This column originally appeared on Inc.com.
I’m going to issue a challenge to you that I issued to myself years ago. Pick up your smartphone, go to your company website and try to apply for a job.
If that’s impossible, you’re not alone. Eighty percent of businesses don’t have mobile-optimized career sites.
This is one situation where it’s not ok to be in the majority. Hiring is one of the most crucial success factors for any business–billions of dollars go into it every year–yet most companies aren’t even doing something as basic as letting candidates apply to jobs through mobile.
We’ve been able to transfer money, book hotels, reserve car services and even order takeout on mobile for years. Yet the recruiting industry still has yet to enter the mobile age. Businesses that lag in mobile recruitment adoption are sending clear messages to candidates: We’re not interested in connecting. It’s hard to engage with us. We’re outdated.
Smart companies are taking a wrecking ball to the brick wall between their business and candidates. Recent studies confirm these findings. Sixty-five percent of candidates who search for jobs via mobile devices will leave a website if it is not mobile optimized, and 40 percent walk away with a more negative opinion of the company, according to a CareerBuilder survey.
Here are three essential steps for creating a mobile-optimized recruiting and hiring strategy.
1. Put your entire recruiting and hiring process on mobile.
Create a mobile-first careers site where candidates can easily view and apply to jobs. Equally important, make your entire talent pipeline manageable on mobile. Recruiting doesn’t just happen in the office 9 to 5. The best candidates are expressing interest around the clock and will be snatched up by other companies in as little as two weeks. Be able to review candidates, engage with them, provide feedback to your team and make hiring decisions anytime, anywhere.
2. Minimize your job application process to just one tap.
You’re losing candidates with every extra tap or click it takes to submit a job application. The best talent doesn’t have time to read and fill out tedious forms. What they do have is a moment to say, “I’m interested.” When they do, their application should immediately route to your hiring team for review.
3. Make candidates’ social profiles the new resume.
The old way of hiring usually requires candidates to apply using their resume. Instead, let candidates apply using their social profiles, which are easily at hand compared to a document that can’t be attached on mobile. Social profiles are also more up to date, provide rich context on the candidates’ experience (i.e., links to their portfolio and articles they’ve written) and, because they are publicly shared, are arguably more honest than a resume, which can be fudged.
The best candidates want to work for forward-thinking, innovative organizations that prioritize creating delightful user experiences, and your mobile presence is direct indicator of that. A mobile-first recruiting and hiring strategy is not a nice-to-have–it’s a must-have. Wouldn’t you rather apply for a job on a mobile device with just one tap that submits your social profile to the hiring manager? Great candidates would too.