As it often happens at industry conferences, there’s as much to be learned in the hallways as there is in the workshop sessions.
Especially if you run into Jim Stroud, who sometimes hands out cash.
This was true at the second annual mRecruitingCamp held in Atlanta, Georgia.
The event is dedicated to two of the major aspects of mobile recruiting – the building blocks of a campaign and broader aspects of mobile strategy, including technologies.
Prominent case studies featured Waste Management’s Jenny DeVaughn, Pepsico’s Chris Hoyt and Matt Lavery from UPS. All had examples of targeting skill sets, driving engagement and most importantly, the response metrics. And all for big brands.
According to several quoted statistics at mRecruitingCamp, only 10% of corporate career sites are optimized for mobile browsing.
If over 80% of your prospective candidates read job notification emails on their mobile device, and links to view and apply to those jobs go to a career site and/or applicant tracking system, don’t you want that experience optimized for tablets and smartphones? At a minimum, this would be considered a baby step, and so many career sites just aren’t prepared.
What about those hallway conversations, you ask?
I spoke with several people whose companies had paid to send them to this conference to bring back a mobile recruiting plan. One even said that a fully vetted strategy was expected upon her return from the one-day conference. Insert pressure here.
I can imagine that challenge, especially for those companies that don’t have a direct consumer focus. If your company’s customers aren’t most of the entire breathing world, there is always a fight for recruiting budget. Some of the larger companies share in the buckets of brand awareness money that are allotted by corporate marketing.
But to quote one representative attending from a big accounting firm who shall not be named, “mobile is not for us.”
This shocked me, considering the goal of the event and my job in particular. I work for Aon, a global company with mostly a B2B, or corporate focus. It’s the same goal that I have, to reach a highly niche audience and drive demand for our open roles. My mindset is different. I view mobile not as the intrinsic recruiting solution some testify to, but one of many channels to reach people where they live.
My big takeaway from mRecruitingCamp?
Aiming at small sections of your prospective talent and focusing on potent opportunities allows you to do two things. First, it keeps your costs down. Second, it allows you to customize your message to your audience, increasing the relevancy and response rates you’ll see.
But in addition to being a recruiter, I’m a marketer. And I believe in the value of one-to-one recruitment marketing. The value in connecting on levels that go beyond job qualifications and talk about the real human experience of working at an organization.
One of the biggest buzzwords at the event – and since South by Southwest earlier this year – is gamification. Sure there are game principles that can increase engagement, but without meaning, they end up coming off as gimmicks. These should all be treated as methods to start conversations that just happen to be about making a career move.
Bravo to mRecruitingCamp founder Michael Marlatt and all of the event sponsors, who see the change that’s happening in our recruitment communications.
I hope that next year’s event expands to two days so that more in-depth workshops can be scheduled that drive a message home.
The message of leveraging mobile to go beyond your brand and truly connect with your audience.