Google I/O is the search giant’s highly anticipated annual event. Each year, the conference brings together developers for an immersive, three-day experience focused on exploring the next generation of technology. Google’s Rahul Roy-chowdhury, vice president of Product Development, highlighted his keynote speech by heralding the arrival of the mobile web. An average user visits more than 100 websites on a mobile device every month. That means expectations for speed and quality have risen higher than ever. It’s imperative that technology providers focus on delivering a world-class mobile experience. Because successful recruiting relies just as heavily on mobile connections to engage candidates, recruiters should strive to replicate the same user experience in their approach. Following the essence of Google’s advice is an excellent start.
As Roy-chowdhury blogged after opening the mobile web for business, “One of the virtues of the web is its immense reach, providing access to information for all internet users regardless of device or platform. With the explosion of mobile devices, the web has had to evolve to deliver great experiences on the small screen.”
We’re witnessing similar movements in recruiting. Candidate outreach, sourcing, engagement and interaction have become mobile experiences. People apply for jobs on their smartphones. Recruiters and prospects communicate through texts and social apps. The concept of conversational commerce is gaining steam around the world. We’re using video technologies to showcase employment cultures, conduct interviews and assist with onboarding. And soon, we’ll be tapping into the realm of virtual reality to enhance those efforts — a topic I’ll be discussing in the near future.
Within the next four years, 25 billion devices will be producing and delivering information on any subject imaginable. Immediacy and on-demand access are the themes driving the push toward the small screen. According to Pew Research, 40 percent of job seekers rely on mobile devices exclusively when scouting and applying for positions. That figure rises to 53 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds.
Anyone who wants to reach and engage prospects must champion a positive mobile experience. That includes recruiters who want to strengthen their performance. Let’s examine the best practices Google has shared with its developer community, and tailor them to recruitment.
Roy-chowdhury’s first argument is for speed. The beauty of the web springs from its creativity, expressiveness and availability of information. Those strengths, however, sometimes come at the cost of speed. Elaborate or content-packed pages tend to load slowly. “Studies have shown that 40% of users will leave a retail site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load,” Roy-chowdhury writes.
Internet users no longer have the patience to wait for sites that can’t deliver content quickly. The same attitude applies to today’s talent and recruiting professionals. For instance, if a resume fails to capture the interest of a hiring manager, the candidate will probably be discounted. And if an employment offer isn’t presented to an in-demand worker within 10 days, the employer loses a great candidate to his or her competition.
Just as Google has done to enhance the mobile web, recruiters must optimize their performance. That means identifying and connecting with candidates quickly, collaborating with prospects on resume editing and presentation, and staying in contact with hiring managers to persuade them to make timely decisions.
Embracing conversational commerce can help recruiters speed up the process. Conversational commerce is a digital concierge service that combines artificial intelligence with human interaction. It’s the perfect bridge between e-commerce and direct interaction through social media. By using a simple and familiar messaging platform, conversational commerce overcomes the limitations of responsive web forms on varying screen sizes.
Right now, conversational commerce apps like WeChat and Line are reaching hundreds of millions of users in Asia. Traditional platforms like Facebook and Shapchat are moving in similar directions. It’s just a brief matter of time before digital communications shift in this direction.
Google discussed the importance of engaging mobile audiences with Progressive Web Apps. Through these services, Roy-chowdhury explains, “all the important parts of a web app can be cached so that it loads instantly the next time a user opens it. This caching also allows developers to continue to provide a fast and meaningful experience even when the user is offline or on an unreliable network.”
This philosophy is just as relevant to recruiting. Successful recruiters distinguish themselves from their competition. They offer exemplary service, ongoing support and frequent communications. They also concentrate on talent development, such as personal brand coaching, interview preparation, matching candidates to the right business cultures and keeping them informed. Consider some key findings by LinkedIn.
Nearly 95 percent of all candidates want feedback after an interview — positive or constructive. And yet, only 41 percent say they receive it. Not only does this absence of communication depict an aura of apathy or rejection, it also severs a connection. Engaging the best candidates extends beyond piquing their interest — it’s about how recruiters handle the entire process and make it memorable. Here are some recommendations.
• Always be professional, engaging, responsive and attentive to the needs of your clients and candidates.
• Create compelling job descriptions that remain simple yet include all the details necessary to ensure an optimal match.
• Return calls, emails or social media communications promptly.
• Keep clients and candidates informed of progress at all times, through every stage of the hiring process.
• Ensure that the candidates submitted match the job profile, not just its keywords.
• Communicate clearly and ensure that your interactions — whether digital or vocal — embody the image you want to promote.
“Modern users live on phones, tablets and laptops; your apps and websites should do the same,” Google advises its developers. To recruit today’s top talent, you need to reach them where they live — on their mobile devices. That means even your website and blog must be instantly accessible and visible to users on smartphones or tablets.
Only 10 percent of Fortune 500 businesses currently support a truly mobile-friendly application process. Even executives at Monster admitted that 60 to 70 percent of candidates applying to positions will never complete the process. The situation becomes even more dire when you consider Google’s April 2015 announcement that it will downgrade sites that flunk the mobile responsive test. Experts estimate that over 80 percent of company sites could be adversely impacted by these new algorithms and penalties.
Recruiters who want to reach and engage prospects must champion a positive mobile experience. While job board giants like CareerBuilder and Monster push to develop responsive portals with simplified application processes, consider new tools like Switch, Jobr, Blonk, Weave and even eHarmony’s hiring platform.
Social recruiting remains one of the most powerful ways to reach and convert candidates, yet Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are no longer the hottest tickets. Successful recruiters are turning to less traditional channels such as Snapchat, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, Viber, Periscope, Meerkat, Blab, WhatsApp, Line and others.
When Google made its mainstream debut in 1998, it looked very different from the top browsers of the time. It offered a brightly colored logo, a single field to enter search criteria and a lot of white space. Less than a year later, Google’s simplicity, accuracy and friendly user experience made the search engine a household name. During that same time, Google began surpassing the established Internet leaders — portals such as Hotbot, Excite and Yahoo! Today, Google is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Its core principles remain intact — simplicity, speed, accuracy and a delightful user experience. Recruiters who emulate these ideals will also outpace their competition and become brands that candidates trust to deliver.
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