There is a chasm growing between recruiters, hiring managers, and Millennials seeking jobs.. Ultimately employer’s recruiting and hiring practices are turning off and driving away the very same people they hope to engage.

Growing gap between Millennials and recruiters

Listen Now! (Only 3 minutes)
Recruiters stand on one side viewing the world of job search through their eyes and big screens, often large desktop monitors and full size keyboards. They attempt to pitch a job opening across the chasm hoping a Millennial (or for that matter any candidate of any generation) reaches out and grabs it.

Standing on the other side, job candidates perform most of their job seeking on mobile devices with 5 inch screens and tiny touchscreen keyboards. In fact, 85 percent of Americans ages 18-29 (Millennials) are smartphone owners. For many of them, the job pitch is so far outside the strike zone, the candidates just step back and vanish.

If your company wants to be seen and heard, it’s essential that you walk in the shoes of a job candidate. In recruiting speak…If you want to attract young top talent, it’s crucial to optimize your career site and join the Millennial world of mobile.

So let’s start here with these two questions:

  1. What do your job postings look like on a smartphone?
  2. How long does it take a candidate to apply?

It’s Time to Optimize

Don’t view mobile recruiting as a standalone process. It definitely shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Job postings must be viewed without the candidate being forced to pinch-and-squeeze and trying to center the text on his or her screen to view the job opportunity. If the job posting isn’t delivered properly and convenient to view, forget about getting the user’s attention. Job postings need to be convincing and persuasive. Even if the career page has been technically optimized for all devices, the content is often just boring. Candidate experience matters.

Even for the thumb-savvy-always-connected and texting Millennial, most job postings are simply too frustrating to access and view even if your opportunity finds its way to a smartphone. Like customers, candidates want quick, easy to view messages that they can respond to with one-click. If a candidate can’t or won’t read your job posting, he’s as good as gone…at least the talented ones are.

15 Minutes, 15 Questions

In order to optimize your application process for mobile, first think about the length of time and number of questions it takes to apply. Here is one critical rule of thumb:

Expect to see more than a 300 percent increase in candidate abandonment if

  1. …the application takes 15 minutes or longerto complete or
  2. …if the applicant is asked to complete 15 or more questions.

It might not take much skill to hunt-and-peck a desktop keyboard to fill in multiple fields of a job application, download a PDF version of the application, or search for and upload a resume. But what is a candidate supposed to do with a downloadable form on a smartphone…or worse, a multiple page application?

And yet it’s still common to see mobile job applications that are 10 pages long: 55 percent are 5 pages long, and 21 percent are more than 10 pages. Every question you can eliminate improves the likelihood a candidate will complete the application. In a low-supply, high-demand recruitment environment, recruiters can double or triple applications and slash recruitment costs by streamlining mobile applications across the board.

Most applicant tracking software products offer mobile-friendly applications. Since this is your first point of contact with a candidate, ask only the questions you absolutely need to know if a candidate meets minimum basic qualifications. You can always request additional info later.

As the cost of talent acquisition accelerates, mobile recruiting is increasingly critical. If your candidates can’t read and apply to your job opportunity quickly on a small mobile screen, expect to pour more dollars down the recruitment rabbit hole with little to show for it.