Sometimes the need for change is glaring. Outcomes are increasingly negative. Trend lines are plummeting. You know it when you see it; it’s time to change things up. Unfortunately, when the need for change is obvious, it might also be too late to implement effectively.
If your organization is considering a mobile and social media recruiting strategy, the good news is that it’s not too late to effectively implement one. In fact, most small- to medium-sized businesses are in the same boat. According to a 2014 study by CareerBuilder, only 39% of all employers use social media for recruiting and hiring. And in LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends Report, only 30% of employers reported having job postings optimized for mobile, with 37% reporting their career sites were mobile-optimized.
Gaining A Competitive Advantage
Successful organizations must have leaders who proactively research new trends, best practices, and technology. By doing this, they can make the decision to change before the change is required. This positions an organization ahead of the curve, where they are more likely to gain a competitive advantage with successful implementation. While your competitors may not be ahead of you in mobile recruiting, you may fail to gain a competitive advantage if you delay too long in developing a strategy.
Changing before you are forced to change is also advantageous because it increases the chances that your change process will be successful. This is because before implementing any change–especially large scope change–an organization must take the time to consider whether it is, in fact, ready to change. A “Ready or not, here I come” attitude can have disastrous results.
The Consideration Stage
New initiatives take time and resources. Often, the time and resources are drained from existing operations. So one of the primary objectives of the consideration stage is to determine whether taking on a new initiative is feasible, in light of its potential impact on existing operations.
Of course, there will almost always be tradeoffs for small- to medium-sized businesses looking to implement a new initiative. Unless a large amount of capital is available, implementation will affect some degree of inefficiency on overall operations. But the goal is is to minimize this inefficiency and to generate outcomes that result in a net gain or benefit after implementation is complete. Ultimately, an organization must determine its priorities by weighing the value of a new initiative against the value of existing operations.
Once priorities are determined, the next step is to develop a case for change, and then get buy-in from all stakeholders who will be charged with implementing the new initiative. This step is vital for achieving successful outcomes that align with the leadership’s established priorities. Not surprisingly, this step is often missed when an organization is caught off guard and rushes into the change process.
Considerations For Implementing A Mobile Recruiting Strategy
In addition to the feasibility of implementing a mobile recruiting strategy, an organization must consider the need and value of developing a strategy. To do this, it helps to simply begin by looking at your current performance.
Here are a few questions to consider for your organization:
- Has it become increasingly difficult to source candidates?
- Has the quality of applicants decreased?
- Are applicants dropping out of the process earlier?
Answering “yes” to any of these questions may indicate that you are not reaching enough job seekers, or when you do reach the job seekers, they are turned off by your application process. In a 2015 survey by Pew Research Center, “Some 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.” This should be troubling news to employers when, according to the 2014 Talent Acquisition Survey by Jibe, “80 percent of job seekers expect to be able to do part of their job search easily on a smartphone.”
Even if your organization’s current recruiting performance is healthy, there may be reason to move toward developing a mobile recruiting strategy. Consider your competition.
While your current talent recruitment efforts may be producing acceptable outcomes, your competition can change this very quickly. Take a look at your competitors’ online presence:
- Do they have career sites optimized for mobile?
- Are they advertising jobs via social channels?
- How easy is it to apply for a position with a mobile device?
Regardless of your findings, you will find one of two things: a threat or an opportunity. And just like with other aspects of business, it is better to anticipate new conditions and proactively adapt to them than to be caught unaware and scramble to adjust. The former approach will strengthen your organization’s advantage; the latter will likely erase it.
After considering your current recruiting performance and reviewing your competition, you are likely close to making a decision on implementing a mobile recruiting strategy. But are your employees and job seekers ready for change?
As discussed above, changing too soon or without buy-in from stakeholders can lead to disastrous results. Likewise, imposing an aggressive timeline for implementation on unprepared employees guarantees difficulties. For organizations that have been testing the waters of mobile recruiting, there might be less of a danger in fully embracing a mobile recruiting strategy; however, those starting from a blank slate will likely experience growing pains. Consider this:
- How tech-savvy are my current employees (stakeholders)?
- How open are they to change/ adept at learning new skills?
- Do they fully understand and agree with the need for a mobile recruiting strategy?
Your answers to these questions will go a long way to determining the time and resources needed to successfully implement a mobile recruiting strategy. The best, well-conceived strategy will fail without adequate resources driven by a reasonable timeline. Again, this is why it is so crucial to begin the change process well in advance.
Finally, if your organization understands and agrees with the need for a mobile recruiting strategy, and implementation is feasible in light of its potential impact on existing operations, then the final consideration is to what degree are job seekers ready?
It may seem counter-intuitive to place job seekers as the final consideration; however, this helps to ensure that an organization makes objective considerations at each point. Your accuracy in determining job seeker readiness relies heavily upon third-party sources–of varying statistical accuracy. So it makes sense to begin considering that which you know with great accuracy, rather than having your consideration of the job seeker preference/readiness drive all others.
With that being said, job seeker readiness will help you refine your implementation timeline as well as your overall mobile recruiting strategy. Here are a few questions to consider about your job seekers:
- Is there a prevailing demographic for your new hires or workers in your industry?
- Is mobile device usage high for this prevailing demographic?
- Do you receive a high percentage of job inquiries via social media or email?
- Do you receive a high number of applicants from a specific job board?
Again, answering these questions will require you to rely on statistical data and make some assumptions to draw conclusions. But working through these may reveal insights that inform your ultimate decision to develop a mobile recruiting strategy.
Moving Beyond Consideration
The consideration stage may seem exhaustive–if not exhausting–but the work completed upfront will lay a solid foundation for strategy development and implementation planning. Additionally, once a thoughtfully considered strategy and implementation plan are in place, an organization is more likely to reach desired outcomes without unexpected delays or tradeoffs.