Have you been following the latest buzz about mobile phones and other handheld devices? The use of smartphones and/or tablets is exploding. By 2015, 65% of the U.S. population is expected own a smartphone, with more than 1 billion units predicted to ship globally (up from about 300 million units in 2010). That is a staggering increase, and it is going to have huge implications in the worldwide recruitment industry. If you have not already embraced a mobile-centric environment in your business, you are behind the curve. It’s time to catch up NOW.
Here are 3 things every global recruiter needs to know about mobile technology:
1. Mobile devices are quickly replacing personal computers and other devices. Remember how hot netbooks were a couple of years ago? Sales of the units in western Europe plummeted by 40% in the third quarter of 2011. (I just purchased the Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble after deciding that a netbook didn’t offer anything that made sense for me.) Flip video cameras went from start-up to defunct in just FOUR YEARS (2007-2011). What else is in danger of becoming obsolete? Portable GPS units, MP3 players, and point-and-shoot digital cameras.
2. Data usage is growing faster than texts or calls. According to Oracle’s “Opportunity Calling: The Future of Mobile Communications – Take Two,” 69% of global mobile phone users report using a smartphone (identified in the study as Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia/Symbian, Windows 7 phone/Microsoft, or other smartphone). Consider some of these other highlights:
- 16% of today’s mobile customers already have a tablet; 41% plan to purchase one in the next 12 months
- 56% of survey respondents in the US currently use a smartphone. In the Middle East, 95% of respondents currently use a smartphone. In many emerging economies, smartphones are the dominant platform since landline infrastructure was either unreliable or nonexistent.
- According to Oracle, “In the last three years, users downloaded more than 300,000 mobile applications 10.9 billion times.”
- In 2011, 80% of mobile users have downloaded an app, up from 62% of users in 2010.
3. Mobile technology changes how candidates and clients interact with your website. Navigating a website on a mobile device can be a painful experience. Your website needs to automatically know what kind of device site visitors have when they arrive at your site and display accordingly. In other words, the way your website displays and behaves from a desktop computer is almost certainly NOT adequate for mobile users. Soon, candidates will expect to be able to upload a resume directly from their phone. They will seek out global recruiting websites that allow them to use a social media profile (LinkedIn, for example) AS their resume. Candidates and clients will NOT use their mobile devices to fill out complex forms or conduct searches on your website.
Global recruiters must adapt, quickly, to the mobile web. Have you ever tried to use your website on your smartphone? Or a tablet? Is it easy and intuitive? Does the functionality change to support streamlined use from a smaller device, with a touch screen keyboard? To compete in a global recruiting environment, make sure your website supports mobile devices.