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Mobile recruiting: Impact on talent acquisition

At last week's HRO Today Forum in Las Vegas, two of the sessions struck me and immediately connected in my mind to a few of the challenges we have in front of us.

The first was a CareerBuilder demo that highlighted the company's supply and demand product. Basically, the goal of the product is to help companies see where talent is (or is not) available, so they can know where to concentrate their efforts. The second presentation was a keynote by author and professor, Dr. Peter Cappelli, who spoke about his research and latest book on talent forecasting. He spoke about the outdated forecasting methods that many companies still use.

While both sessions were interesting on their own, the concept of mobile recruiting brought them together for me. The growth of mobile phone and tablet usage made me think about how, to be successful, companies will need to expand their talent acquisition strategy into mobile areas.

Specifically, three areas came to mind:

  1. Access to talent. During the CareerBuilder demo, the speaker noted that mobile traffic on their site is up four times what it was last year. He also noted they are on pace to have one million "applies," or responses to job postings, from a mobile device per month by the end of the year. That's a lot of people who are looking and responding from mobile devices -- and many who obviously don't want to wait until they are sitting at a computer to interact with you and your company.

  2. Engagement. When asked about mobile technologies like Gigwalk and how they would impact recruiting and talent acquisition, Dr. Cappelli said that this type of crowd sourcing might work for common skills. However, he noted that the further you go out into the marketplace, the further you get away from the core of nurturing and developing talent. What this means is that mobilizing your talent strategy includes reaching out to the marketplace, developing your talent network, and engaging your internal employees -- all on increasingly mobile platforms.

  3. Demand for skills. The CareerBuilder speaker also noted that the Android platform is the #1 mobile platform used to access their site but that the iPad is the most commonly used device. This highlights the extreme competition for IT professionals with a variety of mobile skills. This will also likely mean a corresponding rise in competition for corporate IT staff that can make internal and external websites and networks available for employees and prospective employees. Plus, it means more competition for support and maintenance for all the mobile hardware and software (both for business and consumers) that is being developed at a feverish pace.

These are just a few of the many impacts our increasingly mobile world will have on talent acquisition. It also highlights the fact that HR practitioners are going to have to handle multiple generations, multiple engagement styles, and multiple platforms in order to adequately manage talent acquisition in the future.

If you haven't listened to Joel's interview with Dr. Cappelli, I highly recommend it. Dr Cappelli's research points to an HR department that leverages many strategies and partners to function efficiently. It's clear that standing still is not an option any more. Our world becomes more mobile every day.

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