Chris Bogh |

One of the main focuses this year for many companies will be around mobile recruitment. There is, however, a tendency to leap on every new innovation as quickly as possible without fully considering the practicalities and thinking about how things might develop and evolve... Mobile Apps is one such example. When a software provider talks about Apps, they look at it from two points of view: those Apps you could offer your candidates and those that can help run your day-to-day recruitment in conjunction with your Recruitment System. Of course, recruiting via mobile devices is very important - that is a given and not up for debate - however, we should look more carefully at the best way of delivering recruitment services via this medium.

Apps for your Candidates

Many companies are commissioning the development of Apps for iPhones, Android smartphones and tablets. Often the main driver behind their decision is the worry of being left behind by their competitors. Recruiting companies with Apps usually use them to promote jobs and allow candidate registrations, while some have taken it a stage further and developed games and alternative content to promote their brand, with varying success. But before you jump in with both feet, you should give some consideration as to what the App will do and think carefully about why you want to commission one. Plus it's also worth considering that the average candidate probably won't install a job app for every company they register with. If anything, candidates are more likely to install Apps provided by job boards and CV libraries. With the multitude of devices now available it can also be very costly to develop for all platforms.

Why not look at your website first?

What is important is that you have a mobile friendly website as most candidates will search for jobs on their smartphone or tablet via Google or job boards. By doing this you instantly cater for every web-enabled mobile device. The chances are that your candidates will already have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn App on their smartphone or tablet, so why not utilise these channels and push your live jobs out to one or all of them. This is a very cost effective way of promoting your jobs online. So what types of App are good for the recruitment world? Certain types of App do have a place in recruitment. Simple Apps that serve a limited purpose, such as pushing jobs to people's mobiles or allowing candidates to register an interest can work effectively if you have a captive audience, i.e. existing temps or contractors. Very specific applications, such as those that offer timesheet entry etc., could also be beneficial in the aftermath of the AWR, for example. Also, Apps that do things that the browser can't, such as using the mobile device's built in features i.e. contacts, camera and GPS, can offer benefits. Apps for your Recruitment Software Apps do have their place, but there is no point in reinventing the wheel. If you look at a system such as Eploy that has been developed as a web based system since the late 90's, it would make no sense to redevelop all that functionality into an App. There is also simply no point as it negates many of the benefits of having a browser or "cloud" based system in the first place. Because Eploy is a browser independent system; we have always offered a true mobile solution. All smartphones and tablets can already access all of Eploy's functionality, which removes the need to develop specific Apps that will only ever offer a cut-down version of the real thing. Don't get me wrong, I love Apps and use them every day, but they do have to serve a purpose. Compared to developing multiple Apps, which can cost tens of thousands of pounds to create and may only offer limited gains, my advice is to concentrate first and foremost on getting your career portal mobile friendly. This is a much more cost effective and beneficial route. In recruitment, your website still has to come first.

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