Chris Bogh |

The recruitment industry is full of buzz words. From talent communities, psychometric testing and social media, to mobile, gamification, job boards and talent pools - there is always something new.
When job boards were first launched, everyone predicted that they would replace the recruitment agency. Then, when social media took off, everyone said that would replace the job boards. Some industry insiders even claimed that LinkedIn would replace the humble recruitment software provider. Now, analysts tell us that mobile will replace the desktop PC.
This can all be confusing for the recruiter and should really be put into perspective because in reality these things rarely happen; it's just a way for businesses to jump on the latest bandwagon. What has actually happened is that recruiters now have many more channels and more technology to deal with. However, this is positive because they all provide a very good way to communicate with candidates and enable recruiters to be more proactive. The real issue lies in how to manage all these different communication channels. To be proactive you need the tools and the time. In the recruitment world, the 'tools' are the right technology and software that can work across all these communication platforms.

Mobile Experience

Out of all the developments in recent years, mobile is the most significant and the one that recruiters should be addressing sooner rather than later - it is the future. Mobile is different from all these channels because it dictates the way candidates connect with you. With the range of different devices being used by candidates to access and interact with career portals, it is important to choose a software provider that can not only manage all of this, but also provide a desktop-like experience.

Eploy Candidate Experience Score

Interestingly, at a recent conference that was attended by all the UK's major retailers, we shared the results of a survey that we had carried out on their corporate career sites. The results were very interesting because most of us would assume that high street retailers are at the forefront of mobile. We came up with a scoring criterion and ranked all their career portals. We called it the 'Eploy Candidate Experience Score', with the perfect score being 250. The results we shared were those we believe are the most important from a candidate's point of view, with the first result for mobile being quite surprising!

Here are the top five:
  • 82% of the companies represented at the conference did not have a mobile site. From the 18% that did, we then looked to see if their 'mobile' offering was a fully mobile responsive website (one that gives candidates the full desktop experience from their mobile device) and surprisingly only 3.6% passed the test - this was very low.
  • 57.1% of the websites had the name of the applicant tracking system's name in the URL. Why is this important? If candidates browse a company's career portal and a new window pops-up and the URL address changes when they click on vacancies, it can create confusion. The candidates don't know where they have gone; this can affect their confidence and trust in applying for a position. Companies must work with their software providers to fix this, and use a URL that fits with the company/brand name.
  • 60% of the sites did not utilise the same corporate branding on their candidate registration pages as their main retail website. Most companies invest a small fortune in their branding, so we wanted to see if those we surveyed used their brand consistently throughout the recruitment process. We found that 64% had the same branding on the jobs/vacancy page as their main retail site, which was good, but when a candidate moves from the career portal into a separate software system the branding becomes diluted because of the systems' limited customisation tools.
  • 60.7% of the sites had Social Network Sharing Tools. It was positive to see so many vacancy pages having the facility for candidates to share jobs via their social networks. 10% of the websites scored a 'good' candidate experience. This was judged on mobile capability, the general flow of information and the ease for searching and registering for jobs. In our opinion, as this element was more subjective, the vast majority only offered an 'average' or 'poor' candidate experience - there was something lacking or difficult for the candidate to do. Overall, this was very disappointing.
What this exercise did prove however is that even the biggest retailers in the country are not quite there with their recruitment software and mobile capabilities, and I'm sure this is a situation that is mirrored across all industries, large and small. Therefore, with mobile growing at such a rapid pace, recruiters need to make this a priority in 2014. To do this you need to choose the right 'tools' - applicant tracking software that is fully mobile responsive and that can work across all communication channels to enhance the candidate's experience and support the brand's profile.

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