What was once a mere wave in the job search ocean, the mobile job hunt has continued to develop into a sizable swell that is headed straight for the coasts of both job seekers and employers. It’s time for recruiters to prepare for a flood of new mobile job seekers.
A Paradigm Shift in the Job Hunt
Job seekers are no longer tied to their desktop when it comes to looking for a new job. An increasing number of people are taking their job search on the go. According to Pew Research Center, 41% of smartphone owners have used their mobile device for some aspect of the career hunt. However when considering age distribution, they found that younger job seekers are more likely to use their phone during the job search than their older counterparts.
53% of people between the ages of 18-29 have used their smartphone to help them find a job, compared to 37% in the 30-49 age group and 13% of those ages 50-64.
These figures are expected to rise when we consider that a Glassdoor poll found that 9 out of 10 people anticipate that they will use their mobile phone to find job next year.
So, how exactly do people use their smart phones on the job hunt?
Of the 41% of smartphone owners who use their device to aid their careers, the vast majority have used their smartphone to browse jobs and contact employers. However, only half have actually applied for a job on their phone and less than a quarter have managed to use their mobile to make a resume.
As you can see in the chart to the right, the number of mobile job seekers greatly differs depending on the industry. Those in holding companies and the IT industry appear to be ahead of the curve, while job hunters in the government and agriculture industry are lagging behind.
These two charts help to point out that while mobile job search apps continue to progress, they are still in need of some fine-tuning. Moreover, the majority of industries are also falling behind the curve and have yet to make their recruiting mobile-friendly.
Meeting the Demand of the New Generation of Job Seekers
The upcoming generation of job seekers are more prone to use their mobile devices on the job hunt than any generation before them. In fact, based on the Jobvite 2015 Job Seeker Nation report, 47% of job seekers use their mobile device to search for jobs from their bed.
If employers want to continue to hire the best talent, it’s now up to them to address the needs of this new generation and make their job search more friendly for mobile users. Although employers are catching on to the mobile trend, there is still much work to be done on this front.
According to Indeed, “78% of people in the US would apply to jobs on their mobile devices if the process were simplified — an unprecedented opportunity for employers to reach their talent audience at the moment when they’re receptive to a career move.” Thus far however, most companies have been slow to respond to this need. For example, only 10% of Fortune 500 businesses are currently offering a mobile-friendly application process.
There are also several technical issues that mobile job apps have to improve on. For instance, the Pew Research Center found that, “47% of smartphone job seekers have had problems accessing job-related content because it wasn’t displaying properly on their phone, and an identical 47% have had problems reading the text in a job posting because it was not designed for a mobile device.” Additionally, a large percentage of job seekers have issues with uploading files or bookmarking jobs on their phones.
If employers continue to ignore or move too slowly to address the trends of the new generations entering the workforce, they are certain to miss out on a large and ever-growing talent pool.
3 Mobiles Apps Can Aid Your Job Hunt
1. Switch App – Switch is often referred to as the Tinder of the job search. Similar to Tinder, Switch users can swipe right or left as they thumb through relevant job listings. Job seekers swipe left for positions they are not interested in and swipe right for jobs they wish to apply to. When they swipe right, the employer is sent their profile and resume with an option to swipe left or right on the job seeker. If both parties swipe right, they can begin communicating with each other directly and decide the best time for an interview.
2. Snagajob – Snagajob is a job search app geared towards part-time and hourly positions. Users can browse jobs by tailored categories such as shift jobs, bilingual jobs, seasonal positions, and summer positions. Snagajob is great alternative to the more popular job and networking sites like LinkedIn because it puts part-time job seekers in direct contact with employers looking to fill these types of positions. The app is especially great for job seekers in the retail, hospitality, and customer service industries.
3. Saavy – Previously named Poacht, Saavy is an app for the casual job seeker who is currently employed but is considering a change. Users can set their preferences on target salary, desired benefits, and even how serious they are about leaving their current job. After that, they are matched with relevant employers who can then request an interview. It’s also worth noting that the process is “covert” in that it keeps the job seekers personal information (name & contact info) until they accept an interview invitation from an employer.
4 Tips to Take your Job Search Mobile
1. Write Multiple Versions of your Resume
Timing is everything on the job search and applying on mobile can give you an advantage over other candidates. Yet, one of the disadvantages of applying for a job on a mobile device is the inability to tailor your resume to the specific job posting.
As we discussed earlier, companies have yet to streamline the process of building a resume on mobile. So inn the meantime, job hunters should prepare several versions of their resume, like some targeted towards different positions in your industry or others that emphasize a specific skill set.
2. Subscribe to Alerts or Notifications
A great feature about most job boards is that they offer customized job alerts based on user preferences. Subscribing to these alerts allows you to stay up to date on all of the positions you are interested in applying for. Getting instant alerts will also allow you to stay ahead of other job seekers and get your applications out before them.
3. Research the Employer on Social Media
An employer’s social media account is a window to their company culture. Job seekers can learn a lot from an employer’s social media accounts. For one, you can tell how engaged that’s company’s employees are with the employer’s accounts. A high level of engagement is a good sign and demonstrates that employees enjoy their jobs and are excited about working at the company. On the other hand a low level of engagement could be a warning sign that the company’s employees are not too enthused about working there.
You may also want to consider checking how an employer responds to customer feedback or inquiry. Negative customer feedback is obviously a bad sign, but sometimes even the best companies get an angry customer or two. Therefore, it’s better to observe how or if a company responds to this negative feedback in order to gauge how the employer handles criticism.
4. Keep your LinkedIn Profile updated
This tip should be a no-brainer, but a surprising amount of job applicants allow their LinkedIn profiles to collect dust. LinkedIn’s mobile app makes it much easier for users to maintain their profiles and stay informed about new job opportunities or trends in their industry. It now only takes a few seconds to check who’s been viewing your page, share new posts, and spruce up your profile with fresh content. Online networking is now more important than ever, so maintaining your professional brand on the web should become a habit for all job seekers.
The rise of the mobile job hunt is going to require both sides – employers and applicants – to adjust the ways they recruit and search for jobs. If both sides can manage this transition, the job search is likely to evolve into a much more efficient and pleasant process. On the other hand if the transition is sluggish or lackadaisical, employers and job candidates will have an increasingly difficult time to find and connect with one another.
Have you used a mobile device during your job search? Please share your experiences below. We’d love to hear from you!