I applaud the attempts made so far into the mobile medium with regard to recruitment agendas. Companies are starting to see the power of wireless and how it is one of the most ubiquitous computing systems around. In Europe and Asia, that is their prime medium of communication. North America is jumping fast. We have been more internet dependant than our friends in Europe, which accounts for the wider acceptance and need for WAP than just SMS. However there are some basic things to consider before jumping into a mobile extension to your recruitment campaign. We have done a few and have learned a lot.
1. What are you trying to achieve?
Hmmmm. This seems like a familiar common sense question. But you would be surprised how many times it is overlooked. There are specific things that mobile can and cannot do well for recruitment. You first need to understand them and align it up to what you are trying to achieve. For instance, you cannot simply push outwards to people’s phones unless they had already at some point opted in to receive messages to their cell phones. Also, at this point, there are no mobile applicant tracking systems available from any of the main developers of ATS.
Remember, there is “mobile time” and “internet time”. Mobile time is sometimes referred to as down time. Down time where the person is either traveling, waiting, or simply just chillin. They are more passive and receptive to exploring.
Mobile is impulsive. Instant. If you are not giving an instant benefit to your audience at the point of sale (ex: txt: APPLY to 365247 and you could get an interview tomorrow) or job alerts etc. they will not participate. Whether it is a free give-away or discounts, the point is, it has to be enticing and worth the value of the candidate to opt in. So examine carefully what your incentive is. Do they really want to just have “events” sent to their phone? Chances are not really.
2. How are you getting people to mobile?
I have seen various ads that simply look like your traditional ads, and then way at the bottom there is a call to action to txt in for more info or for job alerts. The problem with this is that the txt information tends to look like disclaimer copy and people miss that info altogether. They see the url and that is end of story. they don’t participate right there on the spot to opt in.
Until we all become more accustom to mobile campaign opt ins, the most effective ads make the opt in information the hero of the message. That is the call to action becomes more prominently integrated into the concept. Reebok ran a very effective mobile campaign inside the subways of New York. They were simple, clear and centered around a call to action for the audience to txt in their opinions and stories of how they related to a specific brand of shoe to a specific keyword and number.
3. Where are they going to interact with your message?
The same strategic thinking about your ad must go into where your audience will be when they can interact with your mobile campaign. Are they in an airport? Bus stop? Train? Subway? Is it in a high traffic area?
4. Close the loop
Adding onto the question of where your audience is going to be when they interact with the mobile campaign, one place that is often overlooked is the career website. Your audience is already looking at opportunities there. And if for some reason they were not able to find the opportunity they were looking for, or ran out of time surfing your site, they would be very receptive to opting in to receive job alerts to their phones as the opportunities come up. Acquire their cell numbers on your careersite.
5. Give them the choice of SMS and WAP
SMS is the most ubiquitous of all mobile communication platforms however as I was saying earlier, North America is more receptive to WAP than Europe. WAP has it’s advantages and disadvantages to SMS. The big advantage is that it is basically experiencing the web from your phone in a more simplistic way. So pretty much whatever you can do via the web, they can do on their phone….with a few moderate exceptions such as flash content. Although Flash Lite is available now in a lot of phones and will soon be available in every phone.
SMS is straight basic text which can be viewed by any phone. The difference here in the experience is that the SMS txt is more linear and is based on a simple hyper text experience. So filling out forms and seeing visuals is accomplished by sending information to the user’s email.
So give the audience a choice when they receive the first message from the opt in to view either an SMS version or WAP.