile candidate traffic.

4. Mobile web will overtake the desktop
In 3 years, the majority of your target candidates will be coming to your site through a tablet or smartphone. You are already late in thinking about that user experience.

5. Your Google search rank depends on it 
When a user searches from a mobile, search engines such as Google prioritise sites that are mobile-friendly, which means your ranking will drop dramatically without a mobile offering.  It also means your competitors’ ranking can improve at your expense. Don’t let your desktop SEO efforts go to waste!

6. Mobile websites are user-friendly
Regular websites don’t look good or work well on mobile. Text is too small, some content may not appear and if you are on-the-go they are more likely to frustrate than captivate. 61% of users are likely to leave you site quickly if you are not optimised for mobile.

7. Smart phone traffic affects overall traffic
More tweets, more shares, more people talking about your site, better SEO. This all leads to a greater volume of good applicants and elevation of your talent brand.

8. You want a positive advertising ROI
If you are paying to advertise on job boards that are optimised for mobiles (most of them are) and then directing candidates to a career site that is not, you’ve lost them and wasted ad budget.

9. Social media is largely mobile 
If you are investing time and effort on social media campaigns you probably appreciate that most of the audience is using a mobile device. If there is no mobile optimised career site to follow or share, your campaign will not be nearly as effective as it could be.

10. Mobile sites are economical
All online efforts are incredibly cost effective and cater for the long term better than many other tools. By future proofing your site you will increase traffic, resulting in the volume of applicants you are looking for.

Mobile will become the dominant online platform in the next few years. Many would argue that it is already more important than your desktop site and it’s time to take charge.

To go mobile is more than just re-hashing the design or simply making your site size adjust to fit a screen.  The whole experience should be engaging from entering the site right the way through the application process.

Lee Slimming is a recruitment marketing specialist with Cazar. She can be reached on LinkedIn and Twitter

Do you like this article? Sign up to receive our newsletter  for HR insights delivered to your mailbox.