In preparation to authoring the Mobile Recruiting Guide 2013 (due out late October), I was able to interview James Beriker, President & CEO at SimplyHired. Below is a word for word transcription of the interview...
Dave: James, great to chat with you, could you introduce yourself for the readers?
James: "We appreciate being able to share our thoughts on mobile. This is my first step into recruiting technology, I have spent the last 15 years in advertising technology. There is a lot of room to bring some of what we have learnt in general advertising technology into the recruitment space and help evolve to the space to what it can and should be, given the power of the technology that we have at our disposal. A huge part of that is leveraging mobile.
SimplyHired is for those of you that don't know an aggregator. We spider the web and take feeds and index the jobs by O*NET to create we believe the most current and fresh look at job listings across the world. We have approximately 13m jobs across the 24 countries, 75% of those jobs are in the United States. We have approximately 30m unique visitors a month with 75% activity in the United States.
The big 'ah ha' moment for me in my first 6 months, is we see a tremendous amount of behaviour on the jobseeker side and we have access to a significant amount data on the employer side. We are very rich with insights which we will be sharing with the market because it is so interesting."
Dave: Lets hear some 'spoilers' of those insights, what are you seeing on smartphones and tablets?
James: "About one third of total traffic - that is 10m uniques a month - are coming to us either from smartphone or tablet. That breaks out as 60% from smartphones and 40% from tablets. The smartphone traffic is split about evenly between Android and iOS - 52% Android, 46% iOS. The iPad dominates tablet share. I think there is some interesting nuggets beyond the general data. In specific industries we are seeing a lot of mobile use, for example in food preparation and service jobs 42% of click are not just users looking at jobs its actually users clicking on job that they interested in. In healthcare jobs it is 40%. This make sense as these are 'on the go' style of jobs where people are looking for the new role while they are in the existing one. We are seeing mobile use across the entire network about a third but in specific niches much higher.
I have a prediction, by 2015 half of all searches will be on mobile. That gives the industry less than 3 years to evolve and support the jobseeker.
For the demographic we serve which is really everybody, its crane operates in Omaha Nebraska, its nurses in Brooklyn New York, retail clerks in Sun Valley Idaho, its everybody - the job seekers are be really agile. It is not the same frothy kind of environment we had from the mid 80s all the way through to early 2000s. We have been through a lot in the last 3 or 4 years and we still have unemployment problems throughout the United States, what we are seeing in our data, which we will be trying to dig into more, we are seeing a lot of agility among jobseekers.
This does not directly relate to mobile, it is a trend that will lead to more mobile use - 53% of jobseekers we see across the whole demographic are searching on more than one O*NET. This demonstrates the emerging ability to consider more than one job classification as people are thinking about their next job or second job. Let me share a bit more data on this agility, which I find fascinating, we did a sampling with a 100,000 active job seekers 87% of viewed jobs in 6 or more categories - thats agility. 13% of the sample looks at jobs in 19 categories, which is amazing agility. It says that people are struggling.
We are also seeing dynamics in the use of devices, jobseekers going back and forth between PC and tablet and smartphone. In the same 100,000 sample those agile job seekers looking at multiple O*NETs 80% used a combination of computer smartphone and tablet. They are jumping back and forth between device which I think foretells the work we have to do in the industry to start thinking about how we join the experiences among these devices to bridge to each other that works for jobseekers? They will be on their tablet while having coffee and on their phone while commuting and then come to their desk and use a computer. We have as an industry try to make that a unified experience, thats a big challenge. We are probably 2 to 3 years from getting there but it is a big deal for us. As we see mobile traffic grow we recognise we must be much better at enabling users to use their mobile devices."
Dave: To support the transient behaviour across device surly needs to reside in the cloud? Do you have any thoughts on what this might look like?
James: "At SimplyHired we are putting a lot of muscle into what the right user experience is on a mobile device and what the right user experience is on a PC - they are very different form factors. If we are right and the industry is going to 50% activity on mobile devices by 2015 we as an industry have a lot of work to do. From a job seeker perspective it is generally a very poor experience today. To employers reading, based on our data, 10% of companies have a truly mobile enabled recruitment website and 3% have some sort of native app on iOS or Android. This support of mobile from employers has to change. If we are seeing this full throttle spring into mobile on the jobseeker side, we on the employer side need to enable that interaction. The industry is very far behind where we need to be."
Dave: Are you able to share what SimplyHired have in the pipeline?
James: "We have SimplyApply that enables jobseekers to apply with one click. We have a significant number of employers using SimplyApply which provide tracking and transparency for the employer and jobseeker. For employers that don't have SimplyApply we see email alerts being opened on email, then some determined jobseekers cut and pasting the links and emailing themselves. There is a sloth of employers that do not have a strategy to handle mobile and we are working on products to help take some of the friction out. We are thinking in terms of how do we make it easier for jobseekers to have unified device experience and how do we make it easier for them to apply. It is a big focus for us. It is really important that we fix this problem as it is a big opportunity that is currently being missed by employers. Our focus from a R&D perspective will be how to reduce friction on the jobseeker side ultimately helps everybody and enabling employers to capture applications even outside the Simply process in a more effective fiction-less way.
We are in a world with a lot of wonder technology that is yet to be embraced by the recruiting industry which we can create new efficiencies to source talent and create a new paradigm to how we interact with talent."
It was inspiring chatting with James, if you are interested in going mobile and recruiting through the mobile channel then keep an eye out for the white paper co-authored by myself and Matt Alder which will be available towards the end of October. We have interviewed hundreds of recruiting practitioners, thought leaders and technology experts to deliver the Mobile Recruiting Guide 2013.