Stats Clearly Indicate Mobile Is A Dominant Factor For Successful Recruitment Marketing


If you are looking for statistics to support your proposal for your company to prioritize mobile for employment-related recruiting campaigns, I’ve got them for you. Just want to say at this time we are past the tipping point. Mobile is not an important option which will become a crucial competitive factor in two or three years. Mobile is the game changer right now. The mass consumption of media by majority of people from all demographics and socioeconomic groups along with user interaction (including filling out job applications) through mobile has now reached not only a sufficient portion of the general marketplace, but also the employment marketplace.

User time on mobile continues to increase while media usage on other media platforms is decreasing. Therefore mobile is becoming the primary “first screen” to reach media users.  For recruitment marketing and candidate generation, you must prioritize mobile.

Let’s start with the recent headlines about Facebook, followed by reviewing some general data and then get right down to online user activity most relevant to employment and recruiting.

So Facebook announces they are now up to 2.01 billion monthly users with advertising sales (including recruitment) increasing by 45% to $9.3 billion. Of that revenue, 87% was from mobile, an 84% increase from a year earlier.

Stats Clearly Indicate Mobile Is A Dominant Factor For Successful Recruitment Marketing

According to eMarketer smartphone users spend about 10% of their mobile online time on social media. Per the Pew Research Center, 69% of all Americans use social media such as Facebook, up from 5% in 2005. 86% of 18- to 29-year-olds currently use social media, followed by 80% from the 30-49 demo, 64% from between 50-64, and 34% from of 65+ adults.

That’s impressive and an important part of online activity, especially valuable for both the candidate generation campaigns targeted to passive, impulsive job candidates as well as the employer branding initiatives on social media.

But let’s take a quick look at the entire online universe and how it impacts engaging with prospective job candidates. According to the Pew Research Center, 87% of Americans today are online, up from about 50% in the early 2000s.

Though 95% of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind, smartphone penetration has nearly doubled since 2011 with 77% of Americans in 2016 owning a smartphone compared to 35% 5 years earlier. To reach cellphone owners who don’t own smartphones, text messaging remains a valid option.

Ownership of smartphones among younger adults 18-29 years old is at 92%. But the noteworthy increases in smartphone ownership over the past year includes a substantial number of  job candidates not previously accessible including candidates among lower-income households and those ages 50+.

64% of lower-income Americans (households earning less than $30,000 per year) now own a smartphone (a 12-point increase since 2015). 74% of Americans ages 50-64 (a 16 point increase since 2015) and 42% of those 65 and older (up 12 points from 2015) now own smartphones.

73% of all households have broadband which can be used for accessing the internet on desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, but 12% of all Americans say they are “smartphone dependent” for online access, thereby without broadband they rely on access over a satellite/cellular internet connection. Smartphone dependent Americans have increased 4% since 2013, with smartphone reliance more prevalent among young adults, nonwhites and those with relatively low household incomes. Americans who have not graduated from high school are nearly three times less likely than college graduates to have home broadband service. Broadband adoption also varies by factors such as age, household income, geographic location and racial and ethnic background.

51% of Americans now own a tablet computer, up from 3% in 2010. Though less widespread than smartphones, tablet computers are having an increasing impact in not only the amount of people with access to online information, but more importantly the time spent by users online.

According to comScore, 71% of all internet users in the U.S. access online content from mobile devices. The U.S. is behind Indonesia at 91%, tied with China at 71% and ahead of Canada at 62%. Contact me if you would like mobile share of total digital minutes for other countries.

From 2016 to 2017, time spent per day on mobile increased by seven minutes, totaling 3 hours and 15 minutes per day, while time spent on a desktop decreased by one minute to 2 hours and 10 minutes and TV viewing decreased by five minutes to exactly 4 hours.

User behavior is different on mobile, primarily due to apps which are not relevant to desktop/laptop usage. The most common starting point for 80% of all desktop/laptop visits are on a search engine. On mobile, 48% of online research begins on a search engine, with 33% on branded sites and 26% on branded apps.

Of utmost importance to recruitment marketing mobile has become a major factor for candidates seeking jobs. According to metrics analyzed by Indeed, job seekers of all age groups are checking their smartphones and tablets for job postings. Of Millennials (born from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s) 78% used mobile devices to find jobs in 2016; not surprisingly the most active demographic for using mobile to view job boards. Generation X (born from the early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980’s) was next with about 73% searching for jobs on mobile devices. Then Baby Boomers (born from the early-to-mid 1940s to about 1964) saw the biggest increase in mobile job search among the three generations during the past two years, with around 57.2% of Baby Boomers using mobile for job hunting in 2016, up from 51.2% in 2014.

Stats from Indeed don’t stop at demographics, but also have some data about differences in usage by occupations. Building/grounds cleaning and maintenance are the occupations with the highest rate of mobile job search. 80.28% of job searches for these types of jobs originate from a mobile device, followed by construction and extraction at 79.79%.

Any type of jobs in which people do not spend much or any time behind a desk with access to desktop or laptop computers are going to require a mobile-first strategy to secure candidate generation. These type of jobs include nursing, mechanical installation/repair, transportation/driving and material moving/warehouse distribution workers.

On the other hand, people working in business, financial and legal positions have access to office computers therefore their reliance on mobile is less, but still significant. 57.13% of business and financial candidates use mobile job search and 57.46% of legal candidates rely on smartphones and tablets for reviewing job postings.

The lowest penetration for mobile job search are found among architecture and engineering workers at 52.55%, and computer and mathematical workers at 45.28%.

Overall in the U.S. about 60% of all job seekers are using mobile, slightly higher than Canada which is at 50%. The countries with the highest use of mobile for job searching are Korea, Taiwan and Japan with more than 80% usage. The only countries in which less than half the job searches were on mobile were in France and Poland, where desktop searches are still most prevalent.

In the U.S. and throughout international markets, the significance of creating and maintaining a mobile presence for recruitment marketing must be prioritized as a primary goal. At Shaker Recruitment Marketing we assist our clients in maximizing their mobile capacity for career sites, talent relationship networks, online applications and all forms of employer branding content and job postings. Reaching candidates through desktop computers remains relevant, but mobile is a competitive necessity. If you would like our guidance, please contact us at Shaker.

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Mike Temkin

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