Career Report
May, 2013 — Issue 159


Companies Miss Out on Mobile Device Job Hunters

The recovering labor market may be facing two new hurdles to faster hiring: smartphones and unsophisticated employers, according to an article in USA Today. That’s because as job searches on smartphones and tablets explode, many companies are missing out on top candidates because their websites or job applications aren’t optimized for mobile. Similarly, job seekers who have little patience for unwieldy sites are losing out on positions.

“Highly valued talent who (value) themselves or their time won’t tolerate an inefficient application process,” said Hope Gurion, chief development officer of CareerBuilder, a top employment website.

Nearly a third of Google job searches last fall were on mobile devices, up from 17% in November 2011, the article noted. CareerBuilder and Indeed, another leading job-search site, said their mobile searches have more than doubled in the past year.

The trend follows the broad shift of Internet usage to mobile devices but also reflects job seekers’ desire to look for work outside their current employers’ networks, during lunchtime or on the train ride home. Many receive email alerts about openings on their smartphone and apply immediately.

But only 29% of companies with more than 500 employees have a website that’s optimized for mobile devices, CareerBuilder said. That means that most sites display tiny text that job seekers can barely read.

More critically, according to the article, only about 2% of Fortune 500 companies tailor job applications for mobile users, CareerBuilder and job search engine Simply Hired said. Job candidates are typically directed to third-party sites where they must wade through applications as long as 15 pages. About 40% of job seekers on CareerBuilder who don’t use its mobile software drop off the site.

And although job seekers can send themselves e-mail reminders to apply when they’re at a computer, many don’t follow-up, Gurion added. CareerBuilder, Simply Hired and Indeed offer employers mobile apps that let job seekers easily send a résumé or answer a few questions, but adoption rates vary widely.

Sun Communities, which operates manufactured home communities and RV resorts, noticed about 15% of its mobile job seekers dropping out of a cumbersome application process, Marc Farrugia, human resources manager, told USA Today. Those candidates “who are a little more cutting-edge” are ones the company covets, he said. The company recently started offering CareerBuilder’s mobile app, sharply cutting down on drop-offs.

Trevor Harris, 31, of Chicago, said it took him nine months to find a job as a customer specialist for a document-filing firm. He did half his job searches online and often gave up on clunky applications. Sometimes, he forgot to follow up later or the positions were filled by the time he did. “I definitely would have gotten a job sooner if (applications were) more accessible,” he told the newspaper.

News from BLK

Bob Larson, CPC, President of Berman Larson Kane, will facilitate “Recruiter’s Night Out” for the MIS Networking Group at the Little Ferry Holiday Inn on Route 46 on the evening of Tuesday, May 28th. If you are interested in attending, contact John Sampson at .

Bob also just completed a series of coaching sessions for a group of business start-ups for New Jersey City University’s Shark Tank. “It was exciting to listen to the innovative business proposals from students…and I so enjoyed the progression of their business plans and presentations before the panel of judges”, said Bob when asked about the experience.