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How to Create a Truly Mobile Job Application Experience for Candidates

March 4, 2020
iCIMS Staff
3 min read
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Job seekers are increasingly picking up their phones to look for jobs. But all that mobile search traffic may just be window shopping. When it comes time to apply, they’re still relying on what’s most comfortable: their desktop computers.

According to a study by Glassdoor, job seekers complete 53% fewer applications on a mobile device and take 80% longer to do so than when applying on a desktop. That’s a major drop-off considering 58% of people use their phones to search for jobs.

job seekers complete 53 percent fewer applications on their mobile device

That may be because looking for jobs on a mobile device is far easier than applying, leading many would-be candidates to postpone the application process until they’re perched comfortably behind a desktop. With the pace of life, that applicant may never get around to following through on that desktop app.

Mobile-friendly applications capitalize on a growing number of mobile job seekers

Most applications weren’t designed to be completed on a mobile device. You’ll hear phrases like “mobile-friendly” and “mobile-optimized” but be warned: the reality may not be what it seems. Too many applications masquerade as mobile-friendly when in reality they were adjusted with a quick-fix to make applying by phone possible, but not necessarily an easy experience.

That’s where mobile recruiting software can help. By contrast, truly mobile-first applications were designed with one objective in mind: make it easy to attract and convert new candidates on their phones.

Not sure how your application performs on mobile? Here’s an easy test: try it yourself. If you find the process cumbersome, it’s likely your candidates will, too.

You can easily grow your applicant pool, and stand out from the competition, by offering a truly great mobile experience. Follow this checklist to ensure your mobile application is everything your candidates want.

1. Keep it short. Only collect what you absolutely need to start screening. This makes some employers nervous: making an informed hiring decision is paramount. Unfortunately, a more-is-more attitude can tank your application conversion rate. Consider that 73% of job seekers abandon applications that take longer than 15 minutes. Is it any wonder only 22% of mobile applications are ever completed?1

2. Give applicants the ability to upload their resumes via Dropbox and Google Drive. Most applicants don’t have copies of their resume stored on their phones, so the ability to upload a resume from the cloud is a must.

3. Ensure your applicant tracking system parses resumes quickly and accurately. There’s nothing more frustrating for a candidate than uploading your resume only to find an employer is asking you to manually input all the same information. Just as bad is when an applicant tracking system botches parsing a resume, necessitating job seekers to scroll through and correct their personal information line by line.

4. Advertise your applications as truly mobile-friendly. This is something to brag about. According to Glassdoor, employers that advertise that their applications are mobile-friendly increase submissions by 11.6%.1

5. Offer job seekers the ability to apply by text. For some employers, it makes sense to skip the traditional application altogether. Employers like RPM Pizza, the largest Domino’s franchisee, use mobile recruiting software to tap into their customer base and encourage passersbys to apply on their phones. Job seekers text in a code they find on a poster, sign, or billboard. They’re then guided through a quick and straightforward application – and just like that, they’re under consideration.

6. Employ AI-assistants to chat with your job seekers. Automation can encourage job seekers to apply, answer FAQs, prescreen candidates, and schedule interviews. For example, Dierbergs Markets uses an automated assistant named Ellie on their career site to answer job seekers’ questions and provide additional information. Powered by iCIMS AI recruiting technology, Ellie converts thousands of job seekers a year into applicants.

7. Put job seekers into talent pools. Interested job seekers don’t always find relevant job openings right away. Keep them engaged by adding them to talent pools. The more ways you advertise your talent pools the better. Construction firm Allan Myers grew their talent pools tenfold by encouraging interested job seekers to join via their career site and while text messaging recruiters.

Interested in learning how iCIMS’ mobile recruiting software can help your business? Find out more here.

1. Glassdoor, The Rise of Mobile Devices in Job Search, 2019



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