Great article on Mashable this morning about the rise in job seekers utilizing mobile devices to explore job leads. Beyond.com has released a mobile job searching app and they’ve compiled some interesting stats based on usage:
- 8.3% of searches were for finance-related jobs
- Over half of all users were searching for work in the Manhattan area (that fact no doubt drove ‘finance’ related searches to the top of the list)
- 21% were for San Diego
- Answers to the question: “Why are you using a job search app?” 1.)Quickly react to new job posting. 2.)Able to job search any time anywhere 3.)It’s a discrete way to search for a job.
My take: Job searching is one thing. And since it’s the primary focus of this blog, it’s a HUGE thing! But you can’t ignore the second part – applying to jobs. And this is the anchor that will slow down adoption of this technology. What’s the value in discovering your dream job while you’re riding the subway in Boston if you can’t apply for it immediately? Sure, you can just send over a generic resume and cover letter, whatever you’ve got on file – but that’s not going to get you the job. Not in this job market. You need to review the job posting and review your resume and modify it accordingly. As long as word processing continues to be a cumbersome, error-prone and generally frustrating experience on mobile devices, people will be hesitant to commit to it.
There’s also a constriction point on the business end. With a rise in job seekers using mobile devices to monitor job feeds, you’d expect to see a rise in applications from mobile users. But how many company sites are accessible to mobile devices? And when I say “accessible” I mean truly, 100% navigable. More and more companies are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) and require candidates to fill-out applications online. How many of those are mobile-enabled? Many of these applications can take upwards of half an hour to do on a desktop with broadband – how long will it take to complete on a 3G smartphone that’s attempting to render a page that’s not optimized for mobile devices? I’ve never done it – primarily because I would worry that my application would get screwed up.
Companies, in their quest to attract mobile applicants to their site need to be sure that the infrastructure is in place to handle these applicants without making it a miserable experience.
Now Don’t get me wrong – the rise in this technology is great for increasing awareness of opportunities. And it’s the first step. But until we see greater adoption of iPads and other devices that truly allow you to do some real word processing on the go, and until companies finally take seriously mobile traffic and improve their accessibility, mobile job searching will be like window shopping at Tiffany’s. You can see it – but you can’t get it.