Earlier this year Google announced its plans to change how it ranked smartphone search results, which means if your career site is not built to render a mobile optimised version of EACH page, then your website will start ranking lower and may even be removed from Google's mobile search results.
This is obviously having a major impact on the recruitment industry because many companies still do not have a mobile optimised career portal, and for the companies that do, many of their sites are not designed responsively enough to meet the new Google standards.
The latest statistics from Adobe, say that despite the massive growth in mobile traffic over the past two years almost half (45%) of business still don't have a mobile optimised site or app.
For recruiters, these figures become more real when you consider that 2.8 million job seekers access job listings from a mobile device every month (ComScore). Therefore, with the changes Google has announced, you could lose a significant chunk of your job applicant traffic if you don't have a fully mobile optimised career portal.
What is a fully mobile optimised career portal?
Google want websites to be built so that every page is mobile responsive and the most effective way to achieve this is by using a responsive design.
By building your career portal with a responsive design, your site will automatically adjust ALL its content and layout to suit the mobile device it is being viewed on. This also negates the need to build a separate m.dot mobile site, which is often limited in content as compared to the 'main' website, can be costly to produce and will not be "Google friendly" as it will be running on a separate URL.
With a responsive design, all PC and mobile devices access the same one URL, which means you only have to maintain one website and it is user friendly on every device.
Improving SEO for careers sites
The other benefit of using the same URL (as opposed to maintaining a desktop and m.dot mobile site) is that you maintain your SEO values on one site, as opposed to spreading out the search ranking authority across multiple sites, and halving the effectiveness.
Mobile users are desktop users too
This is another important factor. Research from Google shows that 90% of people start a task on one device, and pick it up on another (most commonly, start on a smartphone and complete it on a desktop).
As recruiters we want to create highly valuable content that candidates want to share with their social networks. This increases your reach and your authority on the internet.
However, the way Google logs searches from a mobile, a separate m.dot site (and one not fully optimised for all devices) makes for a less-than-optimal user experience, and decreases the likelihood of your content getting shared.
Improving the Candidate Experience
And let's not forget the candidate experience in all this Google talk - in this mobile world candidates also expect a lot more from companies. They want to be able to easily connect and interact with a website from their mobile, akin to a desktop experience.
For a long time we have been saying that recruitment software needs to keep pace with mobile advancements, but with Google, the chief of the internet changing the rules it is now vital. They WILL penalise you for not giving users a good mobile experience.