Brian StepanDecember 11, 2019
Topics: Candidate Experience

4 Ways to Create a Great Mobile Candidate Experience

In talent marketing, success is often measured by conversions, or the number of career site visitors you’re able to convert into job applicants. Personalizing the candidate experience is key to achieving this goal—and part of personalization is delivering information to people according to their preferences. As a result, creating a seamless, engaging mobile experience is more important than ever.

Mobile Job Seeking is Mainstream

Mobile devices have infiltrated our culture with 96% of Americans owning a cellphone of some kind. So it’s not really surprising job seekers are using their mobile devices to search and apply for jobs. But have you considered just how high those numbers are and which populations are engaging the most?

According to a recent Glassdoor study:

  • 58% of users look for jobs on their phones
  • 35% of users prefer to apply for jobs from their phones
  • 55% of users are mid-career workers (35-44 years old)
  • 52% of users are women

Despite the prevalence of mobile job seeking, many companies aren’t delivering the right kind of experience. Career sites that aren't responsive to mobile search and apply make candidates work harder to find what they’re looking for and take action. This leads to frustration, longer application completion times, and drop off mid-process.

Conversely, career sites that automatically “respond” to a user’s browser size and adjust content accordingly create the same kind of seamless journey they’ve become accustomed to while shopping online. Companies that cater to mobile job seekers with optimized content for smaller screens can increase their mobile conversions substantially. In fact, across our own database, we've seen that 58% of completed applications come from a mobile or tablet device compared to 42% that come from a desktop.

Since the purpose of mobile job search and apply is to make the process more convenient for users, it’s important to ensure you’re empowering candidates instead of discouraging them.

Putting Candidate Experience First

To create a top-notch mobile talent journey, first think about your visitors. What kind of information are they looking for on your career site, and how can you make that information easily accessible on their phones? How long do they expect to spend filling out an online application? Would they appreciate social apply functionality to minimize repetitive data entry? These types of questions can help get you in the mindframe of the user and increase the likelihood of satisfying their expectations.

Take note that mobile users are not necessarily on the go just because they use a mobile device. More frequently, people are using their mobile devices because they’re the only device they have—or at least the one that’s always with them.

Mobile-First Design Elements

Next, get granular and think about the specific action items required to make a great mobile experience a reality:

1. Scale content appropriately. Photos and graphics need to be scaled appropriately to fit smaller screens. Your content management system (CMS) should be doing this for you, but the end result is heavily influenced by the image's aspect ratio. In some cases, the aspect ratio will not translate into an ideal mobile viewing experience. This is when you need to provide a separate mobile-specific image. An inspired CMS should offer an option to upload images specifically for mobile devices.
In addition, ensure fonts and text are scaled for mobile devices by avoiding direct pixels. While a 40 px headline on desktop makes an impact, it will overwhelm a mobile screen and dissuade candidates from scrolling through the rest of your site.

2. Keep content concise. Pare down word count to make your mobile career site more digestible for small screens. Rather than featuring ten employee testimonials, highlight two or three and make them impactful. Other content including job descriptions, benefits, and work culture can be summarized so it doesn’t inundate mobile readers. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as Adobe Experience Manager’s auto-summarization feature are adept at handling such tasks. Using subheads, bullets, and lists with differentiating font treatments (bold, underline, italics) are also effective at breaking up copy to keep readers interested.

short employee testimonial example for mobile candidate experience

3. Feature short, relevant videos. Videos spotlighting company culture and department and job overviews can be instrumental in giving candidates a “day in the life” preview of what to expect on the job. But longer footage isn’t better at keeping users engaged. Aim to make both mobile and desktop videos 45 seconds or less. Consider filming on-site with actual employees to lend transparency and authenticity to your career site. Continuously refreshing videos will also foster the type of dynamic environment mobile job seekers are used to receiving online.

4. Use anchor links. Anchor links let content creators set a landing point anywhere on a page, even across pages, to quickly direct users to your key objectives while minimizing unnecessary scrolling. Leveraging these links can help users navigate through page content, acting as a table of contents.

anchor link example for mobile candidate experience

Part of a Larger Picture

While incorporating smart mobile design tips is essential to maximize potential talent pools, the process is part of a larger picture. To be effective, you must prioritize a well thought out, dedicated mobile-first experience—not just a smaller desktop version.

Finding and implementing the right development resources can be expensive and time consuming. But it doesn’t have to be if you have the right CMS, which should be intuitive, flexible, and comprehensive enough to handle both desktop and mobile experiences.

When choosing or upgrading your CMS to attract and engage mobile job seekers, key features to look for include the ability to:

  • Preview the mobile experience within the CMS
  • Drag and drop widgets (which allow you to display content and configure how you want it displayed) exclusively for the mobile experience
  • Remove, reorder, and replace widgets in the mobile experience
  • Create new content exclusively for display on mobile
  • Create personalized job description pages for mobile

Mobile-friendly self-service tools that give content creators real-time control over their brand and job opportunities offer the best way of delivering a first-rate experience regardless of screen size. And they’re worth it. With the majority of applications being filled out from cell phones and tablets, the right mobile experience will enable you to capture more leads and convert best-fit talent.

Interested in learning more about creating a mobile-friendly candidate experience? Get a demo of the Phenom CMS!

Brian Stepan

Brian is a product manager who enjoys helping customers create amazing experiences any time, anywhere. He's also a firm believer that daydreaming is good for your health.

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