This is a guest post written for us by Steven Z. Ehrlich of AIA Worldwide
A survey of American consumers found that more than 75 percent admit to using their mobile device in the restroom – confirming that mobile is, indeed, everywhere. Consumers are connected to their devices, giving rise to changing usage patterns, new ways of connecting, and rising user expectations about the quality of mobile content.
It’s not just Candy Crush and social media that are keeping people staring at the small screen. By 2016, mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search. Organizations must adapt to this changing user behavior, and seriously consider how it impacts the way candidates are searching for jobs and new career opportunities.
Today, candidates are on the go and they expect a superior user-experience that is designed for their mobile lifestyle. Because more and more candidates are taking a mobile-first approach to job searches, organizations not only need to make career information available for mobile devices, they have to deliver a high-quality, relevant user experience for candidates on their preferred devices or find themselves at a disadvantage.
How can you optimize the mobile experience?
Consider the different devices candidates are using – Candidates access content using a mix of devices: Androids, iPhones, e-readers, computers, tablets and others; the challenge is ensuring mobile content works with the technology and delivers an excellent candidate experience on all of these devices. Responsive web design is a smart approach that automatically adjusts a web page to optimize its display for the device in use, ensuring that the resolution, image size and scripting abilities work from device to device. The benefits of responsive design go beyond appearances – Google prefers responsive sites and smartphone-friendly content, ranking sites that make use of this technology higher in search results.
Don’t settle for a pinch and zoom experience – There’s a difference between mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized sites — and for employers who want to deliver a superior experience, an optimized site is the clear winner. While mobile-friendly enables candidates to access your career site on their mobile devices, it’s annoying to pinch and zoom to read content. Instead, think about the candidate experience and optimize content so it’s readable, actionable and device-appropriate. This keeps the job seeker focused on the opportunity – not on centering the content on the screen.
Do the maths and reduce the number of clicks to apply – The more clicks required to complete an application, the more likely the candidate will walk away frustrated. Experience your own application process to see where it can be improved. While the ideal number is debatable, the more clicks and screens candidates are required to navigate, the more likely they’ll abandon the application. Make it easy for candidates to get what they want – a frustration-free process to apply for a job.
Take your jobs to the places where your candidates “live” online – While search engines play a big role in how candidates find new opportunities, candidates are also using their mobiles to engage on social networks, requiring organizations to rethink their content strategies. Have a plan to promote your jobs across digital platforms and go beyond the job description by including realistic job previews in video format, maps of the job location, employee profiles, and much more.
Make your content easily sharable – Success in the mobile and social media worlds is driven first by creating a superior user experience, and second by providing your audience with cogent, engaging content that is shareable. If you focus on delivering quality content to your audience, in the places where they interact, they will share it for you. My advice, be interesting and be shareable!
Ultimately, the mobile web experience – from e-commerce to all-purpose web browsing and even job seeking – is on track to become the primary web experience for a significant portion of the public – including your potential candidates. Are you ready to reach them?
Steven Z. Ehrlich is Global Vice President, Client Development at AIA Worldwide, a global, tech-enabled recruitment communications agency. You can connect with Steven on Twitter @99GR81 or connect directly via LinkedIn