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More job searches take place on mobile devices than the desktop, and two-thirds of email is read on mobile devices. Yet many human resource (HR) departments lack the mobile policies and technology to recruit top talent that’s increasingly on the go.

According to Katherine Jones, Vice President, HCM Technology Research at Bersin By Deloitte, mobile is under-utilized by HR compared to other departments. “All these new technologies like internet of things are going to be disruptive,” she said. “HR needs to start looking at what’s out there more seriously and figure out how to embrace and control it.”

Jones sees a dichotomy between the growth of available mobile recruiting technology and HR’s relative lack of use.  Here are four ways HR can use mobile to reach top talent faster.

1. Align with company mobile policy

Experts agree HR needs to begin any mobile discussion by aligning with the company’s overall policy.

“There’s a telephony policy at every company, and they need to know how it relates to mobile. Do they want recruiters to use their own phones or have the ability to access apps on the company network,” Jones said. “They have to ask if the company’s application software supports mobile, and decide which areas to mobilize and how to manage the applications.”

2. Go beyond access: optimize for mobile

A study from Kelton Global Research found 70 percent of job seekers are willing to apply for a job using a smartphone, but more than a quarter of larger companies said that not a single part of their hiring process has been mobile-optimized. What’s more, 70 percent of applicants find online applications harder to use than applying for a mortgage or student loan applications. Mobile access isn’t sufficient. The recruiting system needs to be optimized for mobile.

“Sites are not mobile-friendly if they’ve been originally designed for desktop computers,” said Greta Roberts, CEO at Talent Analytics Corp. “It’s unclear what percentage of companies have online recruitment solutions that automatically detect which kind of mobile application someone is using whether iPhone, tablet or smart watch, and optimize the on-site user experience for that device.”

3. Centralize on one platform

As mobile replaces standard connectivity, it’s more difficult to identify who and where someone is based on their cell phone number. Having a solution that functions worldwide in multiple languages with analytics behind it is fundamental to effective mobile recruiting.

“Rather than using fragmented systems, a centralized platform like SuccessFactors not only manages your career site, but also brings together all the analytics, tracking devices candidates are using, where they’re coming from, how long they spend on the site, and when they abandon, struggle or succeed with the process,” said Jeff Mills, Director of Solution Marketing for Recruiting and Onboarding at SuccessFactors/SAP. “These correlations support better decision-making.”

People often start searches on their mobile phone, and may not be ready to apply immediately because of where they happen to be. “Mobile platforms provide a way of capturing their interest and remarking it back to them for ongoing targeted campaigns to your talent community,” said Mills.

Roberts said Talent Analytics also uses mobile analytics to help job-seekers and companies better understand the candidates likeliest to succeed in certain positions, saving time and frustration. “Mobile isn’t the goal. The goal is to get extraordinary candidates.”

4. Build for speed

Of course speed is crucial to mobile recruiting. This is why many companies allow candidates to apply for jobs with their social profile from sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook, or upload existing documents like resumes.

“For particular job types, you have to be mobile or you’ll have a huge abandon rate. This would be on the higher turnover, hourly side like retail, hospitality and consumer services,” said industry analyst, Lisa Rowan, Research Vice President of HR, Talent and Learning Strategies at IDC.

Mills said SMS and video interviewing are also growing in importance, as is accelerating time-sensitive processes like extending job offers. “In developing countries, companies are using SMS to send candidates notifications like application confirmations and interview reminders. People may not have email addresses but they do have smartphones,” he said. “The purpose is to speed everything up. The company getting an offer in front of the candidate first is more likely to succeed.”

Jones noted too that candidates don’t generally apply the first time they see the job, requiring mobile apps that allow people to stop and return at any point in time. Perhaps the first step in mobile recruitment is on-boarding HR to develop a strategy for going where the candidates are – on any device, anywhere, 24/7.

Originally posted on SCN by Susan Galer.

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