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Smartphones: An Effective Means for Employee Recruitment

SoLoMo – Social, Local, and Mobile – is not a trend; it is happening right now on this moment. If a company does not have a clear SoLoMo strategy or a mobile-optimized website by now, the company has fallen behind in competition.

I am an optimistic person and thus believe many companies have already taken SoLoMo seriously. Otherwise, they have probably been defeated by their competitors who embrace SoLoMo. My real concern is that not every company has an integrated SoLoMo strategy. Often, companies pay close attention to SoLoMo’s effect on sales and marketing. A true integrated strategy, however, must include every facet of business operations into considerations.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported a story that highlighted the SoLoMo’s impact on employee recruitment. According to this report, mobile devices will outpass desktops/laptops and become Americans’ preferred method for accessing the internet by 2015. Among the Fortune 500 companies, 167 (33%) have already had career portals that are optimized to fit in a smartphone screen. A year ago, only 65 companies did so.

McDonald’s and Macy’s are the two examples cited in the report. McDonald’s launched its mobile career site back in 2008.  At that time, three million people visited the mobile site and 24,000 actually submitted an application on the mobile site. By 2012, McDonald’s received two million applications, with a record of 30 million visits of its mobile career site. Today, McDonald’s mobile career site brings over 10% of applications to the company.

Macy’s tested its mobile-optimized career page in 2011 with selected positions like software developers and marketers before the company rolled out a mobile page for hourly employees in 2012. Today, Macy’s receive 20-25% of applications from its mobile career page.



Recently, Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics conducted a national human resource (HR) survey with nearly 100 convenience store chains, representing 12,000 stores in the U.S. The results also support SoLoMo’s impact on HR operations, including:

  • The two most effective recruiting tools for hourly employees are in-store ads or outdoor signage and employee referral program. For salaried positions, internet job boards and company websites become the two most effective methods.
  • Social media are being used in recruitment by 28% of respondents, significantly higher than what was reported in 2012 (2%).
  • The usage of CraigsList for recruiting hourly employees increased from 21% in 2011 to 25% in 2012 (Craigslist also has a mobile app).
  • Only 5% stores are using social media sites for screening now, but another 5% plan to add checking social media sites as a screening method in 2013.
  • About 22% suggested they will adopt new training technologies, such as e-Learning, Webinars, learning management systems, smartphones, iPad, PC, among many others.

Another market-research report by Nielsen found that 63% of Americans use mobile devices to access social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn (Weber, 2013). Mobile devices indeed provide a great means for companies to reach potential candidates. To embrace SoLoMo, some employers also use QR codes and text-messaging in mobile recruiting.

One challenge of doing mobile recruiting, however, is that mobile-optimized career sites might not be as easy to navigate as the sites on laptops/desktops (Weber, 2013). Regardless, SoLoMo in HR is happening now.

Do you think SoLoMo will play an even more important role in HR? How about its impact on other areas of business operations? How can businesses respond to the SoLoMo movement? Referring to your personal experience, for what purposes do you use mobile devices? Do you believe your smartphone can help you find a job in the future? Why or why not?

Relevant Discussion: 
SoLoMo for Social Media Strategists

References:
Kleiman, Mel. (April, 2013). The 2013 convenience store human resources study. Convenience Store Decisions, 24(4), p. 26-30.
Weber, Lauren. (April 24, 2013). How your smartphone could get you a job: McDonald’s, Macy’s customize their career sites, but most companies aren’t moving fast enough. The Wall Street Journal, retrieve online on April 24, 2013 via http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323551004578441130657837720.html
The picture was downloaded from teczealots.com

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