Thursday, January 28, 2016

Going Mobile With Recruiting

As employers search for the right workers and workers search for the right jobs, it’s worth considering the techniques of the industry that has the most mobile workforce and has the toughest time finding workers – trucking.  Some transportation companies are experiencing hiring success by using mobile technologies to recruit workers, and employers in other industries should take note.
We have written previously about the fact that employee use of mobile technology can create risks for employers, but our interest in the subject doesn’t end there.  Employers’ use of mobile technology to recruit holds significant promise. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • Decline of Desktops.  More and more people rely on their smartphone as their main access to the Internet at home.  Searches from a mobile device (smartphone and tablet) outnumber desktop searches.  Even Apple has announced that its sales of its desktop Macintosh are sliding.  As smartphones and tablets become more prevalent and powerful, your potential workforce is going mobile.
  • Diversity.  According to a Pew Research Center study, African Americans and Hispanics own smartphones at higher rates than Caucasians.  If 43 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to look up information about a job and 18 percent submit applications, a logical conclusion is that employers can reach a more diverse applicant pool by using mobile sites.
  • Google.  Last year, Google changed its algorithm to prioritize web sites that are mobile-friendly.  If potential candidates are googling for jobs on their phones and your site isn’t mobile ready, you might not make the first page of results and miss out on applicants you would like to reach.
This wouldn’t be the Navigator, however, if we only talked about the promise of technology.  There are, predictably, legal risks associated with mobile recruiting. For example:
  • Employers who use mobile recruiting have an obligation to ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities.  Individuals with disabilities may need accommodations to use the Internet, such as robot readers and visual aids that do not work with all sites. The Obama Administration is preparing new regulations that will require websites to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. These regulations, once implemented, will apply to career sites.
  • In addition to career site accessibility, online applications processes must be accessible.  The Americans with Disabilities Act and comparable state laws required covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals throughout the entire application process.
  • Mobile recruiting doesn’t alter the need to be mindful of information security.  Personally identifiable information received through mobile recruiting deserved careful handling, just as PII received in a paper application does.  Employers can face legal liability for data breaches, negligence, or privacy violations if they fail to reasonably secure applicant information, however received.
Recently, NPR wrote “The Key To Your Next Job Could Be In Your Pocket.”  In the world of recruiting, mobile is the future, and employers need to keep up - carefully.
Posted by Kate Bischoff