The majority of the initial interactions a potential candidate experiences with your company happen online. And most humans on the web these days expect a modern, “consumer quality” web experience. But just what is that, exactly? It's the latest buzz phrase for sure. The short answer is, it’s mobile-friendly. It's a lot of things, but today's consumer quality experience starts with mobile and ends with mobile. In fact, Google announced that more searches are happening on mobile devices than on desktop computers. If you’re thinking this doesn’t apply to the recruiting process you’re mistaken, because it does – in significant ways.
According to the Glassdoor “State of Mobile Job Search Survey”:
- Nearly 1 in 2 job seekers believe it is difficult to apply to jobs on a mobile device
- 1 in 4 are deterred from applying to a job if the company’s career site or job listings are not mobile-optimized
- 9 in 10 job seekers say they will use their mobile device during the job search process in the next 12 months
These are big numbers that businesses need to pay attention to. Job seekers are finding that the search and apply process isn’t very friendly on mobile devices and it’s deterring them from engaging with great companies like yours online during their job search. That's bad news for candidate starved recruiters, but it presents a huge opportunity for businesses to change the way they interact online with mobile users and harvest a tremendous increase in the number of potential candidates it engages.
So we said "consumer quality" starts and ends with Mobile. That's because mobile technology has co-created a common design language and UI now seen across the web. It’s largely a combination of two things: the impact of mobile on web design and the impact of content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. The imperative of catering to a mobile audience as well as deploying websites in an efficient and maintainable way has given the web a basic design architecture for "consumer quality" sites.
This architecture includes:
Above the fold, these images are big and impactful. They capture the imagination and sell your brand. They also include a prominent button to encourage people to take the primary action that you want them to take when they visit your website.
The myth that everything needs to be above the fold has exploded. Today, the common design language utilizes long scrolls, allowing people to investigate by scrolling down as opposed to jumping between pages. This makes mobile and desktop browsing much easier and faster.
Card layouts are useful on complex websites that include lots of different kinds of content such as media or shopping sites. Portals are created into each “chunk” of content through cards. Think Netflix.
A responsive design allows a company to deploy one website that will re-combine itself and display differently and effectively no matter what device it is being viewed on. A responsive design is Google’s preferred mobile configuration.
Filtered, personalized results
Whether you are cognizant of it or not, virtually every time you go on the web you’re getting content that’s tailored directly to you. For example, your Google search results might not be exactly the same as someone else’s even if the search term was the same. This is because results are based on location, search history, and social activity. Facebook’s algorithm shows you the posts that it thinks you want to see based on previous activity. This has created what has been termed a “filter bubble.” What we’ve done in the past online is driving what we’re seeing in the future. This is important from a career site standpoint because people are used to getting content that is tailored to them. The site should deliver content that’s most interesting to potential employees and candidates. From a recruitment marketing standpoint, you need to be thinking about who you’re marketing to in order to deliver content that’s relevant in order to penetrate that filter bubble.
Large type, less text
Like it or not, people are reading less and less of your web content each year, and your career site needs to rely more heavily on visuals, cards and video. You’re going to see higher bounce rates (people who quickly leave the site) if visitors can’t easily see all of your content on their mobile device so text and call to action buttons should be large and prominent.
The sign up form should be simple so it’s easy to fill out on any device. Recruiters need to think like marketers who live and die by filling their databases: What’s the minimum amount of information needed to get this person into my talent pool? Once the initial information has been gathered, recruiters can then begin to reach out to get more information and ultimately get them focused on the right jobs.
All of these elements have come together to create a common UI for websites that people are now used to. If your career site doesn’t conform to these standards on some level, then you’re asking your website visitors to have to "learn" your website and spend time trying to figure out how to get where they want to go, which can be frustrating. The more you can leverage a common, mobile-friendly design, the easier you’re making it for someone to get on your site, understand it, and interact with it. The benefits of harvesting more visitors to your website at the front end of the process can be staggering in terms of increased traffic, applications, and hires.