Why do we build mobile apps? That’s a question that hardly calls for an answer these days. We really have no need to explain to anyone that Facebook without an iPhone app is merely a service and not a lifestyle, and Salesforce without Android is like having to keep an old appointment book. With an answer to the need for mobile now being taken for granted, many of us stopped thinking about what mobile apps could do for the business. Mobile became the defacto move, the way of life, a must have without real thinking behind it.
Today we at SmartRecruiters are announcing the first Hiring productivity app available now in the App Store. For us, building it was not a no brainer. We wanted to make a difference and accomplish something new.
Here’s what we have done, and most importantly what we’ve learned along the way…
Building mobile apps makes you rethink quite a bit about the web app associated with your product. Simple, limited real estate, cut down functional scope, rather limited navigation – all of these are hard pressed to land themselves on the list of best practices when it comes to building enterprise software. Confronted by wanting to be feature rich, powerful and configurable – any approach to building for the enterprise that is rooted in being “super simple” doesn’t come easy. Hiring is a good example. Multiple jobs, multiple people, many applicants in various stages – all of this quickly amounts to an app that has to support a process that isn’t simple at all. So how should you do it? This was our top challenge.
We picked an approach that focused us on the most important real time component of the hiring process – candidate review and transparency. In order to be simple, beautiful and at the same time relevant and powerful, we chose to solve for only one problem that we felt was most relevant to a recruiter or a hiring manager in real time. You want to win the war for talent, well then you better be ready to fight it anywhere and anytime. Our CEO explains:
Interestingly, when you put yourself in the “mobile” shoes and adopt a radically simple point of view about a complex enterprise workflow, everyone wins. When put in this situation, we as developers and product managers have a sudden urge to isolate a single use case and solve for it, and only it. What resulted for us was quite remarkable – solving for a single use case with our new mobile app helped us make the entire hiring process better. You want to make the best hire? Well, then engage with the best candidate as soon as they express interest, or you will lose them. You want to be in the loop on what is happening across all hiring teams in your company? Well, then get out of your inbox and into our new mobile version of SmartRecruiters Hire Loop.
I love mobile. Building SmartRecruiters Hiring app helped me realize that I love it not because it makes things more convenient, but mostly because it forces you to rethink everything, and in the world where the enterprise software still lags far behind its usefulness to people when compared to consumer apps, rethinking everything is the best exercise a company could go through.