The newest generation of smart-phones are incredibly powerful computing devices. In fact, there is not much that you can do today on a computer that you cannot do on your mobile. With my iPhone, I can email, surf the Internet, look at my photos, listen to music, watch movies, and manage my contacts and calendar. Oh, yeah, I can make calls too.
I was recently in London and watched as a man got out of his car, pointed his cell phone skyward, and paid for his parking. In Asia, cellular phones are used to pay for food in restaurants and as remote controls for household items. In the United States, we have been slow to recognize the power of mobile. We had landline infrastructure built out to such an extent that we did not have the imperative to develop and deploy fast mobile networks in the same way that they did in Europe and Asia. U.S. mobile users primarily use their phones for talk and for SMS messaging, but we are starting to see significant adoption rates for mobile internet. In the U.S., we are now on the cusp of the Mobile Revolution. Around the world, in the next 12-18 months, mobile phones are going to become the primary device used to access the internet. Estimates are that 80-100 million Chinese mobile phone users log onto the Internet via their handsets every month already. Globally, the past 12 months have seen the mobile user base grow by 500 million people with 25% of the growth coming from China and India. For the first time in history, more users of a telecommunications technology are in the developing world than in the developed world.
So, what does this mean to you? It means that you need to have a mobile strategy in place sooner rather than later. It means that you had better be sure that your career site loads properly on mobile handsets. I recently had an experience in which I attempted to load a prospective client's website on my phone (not my iPhone, but rather my Treo). Note the use of the word "attempted." The site failed to load properly since it was not designed to be mobile-friendly and all I got was a bunch of junk. Bad experience for a possible candidate. When you consider the fact that your brand is best delivered through the engaging content that can and should live on your career site, you can see that a user-friendly mobile web experience is critical.
It is important to have a well thought out, integrated mobile strategy in order to succeed. It might include text messaging components, image recognition, and even mobile video. Most certainly, it requires a seamless and intuitive web component. The power of mobile cannot be overstated and it is time for companies to seriously plan their presence.
Think of it this way: If you can properly harness the power of mobile, you can, quite literally, put your message in the palms of your candidates' hands.