Yesterday I spoke at the Marketing Forum for ABSco, the topic was apps vs mobile web. I was told that this was the most subscribed to Market Forum they had ever ran, the topic was popular. The debate and discussion illustrated the attendees where not their to simply learn about mobile, instead they wanted hard advice on specific topics to help them make vendor selections. Mobile recruiting has not got the attention of the recruiting industry, it is the new kid on the block now after we have been talking about social none stop for the last 4 years. While remembering the attendees were 95% recruitment agencies, one of the most common discussions surrounding using mobile apps was for contractor timesheet data collection. This daily / weekly touch point would provide the ideal opportunity to market a message or display the latest vacancies. The approach of mixing it up with marketing messages within an operations process has been tried before, frequently it fails. In this specific example I expect the mix to be very successful, as long as the marketing does not get in the way and becomes annoying spam. Unfortunately, the competitive nature of recruitment often drives agencies to spam the candidate in desperation to be the first to "get a bite", instead of building a relationship.
Native apps give the recruiter the ability to send push notifications to candidates, as long as the app remains installed. mSites can achieve exactly the same goal, but instead of the obstacle of downloading the app the user has to register with Twitter or Facebook. The latter is a clearer action on behalf of the candidate to be contacted. A product being pitched at yesterdays event, was a native app where by every time a job is uploaded (via a multipost service eg Logic Melon, Idibu) it is sent via an alert to the candidate. I was less concerned that the solution delivers the ability to spam candidates, but more the apparent eagerness from many (not all) to send a none stop tidal wave of alerts to candidates throughout the day. The impact of such stupid behaviour is not limited to that particular recruitment agency.
Lets consider a candidate who downloads a recruiting app for the first time - but not any app this is a spammy recruitment agency app.
- Candidate excited that the new app will help him get a job.
- Candidate downloads the app, and does a wide generic search to see whats available.
- Candidate attention span is lost and starts playing Angry Birds and going about his day.
- Recruitment agency starts pushing messages and uploading new roles.
- Candidate gets his first message, what a great app!
- 120 seconds later the candidate gets another alert, less novel, he hopes this app is not going to do pester too much.
- A few minutes later the candidate gets another alert, he now finds this helpful app a pain in the ass. The tolerance level is very LOW. He has a choice, he can fiddle with his new app, or he can delete it. Unless he has strong brand affiliation with the recruitment agency, then he will probably delete the app there and then.
- App deleted, relationship with the recruitment agency brand damaged.
- Worse still, the candidate makes a mental note not to bother with these recruitment apps, they dont work.
Spamming the candidate will destroy any brand relationship. It will also turn those candidates exposed to spam off mobile recruiting apps. So can the recruitment agencies control their behaviour? Or is it simple second nature to blast candidates out of the 'app pool'?