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vroomLet’s not repeat the same mistakes with mobile that we did with social media

Being a participant of Bill Boorman’s radio show yesterday about mobile recruitment made me reflect a little more on mobile in context of the recruitment industry. My biggest worry is that we’ll be repeating the same mistakes that we did and do with social media:

• hyping it as the next best thing
• broadcasting instead of communicating
• seeing it as an add-on promoted by a host of so called mobile experts

Yes, mobile is an incredible and fascinating phenomenon. We’ll continue to see growth beyond belief. I mean, an increase in 12 months by 532% of visits from mobile devices to our website at Jobsite is just staggering. At the same time, it’s only 3.5% of the overall traffic and it’s heavily driven by a joined up and driven marketing campaign.

That’s my first point: mobile needs to be part of the entire mix, it needs to fit into the user journey, it needs to enrich the service to our customers, in our case it needs to follow our overall cause, taking the frustration out of job hunting and make it quicker, easier and more convenient. Have a read of Gary Robinson’s very observant and considered post, on how to integrate mobile into the overall marketing/brand framework.

Yes, as the IAB stats show, already one third of all mobile owners in the UK are using mobile internet browsing on their phone, but that still leaves two thirds that don’t. Only 4% of the entire mobile demographics in the UK are iPhone users. Let’s not forget the other 96%.

And that leads me to my second point: Let’s not just create app after app, but let’s create user centric communication and engagement channels – cover all touch points in the most relevant way for the participants of our network. How do candidates want to communicate with us? At what stage? I agree with Stephen O’Donnell, it will be most likely be after the application process – several recruiters already use SMS with a greater success than email.

In the radio show the conversation, as with all new apps, moved quickly on to technology, but technology is only an app in itself and an app for apps sake is not going to help anybody now, isn’t it?

Yes, the precision of the data that we’ll be able to collect (which reminds me to switch off my location service) will be incredibly powerful. Much more powerful (or scarier – depending on where you stand), then anything we’ve seen at TruSource.

Here’s my third point: Let’s collect data, let’s increase our knowledge, but let’s only use it for the benefit of our brand’s citizens. And remember: nobody owns the individual. The individual owns himself/herself. The citizens will decide who stays & who goes.

The next big debate will be about privacy and will result in an even bigger power shift towards the candidate. Any brand that is loose with their usage of knowledge and attitude to data will get punished by the individual. Trust will become the highest currency (use your real name on Twitter!), anonymous CVs/resumes will become the norm and multiple identities for fleeting transactions a possibility.

So, instead of so-called mobile experts following the social media experts (will it be the same experts that just jump onto the next emerging trend?), I’d like to see some ethics experts mixing it up with privacy experts, technology experts and business experts to draw up a manifesto on the ethical use of data that goes beyond sheer profit orientation and retaining the status quo.

Here is the audio for Bill Boorman’s Mobile Recruiting radio show, on which I was guest:

Creative Commons License photo credit: jonathanb1989

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