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Marriage of mobile and recruitment eases job search

What items do you always carry with you when leaving home? Odds are slim that you would travel anywhere without three specific items in tow. Naturally, keys and wallets are essential to our daily operations, and, now, mobile phones are as well. Synovate, a global market research firm surveyed more than 8,000 mobile phone owners across 11 markets and found more than three-quarters of respondents never leave home without a cell phone.

The International Telecommunication Union reports there are more than 5.3 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide. This translates to more than 77 percent of the global population. For this reason, mobile technology has become one of the swiftest growing communication channels launched in history, solidifying its place at the core of modern life. Mobile technology has revolutionized the way we live.

Mobile is expanding at a record pace, making it the most widely used technology in the world. May 2011 Gartner research shows 428 million mobile devices were sold in the first quarter of 2011, and, according to IDC Insights, smartphones outsold personal computers in the fourth quarter of 2010. Today, there isn’t a faster growing segment in the marketplace. The rate at which the global population has adopted mobile has researchers abuzz with interesting trends and predictions.

Earlier this year, Microsoft Tag released infographic data compiling these notions, and some projections estimate that by the year 2014 mobile Web usage is expected to surpass personal computer Web usage. As adoption of mobile technology increases globally and becomes a larger presence in daily life, we will continue to see an upward trend of accessing information on-the-go as compared to stationary locations.

Cell phones and smartphones in particular have become an extension of who we are, and the way in which we utilize them varies.

"Mobile phones give us safety, security and instant access to information. They are the number one tool of communication for us, sometimes even surpassing face-to-face communication" according to Jenny Chang, Synovate managing director of technology and telecommunications for Greater China.

However, one sentiment is clear: The days when a cell phone was used exclusively for making phone calls is long gone. The development of mobile technology affords access to all types of information instantly. Microsoft Tag reports that one half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. Some of the most popular destinations on mobile devices include search engines, news and weather, social media outlets and GPS navigation.

As mobile devices continue to influence the way we maneuver within our personal and professional lives, the employment landscape is bound to transform as well. What does this mean for job seekers? What does this mean for employers?

It means a paradigm shift in the way talent is acquired, the way we search for jobs and how companies will brand themselves. The addition of mobile to the recruitment landscape can only serve to enhance and expand options for job seekers and employers.

With more than three-quarters of the world population engaged with using this technology, now is the time for advertisers to take a closer look at how they will lead the way and integrate mobile solutions into a broader recruitment strategy. Employers with an eye for innovation will set trends in providing relevant solutions to local job seekers in difficult economic times, while simultaneously enhancing the value of print and online employment ads.

The integration of mobile with talent acquisition and job search methods is starting to take place. Companies like AppVault LLC, that are at the forefront of such technology have expanded their product offerings and partnered with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to present employers with more recruitment options and help job seekers remain relevant and highlight themselves in today’s fiercely competitive market. Solutions such as Text to Apply, Recruitment Newspaper Mobile Sites like http://m.LVRJjobs.com and Employer Mobile Sites each infuse fresh ideas into traditional recruitment methods.

To apply, job seekers do not have to store their resumes or profiles on their mobile devices but may easily send information to local hiring managers directly from their phones using email addresses and registered profiles. These new solutions integrate the intelligence of Response Manager (a proprietary skill profile database and resume tracking/prioritization tool) enabling jobs seekers the ability to apply to any open position from any Web-enabled mobile device.

As mobile technology increasingly becomes more pronounced in the way we live, the marriage of recruitment and mobile is inevitable. Mobile has changed the way we communicate personally and professionally; now, it is expanding the way in which job seekers find the right positions and employers find the right candidates.

Research has shown that SMS/Text is the most widely used data application in the world. March 2011 CTIA wireless metrics found almost 2.1 trillion text messages were sent in 2010, up 31 percent from 2009. According to Pew Research, 72 percent of U.S. adults use their cell phones for text messaging.

While Intext Mobile Marketing reports worldwide there are two times as many active SMS users as there are active email users, and on average text messages are read within four minutes compared to 48 hours with email. Building on trends such as these, text-to-apply technology allows job seekers with standard cell phones to send their resumes and skill profiles to hiring managers directly from their phones by sending simple text messages.

By texting a unique nine-digit ad code, Ex: LV7304291 and his/her email address to 702411, a job seeker can send his/her resume to an employer in an instant. Because owning a smartphone or Web-enabled device is not required to use this technology, local employers will be able to reach a broader range of candidates in addition to offering more comprehensive recruitment solutions.

Recruitment newspaper mobile sites, such as http://m.LVRJjobs.com, are a new application resource for job seekers with Web-enabled smartphones. Hyper-connected job seekers of today have the ability to not only search but also apply to local listings by sending their resume and skill profile to hiring managers directly from their mobile phones — a feature that was not previously available. Mobile phones with Internet capabilities are quickly capturing a larger percentage of market share year over year.

In 2010, eMarketer reported four out of five phones purchased were smartphones. Cisco has estimated that there will be 788 million mobile-only Internet users by 2015. The ability to visit mobile websites and apply to positions directly from mobile phones is an active step in continuing the forward momentum of mobile recruitment.

Expanding into the mobile marketplace by way of mobile job boards and social media is the next chapter in helping clients and job seekers stay ahead of the curve with recruitment technology. Recruitment newspaper mobile sites are easily integrated into a newspaper’s existing editorial mobile platform, and may be accessed in a variety of different ways.

For example, by clicking the "Jobs" tab of http://m.ReviewJournal.com, texting "LVRJjobs" to 702411, or visiting http://m.LVRJjobs.com via smartphones, thousands of job seekers will have access to local positions wherever they are, keeping their job search moving while on the go.

In addition to the text-to-apply process and recruitment newspaper mobile sites, employers now have the option of purchasing their own individually branded mobile sites. These highly customizable sites are optimized for mobile phones and specifically formatted for smaller screens. This allows for greater ease-of-use and more positive user experiences with mobile. Employer mobile sites allow companies to include corporate information specific to employment, benefits, overviews and custom pages that may include video and/or maps.

In addition, companies may also list available positions that will feature the same easy, mobile apply functionality that will allow job seekers to apply from all Web-enabled devices. Given the increased usage of smartphones in our market, emerging mobile recruitment platforms will reach a wider candidate pool, provide a mobile presence and increase opportunities for local employers to find more qualified matches in a shorter amount of time.

What will mobile solutions such as these do for job seekers? They will provide the ability to apply to local listings from any type of mobile device, catering to multiple segments of the mobile market. In addition, job seekers will no longer have to worry about their resumes entering the proverbial "black hole," as they will always receive assurance that information was found and sent to the employers, or further application details and instructions, through automatic, confirmation emails.

From an employer’s perspective, mobile recruitment solutions can diversify a classified employment buy and expand the scope of recruitment ads by extending reach to a mobile audience. Mobile recruitment products enable job seekers to not only provide a resume, but also an industry-specific skill profile highlighting unique knowledge and skill sets.

In addition, the integration of response manager will provide the uninterrupted convenience of managing all responses in one location. Advertisers still have the ability to sort through their applicants quickly and effectively as they’ve always done because they will receive responses in one location whether the responses are received via email, online or mobile methods of delivery. With the ability to centrally manage responses, advertisers will spend less time sorting through resumes and more time interviewing the best applicants.

Recruitment evolution has progressed from classified listings, telephone and fax to include job fairs and Internet job boards. Naturally, the next step in continuing the recruitment evolution is mobile and even social media solutions.

As mobile technology continues to solidify its place as a driver of recruitment response, leaders in the recruitment industry are creating opportunities to brainstorm best practices and methods to optimize the reach of mobile recruitment. On Friday, a gathering of recruitment professionals from diverse companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, eBay, Yahoo, Intel, Starbucks, SAP, Deloitte and many others will come together for a collective informative think-tank at the first annual mobile recruiting conference in San Francisco. Founded by Michael Marlatt, mRecrutingcamp: The Mobile Recruiting Conference will focus on thought-leadership and innovation related to the use of mobile as a talent attracter and engagement channel.

Tom Daly, founder, president and CEO of AppVault will participate as a session speaker and panelist in the CEO roundtable "What’s Next for the Future of Mobile Recruitment." Participants of mRecrutingcamp: The Mobile Recruiting Conference will explore the many astounding recruitment opportunities that mobile technology offers today. For more information or to register for the conference, go to www.mRecruitingcamp.com.

By 2015, one of research firm Gartner’s top predictions is a shift in how mobile information is retrieved from the Web. While search is primarily based on a "pull" of information from the Web, moving forward context-enriched services, in many cases, will prepopulate or push information to users.

In addition, any Web company that doesn’t become a mobile context provider risks handing over customer ownership to competing context providers. Today, employers have a responsibility to think critically about their needs and integrate mobile technology into their recruitment strategies. Continued growth and success in today’s economy requires making use of all resources and taking advantage of technological changes to reach wider audiences and acquire the finest talent available.

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