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For digital natives and other smartphone-first job seekers, email and phone calls might be too old school. Mobile recruiting can help.
In the broadest terms, mobile recruiting capitalizes on mobile technologies and devices to reach candidates. Applications that are optimized for mobile and using text recruiting are two examples.
In this Q&A, Scott Sendelweck, an HR digital marketing manager at Indianapolis-based Community Health Network, talks about the future of mobile recruiting, AI's contribution and what organizations now expect from their recruiters.
What are some advantages of mobile recruiting?
Scott Sendelweck: Text recruiting applications are very quick and less intrusive than phone calls or email. You can send out multiple texts to multiple people and get multiple responses with a click of a button. I think more and more jobs will be filled using text messaging, mobile platforms and mobile devices.
What are some of the best uses of mobile recruiting that you've seen?
Sendelweck: If we're hiring a cafe worker, we may post an entry-level food service position out on the internet via multiple job boards or our career website. In the course of a couple days, we may receive 20 to 100 different applications for one position. If you're a recruiter for that one position you have to sort, screen, identify and then reach out [to these candidates]. With text recruiting software, you can now program [the system so] individuals receive the same text message in one click, meaning that everybody receives the same message at the same time. [The candidates] can take maybe a 30-second window to respond to your text [and] the recruiter can then have that real-time conversation. We're talking going all the way up to the interview and, in some cases, conducting that interview over text and getting those individuals through the door.
Do you think recruiters welcome mobile recruiting?
Sendelweck: The individual candidates that are actually applying through mobile tech we found really like it. The corporate side is really more interested in the traditional method. One of the drawbacks to pitching text recruiting to your board of directors or your [corporate or] HR leadership is [when they say], 'Let's look at the traditional process time from job post to job fill, and let's see if we can shorten that when you introduce technology and text messaging to it.' We had to prove that the numbers were there. [Then] we introduced text recruiting and the back and forth of recruiting time was a lot faster.
Is AI contributing to any of this or is it mainly still humans on the other side of the screen sending these text messages?
Sendelweck: We're now on the forefront of the robotic or the AI revolution [in that] AI starts being intelligent. [It is] starting to learn the methods and ways that individuals search and apply for jobs. I think you're going to see a lot more [automated] mobile technology, whereas your everyday recruiter, and your recruiting team, will probably get smaller. This isn't bad for recruiting, because you're going to be that individual that's in the field of not only HR but also marketing and sales. You're going to be that relationship builder, the bridge between all functions of operations within the company and also the brand. As a recruiter you're there to sell the company and the position. AI will be smart enough to take care of those administrative tasks and serve you a list of five highly qualified candidates that meet the profile, experience and also the culture aspects of the organization.
Recruiters are now offering candidates the ability to apply on the spot using iPads at job fairs and events. How is that changing the potential candidate pool?
Scott SendelweckHR digital marketing manager, Community Health Network
Sendelweck: It is a generational change. We've been going to a lot more career fairs just with [mobile devices] and [candidates] can apply to that job in less than five minutes. We've been doing a lot of that. But I will tell you that generationally, we still see a little bit of the older populations who are still bringing the paper copy resume with them. I would say there's a little bit of generation speed that needs to catch up there in terms of the technology, and maybe just the mentality of 'here's how I'm going to apply for this job and here's what I need to bring to apply to this job.' The handshake and smile and the dress to impress, of course, are super important, but also [a candidate] has got to be mobile to compete in a very mobile environment.
What advice would you give recruiters who are considering mobile recruiting?
Sendelweck: Look at [your job fulfillment needs], as well as the time you have and your team size. If you're looking at all this AI and technology and it's going to help you automate so you can spend more time in operations and actually helping your organization be profitable and move forward, then absolutely do that. If you don't, your competitors will.
The industry is starting to say, we can use that recruiter's time and salary in a better way, and then [start with] the computer and the candidate answering their own series of questions. But I think a lot of companies still don't have mobile technology and chat, so it'll take a little bit of time.