In a world of seven billion people, there are already a staggering six billion cellphones in operation. By 2016, the number of mobile devices is expected to surpass the world’s population – an 18-fold increase between 2011- 2016[i]. In this race to get ‘mobilized’, Pakistan is a strong contender with almost 120 million subscribers reported by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in 2012[ii]. Rising rapidly alongside increased mobile phone usage, is the number of broadband subscribers in the country, which rose to 2.18 million in the last year.[iii]
Everyday life is becoming more dependent on technology. Job seekers are now looking to browse company profiles on their mobile phones to minimize time-wastage and energy in the hunt for jobs in dwindling economies. The use of mobile phones for this purpose is actually allowing a greater portion of online job advertisements & applications to become available to job seekers as they are no longer constrained by corporate firewalls, breach of privacy concerns or even lack of access to a computer. 72% of job seekers want to be able to receive job advertisement updates on their smartphones, allowing them to be on the hunt anytime and anywhere.[iv]
Employers looking to hire the best candidates need to develop a solid strategy to increase their mobile presence. Users require a seamless flow of information between company websites & their mobile counterparts. With the widespread shift to smartphones, mobile apps are the prime source for increasing mobile presence swiftly and effectively. Already there are numerous apps pertaining to job search, resume writing, interviews etc, with iTunes hosting more than 70 separate apps of this nature. This need for apps is itself a great boon for job seekers, with over 500,000 software developing jobs created in the USA since 2007.[v]
Posting jobs through mobile-optimized websites and apps opens up new ways of increasing the efficiency of the hiring process. These include:
1. Increased convenience for applicants and cost-effectiveness for prospective employers.
2. Faster turnaround time for organizations
3. Offers new ways of communicating with applicants for new openings and application updates.
Using an efficient mobile-friendly online application system, organizations can speed up hiring process in a number of ways.
First, they can choose to enable a series of questions that must be answered before the application can be accessed. This would weed out any applicants not qualified for the position and allow a more streamlined application and interview process.
Second, it can help differentiate between active and passive applicants, once again allowing for more swift procedures.
The ever-increasing number of social media users in recent years is also a useful tool in the mobile recruiter’s arsenal. Websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter, to name a few, offer quick and easy methods of networking and seeking out likeminded applicants best suited to gel in with the employer’s organization. To this end, organizations now need to develop official websites that allow connectivity and sharing to such social networks. Furthermore, it is imperative for said organizations to have a strong presence themselves on these networks in order to attract job seekers. All new smartphones offer specialized apps for ease of social networking, thus assisting prospective employers and job seekers alike.
The biggest advantage for mobile recruiters in today’s world is the ability to directly target suitably tech-savvy people for potential employment. More and more companies are now turning to mobile recruiting as a significant complement to their hiring processes.
Companies in Pakistan are catching up with the increasing trend of mobile recruitment as well. Local online recruitment companies have developed mobile apps which enable job seeker to look for openings, track application status, receive job alerts by sms/email and research companies for career prospects. Job seekers too should make sure they are equipped with the necessary apps in their smartphones to keep themselves abreast of maximum opportunities in the market.
This trend, like other promising technologies before it, will flourish with the passage of time because not only will it help make hiring processes efficient but in parallel will also boost technology advancement in the field of recruitment.