Internet via the smartphone is fast becoming the next mass media channel. Social media is the dominating the mobile web, recent comScore stats show 80.4% of the mobile Internet audience is consuming Facebook. On average this is 7 hours 21 minutes of Facebook time per user on mobile every month, which is nearly 1 hour more a month than desktop Facebook usage.
Facebook mobile users have a choice of consuming the native downloadable app or using Facebook's mSite. 80% of mobile Facebook users consume the native mobile app. Twitter shows an even larger app consumption with 96% of mobile Twitter users preferring it to the HTML5 mSite. This data has confused many industry commentators, with many bloggers in the mobile space writing "Apps are winning the App vs HTML5 battle". This interpretation is wrong.
Unfortunately such mistaken onlookers, have driven many talent acquisition directors to ask me if they should develop a mobile recruiting application and forget about optimising their mobile websites. First up, lets be very clear, your mobile recruiting strategies should have nothing more important than offering your candidates an optimised mobile website. Here is why...
Facebook, Twitter etc are channels, we all "browse" media through these social channels. A native mobile social media application, downloaded from Google Play or Apple AppStore, offers us a better experience so we can more easily enjoy and interact with social media. Our Internet consumption behaviours have changed significantly over the last 7 years. The people and businesses we follow within social channels curate web content which we discover and consume. The Twitter and Facebook apps are our preferred window to consume the web, not only do these apps direct us to new content they fetch it and display it for us in one place.
Frequently we click links on Twitter from our mobile app and the webpage loads in our Twitter app - we do not take the URL and open a web browser and read the content. Social channels are the true 'Browsers' we do not have to search or have a pre-conceived idea of what we are looking for. Instead we browse the social channel and when we see something we like, we order up more content by tapping the hyperlink.
Empowered with the knowledge that Twitter and Facebook apps on our mobile are the new browser, and knowing the enormous volume of users and time spent consuming these channels what do you feel matters when it comes to mobile recruiting optimisation? As recruiters wishing to reach a market it is very simple - a mobile optimised career site / recruitment campaign coupled with social media activity puts your message infront the audience. The same mobile optimised app will attract candidates from Google mobile searches, putting you in front of those people actively seeking.
Check out the top mobile native apps - Instagram, Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, Ebay, etc. These are platform or pure entertainment. As a user I expect to return to these apps frequently either for fun or social interaction or new content. Looking for a new job at a single company is not a repeat process. The effort and reward of downloading an app to work at just one company does not add up. The native app will attract downloads from those doing additional research, those really interested in your firm - these people have probably already applied for a job. Unless your employer brand creates incredible hunger and has millions of people desperate to work for you - an app in AppStore or Android is unlikely to deliver high ROI when it comes to talent attraction.
The mSite is becoming a must have for candidate marketing, the mobile app is typically better positioned to assist the selection and on boarding process.
(First published on ere.net)