Posted by Jonathan Campbell, April 4th 2013
Every employer or recruitment agency owner I seem to talk to these days is asking about Mobile and nearly all tell me of some sort of strategy or plan around mobile that they are about to execute. Mobile platform developers and "futurists" have been going on about how mobile is the next big thing for years, so what changed to finally make this a mainstream solution that everyone has to solve, right now? Why has mobile recruitment finally moved from the innovator niche to the early majority category in 2013?
Last week I picked up on a tweet that my friend Carrie Corbin from AT&T put out about the rise of mobile usage in recruitment. Specifically she cited a Wall Street Journal article that stated that only 33% of Fortune 500 companies have mobile optimised careers sites. Worse still, only 3% of the Fortune 500 offer a way for people to apply for jobs from a smartphone (AT&T are proudly in that 3% thanks to Carrie and her team). In the same article, the author quoted Careerbuilder "research" on Google Adwords that apparently showed that 31% of Google searches that contain the word "jobs" come from mobile devices. 31%? This shocked me. I've been monitoring this search trend from when it was single digits a couple of years ago to, last time I checked, in the mid-teens. Where the heck did this spike come from? Not one to believe everything I read, I did my own research (which you can do too by using the Keyword Tool on Google Adwords). It turns out that the spokesperson from Careerbuilder cannot use a calculator (they appear to have divided the number of mobile searches by the number of desktop searches, rather than the combined total) but nonetheless, by my calculations the global number of Google searches that contain the word "jobs" has risen to a remarkable 23%! If a quarter of the people looking for jobs are using a device that does not allow them to apply for your jobs, let alone view the spec without pinching and zooming like a crazy tweezer-impersonator, it's time to think about mobile!
Here at Social Talent we just kicked off a 3 month long project to launch a new responsive website that will include a re-brand and better integration of our learning platform. We're an impatient bunch and frustrated that its going to take until June to reveal the work, but even we recognise the importance of moving with the times and want to deliver something brilliant rather than a quick-fix. We're learning that mobile optimisation involves more than just adding a wordpress plug-in to increase the size of the text on each page!
So, in case you're wondering how the 23% stat stacks up against other search terms, here's an overview of some popular search keywords and the % of mobile searches that are conducted using the same term:
News: 31% of Google searches come from mobile (277m v 124m)
How to: 31% of Google searches on how to do stuff come from mobile (414m v 185m)
Apple: 27% of searches for the iconic tech brand (or perhaps lovers of Golden Wonders) come from mobile: (83.1m v 30.4m)
Twitter: 27% of searches for the largely mobile-accessed information network come from mobile (226m V 83.1m)
Jobs: 23% of searches that contain Jobs are from mobile. Job seekers prove to be more mobile than the average searchers (185m v 55.6m)
Cars: 23% of searches for people looking to read about cars or perhaps buy a new car come from mobile devices (124m v 37.2m)
Careers: 20% of people searching for information about careers use a mobile device (101m vs 24.9m)
Facebook: 20% of Facebookers search for the site from a mobile device, quite a bit behind Twitter! (4.6bn vs 1.12bn)
YouTube: 20% of searches for the largest video hosting site in the world come from mobile devices (1.12m vs 277m)
Amazon: 17% of people searching for the world's largest online retailer use a mobile device (151m V 30.4m)
Hotel: 14% of travelers looking for a hotel use a mobile device, the average for all internet search keywords (338m v 55.6)
So it would appear that mobile phone users use their internet enabled phones to find jobs almost as much as they use their phones to stay up to date with the news. They also tend to use their phone more often than normal to figure out how to do stuff, to check out cars and to learn more about the largest tech company in the world (Mac snobs will be delighted with how "sophisticated" this research makes them appear!).
If you're a hotel owner or an online retailer, you probably still have a few months left before you're going to start feeling the pressure to develop a mobile site or mobile strategy but for you recruiters out there, the time is now!