By Neil Griffiths, Global Practice Leader — Talent Communications and Employer Brand, Futurestep

‘Bring Your Own Device’, or BYOD, has been a buzzword amongst recruiters for a while now, with many hailing the approach as the next step towards harmony in the workforce when it comes to digital and mobile. It is surprising, then, that the same recruiters are not putting more emphasis on mobile when it comes to their recruitment efforts. The step into mobile can seem daunting and costly, but the benefits speak for themselves and the time is ripe for recruiters to lead by example and put mobile first, if they want their business to follow.

1. Make your mobile site a priority

In an increasingly connected world, recruiters no longer have an excuse for not making mobile a priority in their recruitment efforts. Mobile has been tipped as a hot trend for years, but only now is it really coming into its own. The problem is that most recruiters aren’t doing enough to keep on top of this trend — for example, only 20% have optimised mobile career portals. This exposes an engagement in the recruitment market, considering that 72% of people have actually viewed a company’s career site online.

Trying to navigate career portals on a mobile when the site is not optimised for the platform is often a frustrating experience. Users are too often faced with endless scrolling and drop-down menus that are difficult to steer, and eventually give up. This means that recruiters are actually putting up barriers to top talent, who will simply start looking at competitors’ sites that have been designed to be easy to use on the move and make that crucial job application.

2. Use mobile to innovate

In the UK, 87% of employees expect recruiters to be innovative when it comes to the methods they use to engage with potential candidates. Being on top of the mobile trend shows that recruiters are on the forefront of a modern recruitment world that really puts the candidate’s needs first. In order to attract and retain the best candidates recruiters need to make sure they are exploring new ways of communicating with job candidates and not just relying on the same old tried-and-tested methods.

This is particularly crucial when targeting the millennial market or Gen Y, who looks towards companies that are tech savvy and forward thinking. Younger candidates are digital natives with high expectations when it comes to technology. Effective recruitment lies in effective communication and recruiters need to make sure that they are tapping the correct channels if they want to attract top young talent into their business. Filtering candidates through challenges or gamification techniques can enhance a brand reputation via the mobile platform.

3. Integrate social media into your recruitment efforts

Mobile and social media go hand-in-hand — nurl=https://blog.twitter.com/en-gb/2014/80-of-uk-users-access-twitter-via-their-mobile]80% of Twitter users access the site through their mobile[/nurl] in the UK. The savviest recruiters will use this to their advantage, ensuring their social media is well-synchronised with its career site.

This is a great way to not only streamline the job hunt, but to also engage passive candidates who are not actively searching through different career portals. A Twitter follower may just be the next leader that you need for your business, so make sure that it’s easy for them to find out more about you when they are browsing their social media. An effective social media strategy can lead to recruiters finding top tier talent, due to the expansion of the talent pool and the brand’s exposure to a whole new audience.

Social media provides the perfect platform to allow recruiters to dive into this base and open conversations with the right people.

4. Time mobile recruitment right

One of the advantages of mobile recruitment is that recruiters can use data and trends to maximise their success on the platform. The most important of these is time. By acknowledging when job candidates are most likely to be using their mobile to look for a job, recruiters can make sure their vacancies are being seen far and wide across the talent pool. Crucial peak times for recruiting over the mobile are during the early morning commute and lunch/coffee breaks at work, according to a report by LinkedIn. To be successful, recruiters need to be visible — and a well-timed tweet is an effective way of achieving this.

5. Explore the options available in the mobile space

The past two years has seen a boom in the number of start-ups that are serving the mobile space — recruitment departments should be looking to exploit their knowledge if they want to offer a full mobile service to its candidates. 2014 will see the larger ERP players develop their own solutions, and many of these smaller companies look set to be bought up. This is a reflection of the potential of the mobile space and the power it can wield in the recruitment space alongside data, and HRDs should engage mobile specialists if they really want to be at the forefront of the mobile agenda.