Mobile Career Sites: Part 1 – A simple quest for facts…

Like everyone else in our industry, we are hard at work transforming our applicant tracking system into a mobile enabled tool. And like everyone else, we are doing it because all of the experts and consultants are claiming that the mobile device is the next big thing. I even read an email today that claimed that in 3 years, the mobile application will replace the desktop.

As much talk as there is about the mobile devices, there is very little factual information about the mobile usage as it relates to the job seeker and career sites. Being in the business, I am very interested in the factual answers to the following questions…
  1. What are the percentages of job seekers who are using a mobile app to apply for a job?
  2. How fast is the use of the mobile in the job application process growing?
  3. What are the most prevalent mobile devices used by job seekers (iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, etc)?
I spent about 30 minutes on the Internet trying to find some factual answers these questions, but I quickly came to the conclusion that this is the only thing that you cannot find on the Internet. So… I decided to get the information myself… but it is never that simple…

All it took was a conversation with Kevin Grossman at Ventana Research for my simple quest for answers to those 3 simple questions to morph into a full blown project. Kevin said "You know those are good questions, but I would also like to know where those job seekers came from, and what they did on the site once they got there!" Well Kevin, I couldn't agree with you more…

So I did my research, and I decided to publish it on our blog. I decided to make it a 3 part series. You get part 1 today since you suffered through my boring prologue. Part 1 uses my research to provide factual answers to my initial 3 questions. Part 2 will answer Kevin's questions… "Where are these job seekers coming from and what are they doing when they get to my site?" For Part 3, I am going to ask our product development people for some basic do's and don'ts related to the mobile career site

Enough of the back story… Part One:

For my research, I decided to compare the mobile device data from our clients' career sites from the first quarter of 2011 against the first quarter of 2010. I selected clients that met the following conditions:
  1. Had a similar number of job openings in Q1, 2010 as Q1, 2011.
  2. Had diverse types of positions (For example, I did not want to have a company that hired only truck drivers to skew the results).
  3. Had appropriate analytics installed on the career site during the period of my research so I could accurately identify mobile usage
Only 5 of our client sites met the above criteria. They consisted of:

Company #1 - Foodservice Distributor headquartered in California

Company #2 - Educational Organization in Oklahoma

Company #3 - Regional Foster Care Organization in Ohio

Company #4 - Global Food Products Manufacturer headquartered in Illinois

Company #5 - Hospitality Organization in NJ

When combined, these companies had almost 45,000 visitors to their career sites during the 1st quarter of 2011. This represented an increase of almost 50% over the 1st quarter of 2010 (almost 30,000 visitors). In every company, the number of positions they were recruiting for during this time period had increased and that, in turn, resulted in an increased number of visitors.

So these are the answers to the questions (as it relates to the companies in this research):
  1. What percentage of job seekers are using a mobile app to apply for a job?
In Q1, 2011, there were 2,342 visitors that used a mobile device to access the company's career site. This represented 5.25% of the visitors to the site. The highest percentage (8.86%) belonged to Company #1 and the lowest (2.27%) belonged to Company #4.
  1. How fast is the use of the mobile in the job application process growing?
In Q1, 2010, there were 444 visitors that used a mobile device to access the company's career site. In Q1, 2011, there were 2,342 visitors that used a mobile device to access the company's career site. This is year-to-year growth rate of 427% in actual numbers, but when you look at the relative growth rate in the percentage of total visitors, the rate is actually 253% (1.49% in 2010 – 5.25% in 2011). Company #3 had the fast relative growth rate (365%), and Company #5 had the slowest relative growth rate (67%). So in theory, if you project out the 253% growth rate for 3 years, you can say that the mobile will replace the desktop in 3 years (but I'm not ready to make that kind of a leap just yet).
  1. What are the most prevalent mobile devices used by job seekers (iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, etc)?
In Q1, 2011, the Android was the device of choice of 1171 users, followed by Apple devices with 973 users (iPhone accounted for 652). The Blackberry plus all other miscellaneous devices (which includes PalmOS and Window mobile) only accounted for .45% of the total visitors.
Device

Y-t-Y Growth

Q1 – 2011 Percent of Total Visitors

Q1 -2010

Q1 – 2011

Android

91

1171

2.63%

Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod)

281

973

2.18%

BlackBerry

41

137

.31%

All Others

31

61

.14%

The Android was the fastest growing device with a relative growth rate of 763%. Apple's relative growth rate was 132%.

In our organization, we do not begin to include browsers, devices and/or operating systems in our development and testing plans until the critical mass exceeds 1%. As you can see by the data, Apple and Android have met that criteria and are quickly becoming significant players for the job seeker.

Give me a call or shoot me an email if you have question about this information. I would be most interested in your insights. Stayed tuned for Part 2 and Part 3….

Views: 165

Tags: applicant, career, mobile, portal, recruiting, site, tracking

Comment by Michael Marlatt on May 2, 2011 at 12:36pm
This is very interesting and great data!  Thanks for sharing Julia.
Comment by Julia on May 2, 2011 at 1:14pm
Thank you Michael!
Comment by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on May 3, 2011 at 10:52am
I did a survey a few months back on the use of mobile recruiting that you may find useful as well: http://www.jobboarddoctor.com/research/
Comment by Simon Woolf on May 3, 2011 at 11:27am
Fascinating stuff, looking forward to parts 2 & 3!
Comment by Julia on May 4, 2011 at 9:38am
Jeff, thank you for sharing your research!

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