Why Recruitment Marketers Must Understand Mobile Job Search Behavior

Why Recruitment Marketers Must Understand Mobile Job Search Behavior


If you’re reading this article, chances are, you have a smartphone within arm's reach. I’d even go as far as guessing that a significant number of you are reading this on your mobile device right now. And, with 64 percent of US adults owning a smartphone in 2015, according to Pew, chances are at least one of my two predictions above, is correct. So, why is this important?

By understanding mobile trends, I was able to make two quick predictions that engaged our readership by speaking directly to them about their behavior. This is important because in 2016, smartphones have revolutionized far more than the way we find and consume media. It’s changed other behaviors as well, such as the way people search for jobs.

In fact, the same Pew research notes that one of the most common uses of the mobile device by smartphone owners, is to “look up info about a job.” Couple that with the fact that a full 77 percent of job seekers use mobile apps to find work, according to Beyond, and you’ll quickly see why understanding mobile job search behavior is of the utmost importance to recruitment marketers.

With that said, we thought it would be helpful to dive into some common behavior of mobile job seekers that could be impacting your recruitment marketing performance:

  • Short attention spans: Consider the goldfish--an animal with such a short attention span that it can spend its entire life in a tiny glass bowl, and never know it was trapped. Now, thanks to smartphones, humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish do! The research that Microsoft did to discover this shows that, while attention spans are shorter, multi-tasking has actually improved. Simply put, smartphone users are just better at quickly identifying what they want and don’t want, and they need less information to make that decision. Extrapolate this to the job search, and we can see how the need for “thumb-stopping” content extends far beyond blogs, social and other media outlets. So, recruiters need to ensure their content is engaging, targeted and concise, less they fall victim to an ever-decreasing human attention span. It’s also important to note that, given a shorter attention span, mobile job seekers are more likely to click in and out of job postings at a higher, and quicker, frequency. This could potentially have a significant impact on your click-through rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC) metrics.
  • Less digital real estate: The size of smartphone screens are growing, but today the average screen size is just 4.6 inches. Even with the latest trend of phablets poised to push that average up over 5 inches, the amount of digital real estate you’re afforded on a smartphone pales in comparison to laptop and desktop screens, which can range from 12 to as much as 50 inches or greater in size. This means recruiters need to consider not just the content of their job titles and descriptions, but the format as well. With small screen sizes, recruiters have fewer characters to work with when crafting a job title, for example. On a smartphone, longer titles may be truncated. Similarly, lengthy job descriptions can often be tiresome to read on a small smartphone display. Furthermore, formatting can often become an issue when a description is written for a standard-sized screen, appearing cluttered or messy when converted to the mobile device. As a result, jobs with titles and job descriptions that aren’t optimized for mobile displays could lead to fewer clicks, also potentially impacting your CTRs, CPCs and CPAs (costs-per-application), and possibly lowering your ROI.
  • Imperfect application processes: Let’s say you artfully crafted your job description for mobile consumption. Your content is engaging and concise. Your title is short enough to fit in search results, yet long enough to convey the information needed. But, even though you’ve checked these boxes, you’re still not seeing the results you expected. Why? Because receiving an application is dependent on a candidate completing the online application, and for many recruiters, their application process simply isn’t mobile optimized. They require the candidate to navigate through a number of screens, fill a number of lengthy forms, and upload a resume and cover letter. This is problematic for a number of reasons. For one, filling forms through a smartphone is a tedious effort and a major reason why many sites now allow you to sign in with one click by using your Facebook or LinkedIn login. Secondly, few job seekers keep a copy of their resume or cover letter on their mobile device. This means, when it comes time to actually submit their applications, they’ll be forced to put their smartphone down and continue filling their application on their desktop, if they don’t drop from the process all together. Therefore, if your application process isn’t mobile optimized, chances are you could be losing candidates during the application process. This is particularly troublesome because, in this instance, you’ll have paid for the click, but not received an application. The results: a lower conversion rate, higher CPA and ultimately, a lower ROI.

By understanding mobile job search behavior, recruitment marketers can begin to piece together a more clear picture of the actions that might be affecting their recruitment marketing KPIs. However, without insight into your job- or campaign-level recruitment data, it will be all but impossible to locate these important insights.

Learn how you can track your recruitment data at the job- and campaign-level by requesting a demo today.

Subscribe to newsletter


Find Out How We Can Become an Extension of Your Talent Acquisition Team