We’ve been progressing toward a new reality since the introduction of the smartphone, and now we’ve arrived: We officially live in a “mobile-first” world. Mobile dominates Google searches, accounting for over 60 percent of searches conducted, and mobile’s share of our total screen time is only growing.  In many households, mobile devices are the only devices people use to access the Internet from their home.

We check our email using our smartphones. We surf the Web, Like posts on social media and even shop using mobile apps (thanks to options like “One-Click Buy” on Amazon). Heck, we even apply to jobs and conduct video interviews directly from our smartphones! Basically, it’s no secret that the way to reach many consumers is through mobile devices… and our collective preferences for the small screen must be accounted for when we’re connecting with job seekers, too.

Mobile technology is rapidly evolving and taking over many desktop-based functions, and we’re seeing this reality affect the way we do business in the staffing industry. That’s why it’s never been more important to be “mobile-first” in our approach.

“Mobile First” vs. “Mobile Friendly”

Not too long ago, “responsive design” was being touted as the ideal design principle to embrace when building and updating websites. Instead of building a separate mobile website, companies were encouraged to design their website to have a flexible layout that would display well on any screen size—creating a “mobile friendly” experience. This allowed companies to manipulate their content for multiple devices without losing the ability to convey their message in a meaningful way.

Responsive design is not a bad principle, but now a strong mobile presence is no longer a “nice to have” for staffing firms—it’s a must have if you’re going to attract the best and brightest candidates. The best practice has shifted from “mobile friendly” digital experiences to “mobile first”.

Impact: Improve the Hiring Cycle

So, what does embracing a mobile-first mindset do for your company? There are many marketing benefits of this approach, from conveying a “modern” brand image to making it easier for a candidate to communicate with your firm. The benefits of thinking “mobile first” extend beyond the technical: It’s also about accepting that mobile is the first and sole device a new generation of career seekers want to use, and that sort of thinking matters when engaging an increasingly Millennial-based workforce.

Not sure whether you’re fully bought into the value of a “mobile first” approach to candidate engagement? Consider these three examples showcasing why fully embracing the “mobile-first” mindset can give you a leg-up for finding the best talent for your job openings and retaining that talent after the first day.

Advantage 1 – Attracting Better Talent

Mobile recruiting allows staffing companies to connect with job seekers on their chosen device  at any given time. Reaching prospects through mobile devices also allows for an enhanced candidate experience, enabling employers to engage job seekers by using new tactics. According to ThiswayGlobal, 45% of job seekers search for jobs daily on their mobile device and 89% of job seekers think mobile devices play a critical role in the job hunting process.

The reality? Staffing firms and their recruiters who embrace mobile have an easier time attracting better talent. Their careers website is optimized for the mobile experience, applying for jobs is easier and the application process can be conducted via texts and video chat virtually anywhere.

Advantage 2 – Faster Onboarding

Once a candidate is hired, the process of getting them to work begins. In many cases, gathering and sending forms, as well as scheduling background screenings, takes a toll on recruiters as they look to fill other positions and drive revenue. This is where those using a “mobile-first” strategy can flourish.

Transferring the paperwork and screening process to a digital and mobile experience not only cuts the onboarding time by up to 90%, but presents a better experience for candidates to easily complete and sign all the necessary paperwork. Plus, the recruiters will decrease their potential for error and the time that they are personally involved in the process by not having to ask the candidate to come by the office or wait for a package of documents to be mailed back to them.

Advantage 3 – Staying Engaged

Once a candidate is on the job or has completed their assignment, and they are deemed to possess special talent, why not keep them at your fingertips? Instead of making a note on your CRM or writing a special note in their file, why not set up an automated text to be sent out when they match another opening? Or, using mobile for continuous feedback, such as brief surveys after the first week or month, take advantage of quick touch points that show your best talent that you’re committed to their success.

Once you have people in your “most placeable candidate (MPC)” bucket, using text and mobile features within an engagement platform not only increases your chances of retaining them, but keeps you at the top of their list as a trusted source of ongoing work.

So how does your firm get there?

  • We’ve already touched on one preliminary aspect of the process: Buying in to the “mobile-first” mindset to begin with. Without buy-in among your company’s leadership and recruiters first and foremost, this transformation can’t happen… or at least can’t happen successfully.
  • Once you’ve achieved that, start a list of communication platforms and processes that could use a mobile boost. Things like your website or your front- and back-office software platforms are great places to start.
  • Finally, once you have the roadmap in place, it’s time to start incorporating ways you can test out mobile touch points within your communication process.

In this new landscape of the “gig economy” and Millennial workforce, those staffing firms that establish the strongest relationships with not just their clients, but the right talent to complete clients’ jobs, will win. Mobile is clearly the way to raise the user experience bar, resulting in better talent, better results and better profitability.

So, why not give it a shot? Interested in seeing our platform built with mobile in mind? Reserve time for a personal demo here.