Mobile Recruiting Is Trendy, But Is It Right For Your Startup?

November 10, 2013

10:00 am

Right this minute, there are more mobile devices on Earth than people, yet many startups are totally ignoring the mobile space when it comes to recruiting.

People love mobile devices, whether it’s a tablet to play Angry Birds or a smartphone to obsessively check email. So it makes sense to think about mobile as the next frontier for finding great talent for your startup. While 91 percent of people have their smartphone within reach 24/7, a survey by PotentialPark discovered only 13 percent of companies have mobile-optimized career sites.

In the war for talent, startups and small businesses are often at a disadvantage. Your company might not have the money to hire a full-time recruiter or the dollars to throw behind an advertising campaign. Yet even among Fortune 500 companies, only 33 percent have even the most basic mobile-optimization for their recruiting efforts.

Your startup might not have deep pockets, but embracing the mobile revolution when others have not can actually give you a leg up on the competition. As a startup, you know the talent on the ground floor can easily spell the difference between the success and failure of your venture.

Why You Should Go Mobile

Your best candidates are probably already mobile junkies. We look at more screens per day than ever before between our tablets, televisions, computers, and smartphones.

Of our mobile interactions, the average user spends about 17 minutes on a smartphone and 30 minutes on a tablet. This is per interaction, and most of us interact with our mobile devices multiple times throughout the day. In fact, most people check their phones about 110 times per day.

We’ve become accustomed to turning to our small screens to help us do everything now — from online dating to gaming to ordering our dinner — so it’s not a huge leap for people to also want to job hunt and apply for positions right from their phone.

In fact, 70 percent of job seekers are already using their mobile devices to look for new opportunities. Even more worrisome for startups leaving mobile optimization for later is the fact that 61 percent of job seekers said they would immediately abandon a site not optimized for a mobile browsing experience.

Simply optimizing your career site and application can immediately give you a leg up on your more established competition. But for true startup hiring success, you need to use the mobile platform in order to find the best and brightest people who will help your company thrive.

How To Mobilize Hiring For Startup Success

When it comes to finding the right people for your startup, you need to be careful. Making a bad hire can set back an established company, but the wrong person in your startup company has the ability to sink your venture. Your company is only as strong as the foundations you build it upon, and so you need to ensure your startup team is a strong base.

Optimizing your recruiting for mobile candidates is about more than just making a mobile version of your website and calling it a day — especially for startups, where every hire is a vital component to success. Optimization and shorter, easier applications are essential for mobile recruiting. But recruiting for a startup is different than recruiting for a Fortune 500, even when using a mobile platform. Here are some important steps you should consider to find the best mobile talent for your startup:

1. Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit (And Mobile)

When it comes to the job description used in your posting, you might want to throw in everything and the kitchen sink. But your opus should be easy to read, whether a candidate is scrolling on a computer screen or a smartphone. Being vague in your job description doesn’t help your candidates, but listing every potential job function is sure to turn away more people than you attract.

On the Internet, commenters often use the descriptive phrase: “Too long, didn’t read.” You need the best candidates to get through your job description and make it to the application button. Better still, you need these job seekers to actually read the requirements so you’re not forced to weed through unqualified candidates. Think about how long your ad would look on a typical smartphone or tablet screen, and then write accordingly.

2. Encourage Social Referrals

As a startup company, you might not have a huge budget to advertise your open positions. By making social media promotion a simple and intuitive part of your mobile recruiting, you can have candidates and employees do your recruitment marketing for you.

Make it simple for candidates on your optimized career page to share great openings with their social networks. You never know, your perfect employee might be hidden in the network of a job seeker or current employee.

3. Don’t Lose Sight Of Company Culture Fit

Whether your startup is just getting off the ground or well-established, company culture fit is essential for putting together a good team. Without a good cultural fit, employees you hire today might start looking for greener pastures tomorrow. And in a small organization, it’s perilously easy for one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

One way you can evaluate company culture fit through mobile recruitment is by using video interviews. Candidates can record their answers to one-way video interview questions straight from their smartphone or mobile device. Then, your team can watch these answers on the device of your choice.

This allows you to get a more personal feel for candidates quicker, allowing you to focus your time on candidates who will fit into the company with ease. It also helps brand your company as an organization on the cutting edge of the mobile revolution.

Today mobile devices are everywhere, so it only follows that mobility might be just the competitive edge your startup needs in order to hire the best people.

What do you think? How do you use mobile recruiting to find great people for your startup? Share in the comments!

Guest author Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

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