Mobile Apply Process Still Undermining Search for Top Candidates

The appeal of a quick, mobile, application process has been clear for quite some time, but until recently, the full extent was unknown. According to new research from the 2019 MRINetwork Recruitment Trends Study, 76 percent of candidates expect to be able to apply for jobs and receive feedback via mobile devices.

Only 30 percent of companies currently offer a mobile-friendly application process, reflecting a disconnect between candidates and potential employers.

Candidates are prioritizing employers with a mobile application process, making companies that don’t provide this option less desirable.

“While online applications are the standard for most industries, many organizations have not optimized the process to make it both mobile-friendly and easy to quickly submit a resume, cover letter and applicable work samples,” says Nancy Halverson, general manager of MRINetwork. “If companies are not integrating mobile recruiting solutions with their applicant tracking systems (ATS), they are bypassing the top talent they’re seeking.”

Candidates are very clear about the things they dislike about the application process. The MRINetwork Study found the majority (71 percent) of applicants are frustrated with online applications that don’t parse enough information from an uploaded resume, requiring additional manual entries. Forty percent of job seekers also object to applications that take too long to complete. “You only have a ten-to-fifteen-minute window before you risk losing the attention of the candidate,” warns Halverson.

Another key turnoff for candidates was submitting a resume for a job for which they are qualified, knowing it may never be seen by a real person (58 percent). This concern regarding the seemingly black hole of an ATS is valid, as the Study found 30 percent of companies have increased their dependence on external recruiters, indicating that some employers are using recruiters to help them interpret the information gained through enhanced recruitment tools, and also help them find the industry-specialized talent they seek.

Candidates today conduct their job searches when it’s convenient for them, which often means engaging in some level of mobile, job-search activity on the go. As a result, it’s critical that employers take note of these behaviors and capitalize on them by providing mobile solutions. This will not only demonstrate more consideration for job seekers’ experience during the application process, but will also help increase the number of qualified candidates by making it easier for them to apply to open roles.

Organizations that are unable to make technology investments, should consider offering quick-apply options on job boards and social networking sites like LinkedIn. Here, candidates can simply provide their profile link for consideration. Special attention should also be given to the experience on career sites, ensuring uploaded resumes can be parsed so that candidates don’t have to make manual entries.

About the 2019 MRINetwork Recruitment Trends Study: The 2019 MRINetwork Recruitment Trends Study is based on web-based surveys conducted by an independent research firm, in April 2019. The surveys include a total of 220 employers and nearly 200 candidates responding across the U.S. Parties interested in downloading the Study can do so at MRINetwork.com/Recruitment-Trends-Study .


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