PepsiCo’s Surprising Results from Mobile Candidates

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“Job seekers aren’t looking for jobs on their lunch break. They’re doing it at all hours,” says Chris Hoyt (@TheRecruitingGuy), Talent Engagement Marketing Leader for PepsiCo.

Half a million people come to the PepsiCo site every month. A good portion of that traffic is going directly to their career pages, says Hoyt. And of that traffic, a considerable percentage is coming via mobile. In 2010, 3-4 percent of visitors were coming via mobile. That jumped to 6 percent in 2011 and today they’re seeing 20 percent of all career page traffic coming via mobile.

PepsiCo needed a way for prospective job seekers to find out about jobs and apply for them via their mobile phones. Instead of building a mobile site, or msite, PepsiCo started with a mobile employment app. It’s a decision Hoyt does not recommend to others. If he could do it again, he would start with the msite first.

The mobile app offers more information than just job listings and a way to begin the apply process. You can also access the employee blog, and their YouTube channel named “Possibilities” which allows employees to tell their own stories about what it’s like to work at PepsiCo. The mobile employment app offers a combined mobile/desktop apply process where you email yourself the application through the mobile, says Hoyt.

It became top priority to mobilize the career site before the rest of PepsiCo.com was mobile optimized. That has paid off in increased applications. When PepsiCo just had the mobile employment app, they would get about 100 to 150 apply starts every single month via that mobile app. When they introduced the msite, which replicated 99 percent of the mobile app’s application experience, that number jumped to 900 apply starts every month, making the msite responsible for about 750-800 apply starts every month.

The most surprising statistic to Hoyt was how the standard apply drop off rate, about 30 percent of people cut out before finishing the application process on the desktop, did not change when they started that process on the mobile device. Hoyt’s group, along with the rest of the industry, predicted that rate to be much higher but was pleasantly surprised that the extra hoop of going from mobile to desktop did not impact the rate of completion.

Regardless, by Q1 of 2013 PepsiCo is hoping to make that apply process, via app or msite, 100 percent possible through the mobile device.

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