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Mobile Recruitment: A Retailer’s Best Friend

While other areas of the business are quick to adopt mobile, talent acquisition is still far behind. In fact, according to research conducted by The Talent Board this year, only 13% of candidates apply for a job through a mobile device. By ignoring mobile, companies are missing a tremendous opportunity to attract and hire talent. Imagine walking into a store to apply for a position with a paper and pen or having to use a kiosk or store computer. The entire experience is uncomfortable and impersonal. With this type of experience, many qualified individuals would not apply for a job.

For any retailer that wants to attract talent and improve the candidate experience, mobile needs to be part of the equation.

Mobile recruitment needs to be simple, convenient, and user-friendly. Candidates expect to be able to search and apply for jobs on their mobile devices. Store managers want the convenience of approving jobs and candidates from their smartphones. In retail, mobile recruitment is a win-win. So why don’t more retailers leverage mobile for their distributed hiring? Why isn’t mobile recruitment a key part of the process?

Below are a few recommendations for retailers looking to go mobile this year:

1: Broaden the definition of mobile

Too often the conversation on mobile is focused on the apply process. Companies want a mobile apply process where candidates can complete their application on their smartphones. Yes, mobile apply is an important topic, but the entire candidate and manager experience should be mobile optimized. Managers should be able to post and advertise jobs, track applicants, and make offers on their mobile device. Candidates should be able to communicate with managers, review the status of their application, and receive updates and information on their mobile devices.

2: Invest in the right providers

Mobile has become a key differentiator in talent acquisition technology. While some providers are offering some mobile capabilities (including mobile apply), others offer a complete mobile solution that is device agnostic. Companies using these providers are more likely to engage candidates and provide consistency throughout the experience.

3: Focus on the experience

Retailers need a mobile strategy that prioritizes the experience. They need to test out the mobile solutions from the perspective of the store managers as well as the candidate. The experience should be simple and intuitive. It should also feel familiar. The mobile experience should be similar to how consumers engage with a brand.

4: Shorten the apply process

I mentioned this final point in my last blog, but it is worth emphasizing again. The apply process needs to be shortened. Retailers cannot expect candidates to take the same lengthy application they have in their stores and complete them on a mobile device. If an application takes 45 minutes or an hour to complete on a mobile device, candidates will likely lose interest, and retailers will lose talent.

Mobile is a non-negotiable for retailers looking to improve their talent acquisition process. Retailers using mobile will have a competitive advantage in attracting and recruiting talent if they keep the process simple and intuitive for both managers and candidates.

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano

Madeline’s primary focus over the last 12+ years has been on the talent management market, specializing in talent acquisition. Her work helps companies both validate and reevaluate their strategies and understand the role technology can play in driving business outcomes. She has watched HCM transform from a back-office function to a strategic company initiative with a focus on partnerships, experience and efficiency. Before Aptitude Research Partners, Madeline held research roles at Aberdeen, Bersin by Deloitte, ERE Media and Brandon Hall Group. She is co-author of Best Practices in Leading a Global Workforce and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yahoo News, and The Financial Times. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, SHRM, IHRIM, HCI’s Strategic Talent Acquisition conference, GDS International’s HCM Summit, and HRO Today.