Bob Corlett | Founding Member, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board

Bob Corlett | Founding Member, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board

Brooke, the HR executive at Venus Sprockets Corporation was rushing to post the new opening. She went to all the usual places, Craigslist, The Washington Post, and a few niche job boards. She’d been a loyal customer of those sites for years, so she no longer put much thought into where to post.

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.

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