I want to let everyone in on a secret. Listen carefully because here it is: we are in 2014. Pretty obvious right? Well if you looked at some major company’s application process you would think we are still in 1998. I hold more data in my right pocket than I will ever at my desktop computer. My smart phone processes probably five times more data on a daily basis then said computer. And I have a strong suspicion that I am not the only one who can make that claim. So why are so many application processes and recruiting strategies in general so old-fashioned?
First off, I want to let job seekers in on a truth echoed all throughout the recruiting industry; the application process is a headache. I know you probably feel like your resume is the best one out there and the search should start and end at your application. While that may be true, unfortunately you are getting smothered in between applications of ridiculously unqualified talent. That retail worker who feels they handle enough cash transitions at the local supermarket to make them a CFO, or the recent grad who’s been told how great their college work has been, justifying themselves to be a senior level web developer. For as many qualified resumes recruiters look at, they probably look at twice as many unqualified.
So that brings us to the application process itself. While it may be a headache at times, it also can present recruiters with some great candidates. I have received a great job offer off of an application. That being said, with so many of the things we do being mobile, it only makes sense that our application process should be as well. I have been a job seeker before. I know what it is like to look at jobs on my phone and get frustrated and give up on the application half way through. Some of you may be thinking “well if you are giving up so easily, then maybe it is best that you aren’t considered.” While that is a valid point, I counter with the fact that I would not want to work for a company whose recruiting process is so archaic. That is what mobile recruiting is like. It’s not just about ease of use for the end user, but it also conveys an image that your company is in the know and up to date. The same way a company’s web presence can persuade how the user feels about them.
With LinkedIn’s popularity increasing every day for job seekers, the “apply with your LinkedIn profile” option is becoming a major success. Within just a few clicks your application is created and you are on your way to a hiring manager’s desk. Or with services like Dropbox and Google Doc’s it is so much easier to store a fully formatted Word Processed version of your resume on your phone to import into an application. The cloud is a beautiful thing. And Indeed.com has created an application process that couldn’t be more user friendly if you tried.
Ultimately the company who has not adapted a mobile strategy is facing a major problem. By being behind in the hypothetical digital race you are losing out to your competitors who have embraced mobility and are gaining access to more candidates because they adapted to how the world operates in 2014. You wouldn’t ask someone to fax their resume to you right? Well mobile friendly applications are becoming the trend the same way email was almost 15 years ago.
I feel it is important that companies look at their current recruiting strategy and dive deep into how the process can be improved. Believe it or not, I had a client who still relied on paper applications. Which is about as effective as putting up a “Now Hiring” sign. Not even the foot traffic on 5th Avenue would benefit from that process. The candidate experience does not begin on the first interview. It begins the minute the candidate has any sort of interaction with your company, whether that is your website or application process. You wouldn’t invite a candidate to interview in your storage room, why have them apply in the equivalent of a digital storage room?
Written by: Chadd Balbi. Chadd is a featured writer who has been in both the staffing and corporate recruiting fields. Follow him regularly @CFBRecruiter and connect with him on Linkedin.