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How to Attract the Best Candidates With Mobile Recruitment

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Have you ever been out at a restaurant and watched two people sit across from each other at a table, staring at their mobile phones? Good or bad manners, the reality is we turn to our mobile devices for almost everything now. Whether looking up a restaurant review, finding movie times, or even looking for a job, people are increasingly turning to the smallest screen for help.

"The shift to mobile is happening at an extraordinary speed," Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore wrote in a post on 2013 tech predictions. Consumer and Enterprise Mobility have caused a fundamental shift in people's habits, with an increasing number working from their mobile devices regardless of where they are.

In fact, a recent study by Simply Hired shows 70 percent of job seekers are using their mobile phones to find jobs. So when it comes to finding and hiring the top talent your company needs, you ignore mobile recruitment at your own peril.

Yet surprisingly enough, many companies are putting their mobile recruitment plans on silent. While 70 percent of job seekers might be letting their fingers fly over mobile keypads to find jobs, the same percentage also represents companies dropping the ball. A report by Seven Step found nearly three-quarters (or 70 percent) of Fortune 100 companies do not even have mobile optimized career pages.

The story doesn't get much brighter when looking at large companies either. Only two percent of Fortune 500 companies tailor job applications for mobile users. With 70 percent of job seekers looking for work on the go from their mobile devices, this means a vast majority of companies are bleeding potential talent as tech-savvy job seekers take their talent (and applications) elsewhere.

So how do you attract the best candidates with mobile recruitment? Here are just a few simple ways you can get with the times and capture the talent you need for your company:

Responsive design is key

The first, and most essential, step is to make sure your career site is optimized for a mobile interface. Surfing the Internet is different on a mobile device than it is on a static computer screen, whether the mobile device is a smartphone or tablet.

Loading a non-optimized web version of your career site on a mobile device can lead to poor user experience and performance problems. This is why companies should pay special attention to building a careers site with a responsive interface optimized for mobile browsing.

If there are any doubts this will lead to more candidates, let's take a look at the Simply Hired survey results again. This survey found 86 percent of job seekers think organizations should employ mobile-friendly sites. Clearly, by optimizing your careers site for a mobile-friendly user-experience, you can vastly expand your talent pool.

Mobile access adds speed

Remember that old iPhone commercial that touted "There's an app for that"? When it comes to using mobile to hire the best people, native apps continue to play an important role.

"A million screens have bloomed," Cashmore wrote in that same 2013 prediction piece. "And we need to build for all of them."

While easing candidate experience in the hiring process with an optimized site is smart, you also need to approach mobile technology from a hiring manager's perspective. Using an easy to navigate mobile app for your applicant tracking system (ATS) is a great way to keep your team productive and on track to hire the best people faster. There are more than 70 career-related apps currently in the iTunes store, and more are being added all the time. As we increasingly take our work with us on the go, getting ahead of the competition means staying productive no matter where your team members are located.

Mobile apps facilitate recruitment workflow and make it easier for everyone to easily participate in the recruitment process from their mobile device, regardless of where they are. This gives companies the ability to evaluate candidates and make job offers faster. Thanks to real-time responses and the ability to collaborate with your team, mobility ensures you never miss out on great people.

Social Media helps reach talent faster

Social media is becoming a more important avenue for finding talent every day. In fact, over half of hiring managers and recruiters think social recruitment is becoming a top way to isolate talent. Which makes sense, since 90 percent of job seekers assume hiring managers and recruiters will look at their social media profiles.

"The social network will be the new production line in a company," IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said at an event organized by the Council on Foreign Relations. "Your value will not be what you know, but what you share."

Yet companies are still dropping the ball when it comes to both mobile integration and social media recruitment. While 85 percent of Fortune 100 companies allow sharing of job listings via email, few offer a social media sharing option. This seems like a huge missed opportunity.

Today's top candidates are using their mobile devices to tweet, share status updates, and edit their LinkedIn profiles. They also love to share great job opportunities with their networks. Still, many companies fail to provide an option to do this easily.

You want to attract the best and turn your prospects and applicants into brand ambassadors. For this, you need a social recruiting platform with the ability to distribute opportunities to social networks and allow candidates to share these openings with their circles.

As talent acquisition methods evolve and take advantage of newer technologies, the role of mobile recruitment will continue to grow. Companies ignoring the experience of candidates applying from smartphones and tablets, or failing to enable mobile participation of their workforce in the recruitment process, will find it increasingly difficult to recruit top talent.

What are some ways you have optimized your recruitment efforts for mobile candidates? Share in the comments!

Sajjad Masud is the Co-Founder and CEO of Simplicant, a cloud-based social recruiting platform transforming talent acquisition and making enterprise-level recruiting technology accessible to companies of all sizes. Connect with Sajjad and the Simplicant team on Twitter and Facebook.