By: Karl Wierzbicki, Director of Marketing, InFlight

Let’s face the facts – most of us are glued to our mobile devices, especially during the Covid-19 crisis. We rely on our phones to keep up with the news, join video calls with family, interact with friends on social media, and provide endless hours of entertainment. But, the crisis has also created an influx of mobile friendly apps and options for our routine tasks. Whatever the task is, we bet you’ve done it on your phone. Whether it’s arranging a grocery pick up, tracking package deliveries, scheduling appointments, or supervising remote learning for your kids, there’s likely a mobile option for it.

In fact, we’re now using our phones more than our computers! 2016 was the first year that mobile internet usage surpassed desktop, tipping the scales at 51.2% for mobile to 48.7% for desktop. Furthermore, mobile internet has grown 504% in daily consumption since 2011.

Naturally, this mobile-first behavior extends to candidates and employees too. Employees today expect to encounter mobile-optimized systems in the workplace. These mobile-first experiences become a key part of providing the type of environment that attracts and engages your talent.

So, given mobile’s key role in your employee experience strategy, here’s a quick run-through of everything you need to know to improve your organization’s mobile approach:

 

Mobile is more important than ever for your candidates
and employees

Organizations that are not thinking about their mobile experiences are falling behind in today’s fast-evolving HR and digital landscape. Here are four critical reasons why mobile is more important than ever:

 

 1. Candidates and employees expect it

Employees are now starting to expect the same seamless, digital experience they get at home – while watching Netflix, online shopping, or ordering an Uber – from their employer. If an employer doesn’t meet these candidate expectations during the apply process, organizations will miss out on top talent.

Similarly, if organizations don’t provide this experience with their internal HR systems and apps, they will face engagement and retention issues in the long term. Employees will leave and head to organizations that provide a modern, digital work environment.

2. Google prioritizes mobile-optimized websites

One of the Google algorithm changes that occurred in 2015 tweaked the way Google displays mobile search results. Today, websites that are optimized for mobile rank much better than those that don’t. In other words, if your career site isn’t mobile-optimized, you may be invisible to candidates who are looking to join organizations like yours.

3. Everyone is accustomed to the speed and convenience of mobile

People everywhere use mobile devices to do everything from simple internet searches to purchasing services and products. The reason? It’s fast and easy. Consumers in every industry want to connect and get what they’re looking for quickly. This is the type of experience employers need to provide too if they don’t want to be perceived as outdated.

4. Mobile optimization builds credibility and sends important messages about your
employer brand

A mobile-optimized website builds credibility with your customers, clients, and your employees. Anyone who visits your website on a mobile device will have a positive experience, increasing the likelihood that they will recommend your organization to their friends or colleagues.

The bottom line – if you want your organization to be perceived as modern and forward-thinking, you need to provide candidates and employees with a workplace culture that supports this via a mobile-optimized experience.

 

However, there is a big difference between being mobile friendly and mobile optimized

So we’ve covered that designing your site and systems to work conveniently on mobile is really important for talent attraction and engagement. However, there are some specifics you now need to know about what “mobile optimized” really means, as it often gets confused with “mobile friendly.”

The term mobile friendly, refers to an app or site that has the basics checked off. While mobile-friendly websites function OK for users on mobile devices, these websites were originally designed for desktop use. The website automatically orients itself based on the screen size of the mobile device, but it’s not designed to maximize user experience, improve your rankings on Google, or convert mobile traffic.

Conversely, the term mobile optimized refers to an app or site that is designed and built with a mobile-first approach and will reformat itself for mobile users. Users navigate, read, and digest information differently on mobile-optimized websites than they would while viewing on a desktop. Providing your candidates with a mobile-optimized site gives candidates the opportunity to engage efficiently and effectively, while ensuring the user experience is frictionless.

 

Why mobile optimization is so important for your career site and apply flow

At InFlight we build client career sites and enhance the ATS apply flow with a responsive web design that is also optimized for mobile, so users experience the best of both worlds. With InFlight, candidates can interact with your website and enjoy a consistent experience regardless of whether they are on their desktop or mobile device. Our Enhanced Apply Flow product also ensures that this mobile-optimized experience doesn’t end when candidates hit “apply,” but instead continues throughout their entire pre-application candidate journey.

Wondering if your career site needs a boost on mobile?

You can check to see if your career site is mobile optimized by conducting a self-assessment. While browsing your site on mobile, ask yourself these questions:

 

1. Is your site designed for touch screens?

Navigating your site should not be hard work. Provide candidates with simplified navigation that is “thumb” friendly to avoid frustrations that will cause candidates to bounce from your site. Include large navigation buttons for critical
contact information.

2. Does your site have any unnecessary content?

Less is more when it comes to smartphones. The best design strategy is simple and removes any unnecessary clutter. Reduce your graphics so they don’t interrupt the quest for critical information, such as looking for open roles or information about your company culture.

3. Is your site easy to navigate and are your call to actions (search for jobs, apply, join our talent network) easy to find?

Candidates don’t have a lot of time or patience for poor experiences. They want to open your website and find what they are looking for immediately. Keep your main navigation menu consistent throughout the site, and list the most important pages first. Ensure your call to actions are clear and concise, and that they direct candidates to the appropriate
landing pages.

If you want to dive deeper, there are many other ways to test out how your career site performs on mobile. Here are some of the free mobile optimization tools we’d recommend checking out:

Once you’ve tested out your site and can see some of the areas for improvement, it’s time to consider your strategy for making your career site mobile optimized!

 

Get in touch with InFlight to learn more about how we can help you implement these improvements with a mobile-optimized website, apply flow experience, and HR self-service experience so that you can attract and retain the best talent.
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