Out in the woods, 

Or in the city, It's all the same to me, When I'm drivin' free, the world's my home, 
When I'm mobile.

Pete Townshend's song lyrics to 1971's Going Mobile by The Who were meant to celebrate life on the open road. But they are a bit prescient in some ways as they hint at a world of connectedness now that is a constant for most of us around the world.

And to optimize your recruiting strategy these days, you need be where your candidates and applicants are, woods, or city, by going mobile.

U.S. mobile web use has doubled since 2009, and two-thirds of cell-phone owning Americans use their phones to surf the Web and check e-mail, according to the latest study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

And an increasing part of the population use their phones as their primary way of accessing the Internet; more than PCs and tablets.

"If you want to reach your candidates anytime, anywhere, and have them be able to get back to you at their convenience, there is only one way to do that.”

"If you want to reach your candidates anytime, anywhere, and have them be able to get back to you at their convenience, there is only one way to do that,” says Steven Rothberg, president and founder of CollegeRecruiter.com.

Rothberg knows if you are trying to reach specific audiences, you can’t afford to ignore mobile-only users, something that is seconded by these Pew study statistics:

  • Young adults: 50% of teen smartphone owners, aged 12-17, say they use the internet mostly on their cell phone.
  • Black and Hispanic adults: 51% of black Americans and 42% of Hispanic Americans who use a mobile device to access the internet say that’s the primary way they go online.
  • Low-income adults: People whose household income is less than $30,000 per year and people who don't have a college degree are also more likely to rely on their mobile devices for access — about 40% of people in these groups say they primarily use their cell phone to go online.

Karen McGrane is the author of Content Strategy for Mobile and Managing Partner at Bond Art + Science, a user experience consultancy she founded in 2006. According to this post by her in  Harvard Business Review, for a growing part of the population, if your content doesn’t exist on the mobile screen, it doesn’t exist at all. And now is the time to figure out how to meet their needs.

"You don’t get to decide which device your customer uses to access the internet. They get to choose."

"You don’t get to decide which device your customer uses to access the internet. They get to choose. It’s your responsibility to deliver essentially the same experience to them — deliver a good experience to them — whatever device they choose to use."

So how do you deliver a good, mobile-optimized experience? Rothberg says more companies, including certain forward-looking staffing companies, are using mobile marketing to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Extend invitations to visit
  • Promote and publicize new job opportunities
  • Increase opt-ins for database purposes
  • Generate website traffic
  • Create a talent pipeline
  • Engage potential candidates in the brand

Last fall I interviewed TempWorks customer Bill Peppler, managing partner of Florida-based Kavaliro Staffing Services. He has recruited for clients such as Microsoft, Amazon.com, Boeing and various Fortune 500 customers.

"Think of this space not in terms of mobile, but rather in terms of mobility; it's about giving job seekers the ability to find and apply for jobs from every device at their disposal."

He told me companies need to think of this space not in terms of mobile, but rather in terms of mobility. He says it's about giving job seekers the ability to find and apply for jobs from every device at their disposal. To make it easy for his company's candidates they can download the TempWorks-developed mobile app right from the app store or from their website and quickly search and apply for a job.

When it comes to modern technology, we have very high expectations, and even the slightest delay or inconvenience can cause candidates to opt out in a matter of seconds.

While many companies might cast dispersions on those candidates, saying something along the lines of "well if they are that impatient we don't want 'em anyway." Really? You don't want candidates who are tech-savvy and fast-thinking? No one can afford to turn off any type of candidate these days through a subpar application experience.

Of course you need the software to offer this freedom and flexibility and every possible avenue for job seekers to get in touch with your company.

The effectiveness of Peppler's system at Kavaliro comes from both the simplicity of the app and the network of candidates that are using it, making it both a recruitment tool and a sales tool. "We say to our clients, ‘your jobs are going to be shared with 2,500 people, right to their phone.'’”

Kavaliro has since implemented other modules from TempWorks including onboarding, background checks, online time sheets and time clocks, according to Susan Wurst, VP of Account Management at TempWorks.

Disruptive business models require more than innovation, and technology is only part of the equation.

As important as technology is to this strategy and process however, according to TempWorks CEO David Dourgarian, technology is only one part of the equation, and can only take you so far. The rest is up to people.

“Disruptive business models require more than innovation. They happen at the intersection of world class recruitment and retention processes, collaborative relationships with external partners, and technical execution. Candidates and enterprises alike are demanding flexibility and connectivity and we all need to be constantly working to figure out how to better provide it.”

Tags: TempWorks, Technology, Harvard Business Review, Mobile, Internet access, CollegeRecruiter, The Who, Pete Townshend, Mobile recruiting strategies, Mobile recruiting, Mobile use, Cell phone use, Steven Rothberg, Smartphone use, Karen McGrane, Content Strategy for Mobile, Bond Art + Science, Bill Peppler, Kavaliro Staffing Services