The average recruitment agency consultant or in-house HR pro knows the value of optimising websites for mobile. 

Indeed, when “mobile devices take up 63% of organic search visits (and) 58.16% of global web traffic originated from mobile devices” it would be negligent of website developers to ignore the rising ride of mobile-first interactions. 

But how does this impact recruitment, HR communications, candidate attraction and employer brand building?

Efficiency rules.

50% of people say they won’t consider purchasing from a brand that has a poorly designed mobile site”. So it’s imperative company owners take mobile search and mobile purchasing very seriously.

Common marketing advice dictates that websites prioritise unfussy, uncomplex and straight-to-the-point webpages to maximise mobile dwell time.

But recruitment best practice stresses patience, trust-building and brand-focused attraction to draw in a potential candidate – so, in theory, the opposite of taking a mobile-first approach.

So can recruiters thread the needle of optimising content for mobile whilst retaining the nuance, brand weight and tactile relationship building of traditional recruitment practice?

The answer is yes, if you can guarantee your website and careers align strategically, but segment where maximum employer brand impact can be felt. 

In short, you need to make sure your careers page has its own mobile-first strategy, as the laws of mobile dominance work a little differently in the recruitment world.

Differentiate your website from your careers page.

According to app development pioneers Adjust, mobile-first strategies are good for business because of the following – they:

  • Increase your customer reach.
  • Build strong relationships with your users.
  • Create new revenue channels for your business.
  • Gain critical data insights.
  • Provide a superior customer experience.

But we want to refer to the point raised above – due to the screen size and general functionality of a mobile device, certain mobile-first web page elements are designed to cut down or compromise on detail to optimise the mobile experience. 

This is known as a form of “graceful degradation”, which can be defined as “the need to have a site function across a variety of device types and screen sizes…(or) a fancy term for removing certain functionality, design elements, and content as the screen size becomes smaller”.

In essence, mobile-first sites can and often do compromise on some form of detail to make the page easy to navigate on a small screen.

But should a careers page ever compromise, and is corner-cutting right when you’re trying to competitively present your brand as somewhere amazing to work?

Careers pages and mobile-first development.

Web page designers have multiple design variables to play with, including the option to significantly change web design, flow and UX for mobile, tablet or desktop on the same site. 

However, it’s wise to understand why these elements hold up on certain devices, and why recruitment website theory dictates finding a suitable middle ground between all three.

When it comes to career sites and career pages, creating a more mobile-friendly experience should be more than simplifying page navigation or speedy downloads. 

Whilst it’s important your website loads quickly and is easy to navigate, we urge recruiters to remember that details matter and skipping a brand or employment touch point in the search for efficiency will only put off potential candidates.

We think effective, mobile-inclusive career page development is about building a culture of seamless connection between candidate and employer on a mobile device, utilising mobile-first features where speed and efficiency are of the essence, but refusing to compromise on brand presence or employment storytelling for the sake of screen space (to a degree!).

To this end, we believe there are 3 key career page factors which have to be allowed to breathe on any screen, no matter its size – employer brand, the candidate experience, and speed of hiring. Mobile-first design can help each element, but only if it’s targeted to the right parts of the site.

Employer branding and extended reach.

  • Career pages cannot and should not tell a cut-price story of what it’s like to work at your company – pushing a career page too far into mobile territory runs the risk of doing this.
  • However, mobile-oriented designs can help extend brand reach purely by rote of it being the most popular way to search the internet. 
  • Career pages still need to communicate your brand purpose, your mission, your history, and your job vacancies with as much detail as a fully-fledged desktop careers site, so bear this in mind.
  • By all means capture your candidate on jobs boards, social media or even the front page of your website with mobile-first assets and design, but when it comes to the real meat of your company you owe it to your candidates to be as instructive, and as detailed, as possible.

Candidate Experience.

  • Above all else, your career page or site has to prioritise the candidate experience. But, as we indicate above, good CX is built on brand trust and communication of tangible career-related concepts like work culture, job details, and employer branding, not compromised web pages.
  • However, candidates do expect efficient, simple and transparent application and recruitment processes, so recruiters need to be aware of where mobile-first strategies can help the recruitment process along.
  • This is especially relevant when it comes to application processes – mobile users will clearly not complete a convoluted multi-page application form on their mobile…but they will send a simple message directly to a recruiter’s LinkedIn page, or contact email address! Make it easy and make it relevant.

Targeted speedy recruitment where it matters.

  • What all this comes down to is utilising the speed and efficiency of mobile interactions for recruiting good, without compromising on job detail or brand power. 
  • Recruiters need to be aware that with the majority of potential candidates doing their research and job search on a mobile device, being able to engage and convert that engagement as quickly as possible is a high priority. 
  • And when one of the primary complaints of modern job seekers is that applications and recruitment take too long, taking a mobile-first approach to some elements of a career page will work to speed along that process, giving candidates the belief that this particular recruitment channel is one to trust.

At Rectec we help organisations to find the best recruitment and talent acquisition technologies to suit your needs. 

From Applicant Tracking System and Recruitment CRM comparison, to vendor snapshots, and technology showcases in our unique technology marketplace, we provide fee-free tools to help you build the perfect recruitment tech stack for your business!