Meanwhile, Brooke’s perfect candidate was just beginning to think about looking for a new job. Mitch worked for Brooke’s biggest competitor, the Mars Corporation. Mitch was on the fast track. He was frequently given the toughest assignments and he liked it that way. But today, he had just walked out of a meeting where his exciting new project was delayed due to budget cuts. Bored, irritated, and partly out of spite, he grabbed his smart phone and went online to explore other jobs. (He used his smart phone because he wasn’t reckless enough to use his work computer to search for jobs … he knew the IT department could monitor that.)
Mitch went looking for job information in the usual way—he Googled it. 2 out of every 3 searches of any kind originate on Google, and job search is no different. And when you type just about any job title into the Google toolbar, you’ll end up the same place–Indeed. But Brooke did not post her job on Indeed, and she certainly didn’t think about candidates looking for jobs from a smart phone.
Both Brooke and Mitch did their “usual thing.” And like two ships passing in the night, they never connected.
The vast majority of employers still have no idea that tiny changes in candidate behavior have suddenly rendered their entire recruiting strategy obsolete. There was no memo, no call to action—the revolution sounds like a whisper. Job seekers can’t possibly know that their use of Google and Mobile put them in a different place than many employers are looking. How could Mitch notice what he never saw on Indeed? And similarly, how could Brooke notice Mitch’s new job search behavior if he never applied?
Candidates have no preference for certain job sites, they only want an efficient path to their next job. So when Mitch found himself on Indeed – just as 62% of US job seekers do every month – he scarcely even noticed the name of the site. But he did notice that millions of people had already downloaded their mobile app. He never stopped to consider what jobs he was missing. He only thought, “Hmmmm, this is pretty easy.”
Easy indeed–30% of the visitors to career sites like Indeed and CareerBuilder are now on mobile devices. And that number is growing very fast. Job boards are not just offering mobile search, now you can apply for jobs from your phone. CareerBuilder noticed that 40% of candidates on mobile devices will abandon the application process because it’s too difficult, so their mobile app lets candidates screen out all jobs that do not allow mobile apply. But of course mobile apply only makes it easier for the candidate, not for the employer. And just how many employers are prepared to do more work to make it easier for job seekers? Darn few.
Hey, posting job ads has always been a long shot–LinkedIn’s research shows that only 18% of currently employed people even look at job ads. But now, with the impact of Google and Mobile, most employers would be lucky to see a fourth of that traffic to their ads. And with only 4 or 5% of people even seeing your ads, you might just as well post them in the Craigslist “Missed Connections” section.
Bob Corlett can’t leave well enough alone. As the president of Staffing Advisors - a retained search firm in Washington DC - he is constantly striving for search nirvana. Bob wants to make strategic hiring as easy and predictable as buying electricity - just flip the switch and get exactly what you need, right when you need it. Bob earned a BS degree in Business Administration from Boston University, with a concentration in Operations Management - a great degree if you want to run a factory. He never ran a factory, but it fueled a lifelong fascination with efficiency and productivity. Bob skipped graduation to start work at EDS, rising quickly from Systems Engineer to Project Manager – because he liked solving business problems more than technical problems, but mostly because he wasn’t a very good computer programmer. In the late 80’s Bob entered the executive search business. Over the past 20 years, he’s worked in very small and very large search firms. But because he’s always coming up with his own way of doing things, Bob finally had to start his own firm - mostly just to avoid hearing his boss tell him he was wrong. Staffing Advisors primarily serves small to midsize businesses, associations and nonprofits – so you may notice that Bob does not seem to care much about hiring problems outside of that realm. As the developer of The Results-Based Hiring Process®, Bob is one of Washington’s best known thought leaders on staffing and recruiting. Thousands of HR executives and business leaders receive Staffing Advisors’ popular newsletters and read his blog – The Staffing Advisor. In his volunteer work, Bob runs the Staffing Alliance of Maryland Employers. You can read Bob's Posts on HRExaminer here.