Use a Mobile App to Fuel Student Recruiting Efforts

Submitted by on Wed, 01/27/16

student_recruitment_mobile_apps

Today’s students have grown up on mobile, they are the mobile-born, mobile-first generation. 85% of Americans ages 18-29 are smartphone owners. Students eat, play, and even sleep with their mobile devices. They rely on their smartphones as critical communication tools and sources of information. In this competitive job market, HR recruiting teams need to engage these soon-to-be-graduates on their device of choice–mobile.  These days that means not only creating mobile-optimized content, but also native mobile apps, to connect job seekers of the mobile-born generation with recruiters and HR teams.

Why a native mobile app to fuel recruitment?
While mobile-optimized content is critical to reach users browsing the mobile web, deploying a native mobile app dedicated to your organization’s recruitment efforts is the best way to truly engage with young job seekers.

Mobile apps are designed to shorten the distance to the goal for end users; putting key information about your company at the job seekers’ fingertips and ensuring the content is properly formatted for small devices. Young job seekers will go to your app to find information about your company culture, benefits, and how to take the first steps towards beginning a career with your organization. Take advantage of native apps’ ability to serve up rich-media content such as videos, news and blog feeds, and social media integration.  Use these engaging features to highlight what makes your organization special, and make it clear why it’s is a desirable place for soon-to-be-graduates to begin their careers.

student-recruitingNative apps have the additional benefit of the ability to send push notifications. Students are becoming notorious for no longer relying on email, making Push Notifications an exceptionally critical communication tool for recruiters to connect with candidates. Once a candidate downloads your company’s recruiting app you’re able to reach out to them with announcements such as campus visit schedules or new job openings. You can also use Push Notifications to drive users to other engagement tools, such as a new video about why employees love working for your organization, keeping them interested in your company over time. Push Notifications can also be targeted to specific audiences based on location or demographics, such as majors or interests.

Furthermore, having a mobile app for your organization in the app store will drive traffic and interest.  By having a presence where students turn first, you’ll set yourself apart as a forward-thinking organization that appeals to young, soon-to-be-graduates.

Career fairs
A key use case for a recruiting app is at career fairs. Career fairs can be incredibly beneficial in exposing your recruiting team to a wide range of potential candidates and giving those individuals an opportunity to speak  with recruiters in person. While this is a great opportunity, it is usually short lived as students have many companies to visit and the conversation you have with them may last just a few minutes. If candidates download your mobile app, however, this means that the conversation isn’t over just because someone has left your booth. If they have any questions about your organization, its existing opportunities, or need details on how to apply, they can easily use the app to find  the information they need and stay connected to your  company.

You can also create unique Personas, or versions, of your recruiting app for each job fair you’re attending. Start by creating a single app with centralized information  that applies across the board, such as a company overview or your open positions. Then create versions for each career fair with unique details such as your booth number or scheduled meeting times and locations.

For example, one large corporation recently created one central recruiting app with different Personas for each university career fair they were attending.  This allowed that corporation to provide only the most relevant information to job seekers at each specific school and send them targeted push Push Notifications —yet do it all without recreating the app for each fair.  

After the career fair is over you can continue to engage interested students with new content in the app, making your company stand out as a desirable place to work. If you return to campus later in the year, this is a great opportunity to continue the connection you made originally.

Here are some useful tips for making your recruiting app a success:
Encourage every student that visits your table at the career fair to download the app as an information and communication tool they can continue to access.  Make it easy for them to download by having a QR code available to scan that takes candidates right to your app.

Make sure that students show up to the career fair and visit your table by promoting your presence and your app in advance.  Use the app to engage with students before the career fair even begins.  For example, you could run a giveaway promotion by having students complete a form in your app and any student that fills it out with gets a free t-shirt when they stop by your table.

In addition to promoting your app during a career fair, you can run advertising campaigns to encourage downloads before and after the event.  These campaigns can be targeted by location, age-group, and school so that immediately surrounding your visit the specific students you want to recruit will be reached.

Work with the career services offices at different schools to learn how you can integrate your app with their existing campus app or mobile initiatives. They may already have a career fair or career services module that you could sponsor, or that could link out to your app and other mobile-optimized content. You could also work with schools to have them send Push Notifications from their campus apps on your behalf , announcing your recruiting visit and linking to your app for more information.

How your internal teams can also make use of the app
When it comes to career fair time, many companies send HR teams, often including alumni, to the school for on-campus recruitment .  Your mobile app can help ensure that those doing the school visits have all of the information they need at their fingertips–including where to go, what’s around, and key talking points for meeting students. This additional, internal-facing information could be created as a separate app, or as an authenticated portion of your existing recruiting app.

How to create a recruiting app for your organization
In the recent past, it was difficult to create mobile apps for highly specific purposes, like student recruiting, without a huge investment of time and IT resources.  That’s changing as new, rapid mobile app development tools enable non-technical business owners—such as HR—to quickly and easily create engaging and informative mobile recruiting apps. They’re able to build sophisticated mobile apps that can be easily updated in real-time without requiring resubmission to the app store.    

At organizations with different teams responsible for recruiting in specific regions, updating and management of specific portions of the app can be easily delegated to local recruiting managers, who can maintain responsibility for their local content.

As mobile recruiting becomes increasingly universal, HR teams that reach candidates with comprehensive recruiting apps will be one step ahead of the competition and able to engage prospective employees in new and powerful ways. Students expect to be able to access any information and communicate with potential employers through the mobile devices they’ve grown up on. Don’t be surprised if students want to submit their resumes directly in the app. Companies that are ready to connect with these mobile-natives will be positioned as modern, tech-savvy, and desirable places for these young candidates to work.  

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