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Do’s & Don’ts of Mobile Engagement from a College Student’s Perspective
Thursday, Jul 26, 2018

If you walk around any college campus, there’s a good chance that most students are glued to their phones: checking social media, reading the news and hunting for jobs. As a college student myself, I know that strong mobile engagement is crucial for any company’s reputation, and a poor user experience can lead to some pretty negative perceptions. I’ve witnessed firsthand how a consistent, compelling mobile presence can make or break a company in the eyes of millennials.

It should be no surprise to recruiters how important mobile engagement has become in recent years, especially considering U.S. consumers spend five hours a day looking at mobile devices. Smartphones have revolutionized the landscape of communication. What is surprising, however, is how many companies get it wrong. As college students begin to search for jobs, capturing our attention online is critical for successful recruiting. Engaging college students and new graduates doesn’t need to be a struggle. Consider these do’s and don’ts of mobile engagement to help improve your chances of engaging and hiring top talent.

Do: Use Social Media

Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn is an effective way to communicate not only open positions, but also what makes your company unique. Post photos of your employees, videos of any community service activities, blog about life at the office – take the time to communicate what day-to-day life is. This is the best and easiest way to boost your employer brand to appeal to jobseekers and find a great culture fit.

Considering 84 percent of college seniors believe that having an active social presence can help a company when it comes to recruiting the best talent, social presence should be at the forefront for recruiting. Companies should consider sharing values and perks online to attract college students, and upcoming Gen Z, to apply for a job.

Don’t: Only Post Job Openings

Of course, meeting job qualifications and having the proper skills to engage in a job properly is essential. But it’s equally important to find a good culture fit. Sharing office life and corporate culture by posting on social media is a great way to get employees involved and excited about your company culture. With 44 percent of college seniors saying social media posts demonstrating company culture would make them apply for a job, taking the time to communicate about daily work life is extremely beneficial for mobile recruiting success.

This can also improve time-to-fill since you’re actively placing yourself in front of us. More interest can lead to more candidate applications, giving you more opportunities to find top talent. Unfilled positions lead to decreased productivity, so improving time-to-fill by having a consistent and positive social presence can benefit your business overall.

Do: Make it Personal

Taking the opportunity to personalize the application process makes a great impression. It shows candidates that you are engaged in the process and that you actually care about our application. For example, including a name in an email can make a huge different in perception. Automated personalizations, like email variables, are an easy way to engage candidates and goes a long way to show you care. There’s so much noise in the online landscape so having a personalized experience keeps our attention and enhances the candidate experience.

Don’t: Spam Candidates

Artificial intelligence is adapting fast and is changing the landscape of hiring, but recruiting is still a human activity. You can’t replace empathy with AI. Sending candidates irrelevant content makes your company appear inauthentic or removed from the hiring process altogether. Irrelevant content can also cause applicants to lose interest in the process – rather than sharing every job posting, just share jobs in the field the applicant noted he or she is interested in.

Do: Use Text Messaging

Odds are, your mobile device is within arm’s reach right now. Or maybe you’re even reading this on your mobile device. With the way everyone uses their smartphones these days, sending texts to candidates just makes sense. SMS text messages have an open rate of 98 percent. This, paired with the fact that mobile users reach for their phone 150x a day, proves that mobile recruiting with SMS texting is the most effective way to reach out to candidates. It can serve so many purposes: checking in on application status, scheduling and confirming interviews and overall updates so that we don’t feel lost in the process.

This is especially important since 81 percent of candidates say continuous status updates would greatly improve their overall experience. A lack of response or minimal updates signals that a position may be lost and that it might be time to pursue other options. Maintaining an easy, open line of communication is the best way to keep candidates interested.

Do: Diversify Communication Methods

Email is a tried and true method, but relying solely on it to communicate with candidates comes with risks. Even though 76 percent of Millennials will check their email while in bed, emails are seen as a less urgent form of communication. It’s also easy for emails to get lost in flooded inboxes or redirected to a spam folder. This disconnect when updating a candidate can lead to miscommunication, missed deadlines or applicant drop off. It’s important to diversify communication methods to maintain an open and effective line of communication to improve candidate experience, and mobile devices make communication quick and easy. 

Do: Make your Websites & Applications Mobile-Friendly

Having a smooth, quick application process encourages candidates to actually complete the entire application. We’ve become more impatient since everyone and everything is so quickly connected. It’s important to be able to easily access an application and know approximately how long it’s going to take to complete. Having an indicator at the top of the screen the shows us where we are in the application process is a simple and effective way to minimize applicant frustration or confusion.

Don’t: Be “Good Enough”

A clunky, ineffective application process is a huge applicant deterrent. Eighty-two percent of millennials expect every company to have a mobile-friendly career site and job application process. This is becoming a standard now; it’s an indication that your company cares about innovation and about keeping up with technological advances.

A strong, effective mobile engagement strategy is a key piece in recruiting students and university graduates. Companies need to communicate their employer brand and show value to candidates in order to draw in engaged and qualified talent. A high level of mobile engagement is especially important to college students since we have such a dependence on smartphones. By improving and enhancing mobile engagement, new talent will be drawn to your organization, allowing you to hire top talent faster.