This content is part of the Essential Guide: HR mobile apps for employees strengthen HCM strategies

For some HR teams, mobile recruiting offers a real edge

Mobile recruiting techniques and approaches can vary widely. But, for two users, the practice is making a difference.

Mobile devices are now a recruiting tool -- one that should not be taken for granted. HR managers who have adopted a mobile recruiting practice said it can deliver tangible benefits that can make all the difference in attracting quality candidates.

They are turning to text messaging, iPads and QR barcodes, and they are designing applications optimized for mobile. Their goal is to use technology to attract candidates, engage with them and keep their interest in following through with a job application.

Phoenix-based financial services firm Arizona Federal Credit Union and Community Health Network (CHN), a major health provider in Indianapolis, are two companies that have taken on mobile recruiting. While their approaches are different, both said their efforts deliver results.

Mobile recruiting makes applying easy

Scott Sendelweck, human resources digital marketing manager at CHN, said his job is to develop analytics and advertising aimed at mobile users, which is the entry point for many candidates. CHN uses the same brand advertising strategy as retailers. The job ads, which may appear on Twitter or Facebook, are targeted to a user's interests.

Because mobile users want to work quickly, the healthcare provider developed an online job application that can be filled out in as little as 10 minutes. Once a job candidate hits the submit button, the application is sent over to a recruiter. CHN has 22 recruiters responsible for filling a talent pipeline for an employer of about 14,000 employees.

Would you mind if we start this conversation through text messaging?
Scott Sendelweckhuman resources digital marketing manager, Community Health Network

The recruiter can then immediately engage with the candidate via text messaging. They do this using a SaaS platform developed by Canvas, which is now part of recruiting software maker Jobvite. Earlier this month, K1 Investment Management, a private equity firm, announced a $200 million investment in Jobvite, which then announced its acquisition of Canvas; RolePoint, an employee referral platform; and Talemetry, a recruitment marketing company.

The text messaging begins simply with a question to the candidate: "Would you mind if we start this conversation through text messaging?" according to Sendelweck. "Most people say 'yes,' for sure," he said. Candidates prefer it over telephone calls, voicemails and email messages, he said.

The ability to immediately engage with a candidate has dramatically improved the initial response rate from mobile recruiting candidates, from 40% to 50% to about 84%, according to Sendelweck.

Scott Sendelweck, human resources digital marketing manager, Community Health Network Scott Sendelweck

For recruiters, texting is easier and faster than writing an email, Sendelweck said. But it can also be a challenge for recruiters to stay on top of multiple text conversations.

"If you're not on your toes, not organized and not quick to answer five or six given chats at the same time, you could fall back and fall behind, and then you start missing something," Sendelweck said. "It's all about speed."

For nights and weekends, Sendelweck said they are experimenting with a chatbot that can handle some basic mobile recruiting tasks, such as answering questions about benefits.

Credit union makes hardware part of the strategy

Arizona Federal Credit Union, a 125,000-member cooperative and a 450-employee workforce, moved to an Oracle HCM Cloud-based system about two years ago, which improved its ability to deliver job applications online. The credit union's HR department has used this to its advantage.

Credit union HR employees often appear at in-person events, such as job fairs, to recruit. They've incorporated a mobile recruiting strategy by bringing iPads to events so prospects can immediately apply for a job.

Elias Medina, director of recruitment training, Arizona Federal Credit UnionElias Medina

Making iPads available for candidates has "helped us to stand out," said Elias Medina, director of recruitment training. "People can apply online and in real time while we're standing there."

It's also a boon for the credit union's HR team, which leaves in-person events with candidate information ready to use.

"We leave with very little to no paper, and we have everything electronically, and it's saved and stored," Medina said.

The credit union's Oracle Taleo system has an integration with QR barcodes. Recruiter business cards have QR codes that candidates can scan with their mobile device to access the application system directly.

The credit union recruiting process is fully automated, Medina said, "from the time they apply to how we contact them initially to how we scheduled their interviews."

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