What you need to know about an increasingly mobile jobs market

With Research New Zealand figures showing that 91% of 18–34 year olds owned a mobile phone in 2015, and more than 80% of those use it to access the internet, it’s no surprise that mobile use is affecting everything – and job seeking in 2016 is no exception.

The research, published in A Report on a Survey of New Zealanders’ Use of Smartphones and other Mobile Communication Devices 2015, uncovered some other critical information for mobile savvy businesses, including that 79% of all smartphone or tablet users were using apps for referencing or gathering information.

These trends are being directly reflected in what is being seen on SEEK, with 54% of visits and 22% of applications now coming via our mobile website or app (iOS and Android).

SEEK’s Product Manager – Mobile, Aseel Hamarneh, agrees that her team are seeing a lot more activity on mobile, particularly through the SEEK app, which she said was being used with greater frequency than either the mobile or desktop websites.

“More than half of visits to SEEK are now coming though mobile devices to our mobile website and app (IOS and Android),” said Hamarneh. “The traffic on desktop has remained at consistently high levels, but we are seeing a lot of extra activity on the app.

“What we’re observing is that on the app, users are visiting a lot more frequently and looking at a lot more jobs. We’re also seeing a difference in the times that people visit compared with the online and desktop sites, with many people looking at jobs in the morning on their way to work.”

Critically, for job advertisers who want to attract the right candidates, Hamarneh says SEEK is also seeing differences in behaviour.

“A year ago, very few people were applying on mobile but now a third of applications are happening on mobile devices,” she says.

Hamarneh adds that interesting and complex mobile behavior, against a backdrop of consistently high desktop usage, was presenting exciting opportunities for SEEK.

“We’ve increased investment in our app significantly, but we still get most of our new users on desktop and mobile web, so each remains strategically important. From a SEEK perspective, desktop and mobile web are the main channels when we’re looking at growing our user base, while the apps are great for growing user engagement.

“Once users have the app, they are coming three times as much as mobile site users and spend a lot more time on it. The whole app is designed around being personalised and giving candidates the information they need. They can save their searches on the app and then go back to the desktop later.”

Looking to the future, Hamarneh says SEEK users will be seeing even more of the market leading innovation they have come to expect.

“We are looking at how the app can integrate better with all of SEEK’s capabilities,” she says. “Today if a candidate has the app we can reach them through notifications without them even having to open it.

“In the future, we want to be even smarter and send candidates recommended jobs at the right time and the right place for them, depending on their personal usage patterns.”

Getting it ‘write’ with your job ad

Nicola Laver, SEEK’s Associate Client Training Manager, knows better than anyone the importance of getting your ad right for all web channels, including mobile. Below are some tips to make sure you attract the right candidate for your role:

First impressions matter – “You have a short amount of time to make a first impression within your job ad.  People will scan especially if they are on mobile, you have around 10–20 seconds to make that connection,” says Laver. “If the job title doesn’t make sense and the summary isn’t clear, they will move onto something that does."

Get to the point, quickly – “You need to write a summary of 150 characters that will draw your candidate in. It should be short, punchy and have action words. You really want to make that connection with that potential candidate. From their perspective they will be starting to visualise the role – can I, can’t I?”

Use inclusive language – “You need to be gender-friendly, not too masculine or too feminine. You want the candidate to be able to identify with the content of it.”

The devil is in the detail – “Be specific and avoid generic statements that will lose people’s interest. Candidates need to know what the company is about and what they will be doing day-to-day. If you get too generic they will leave your ad. Your reader wants to know what’s in it for them. If the culture, benefits and day-to-day routine aren’t in there, you’re going to lose people. It should never just be a position description.”

Appearance is everything – “Mobile is very different to desktop, I would always recommend to view it on mobile before posting your job ad and SEEK has the capability to do this. Having the text all lumped together doesn’t translate well on mobile. We live in a scanner society. Too much text and people will move on, as visually it looks heavy and overwhelming. So, create structure, use specific and balanced content, keep it punchy, but meaningful, and stay away from generic, fluffy statements.”

Learn more about job ad writing techniques from one of our webinars. You can sign up by visiting the SEEK training page or emailing a client training representative at training@seek.com.au

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SEEK Insights & Resources

SEEK is the destination of choice for job-seekers and hirers in Australia, acting as the conduit between hirers looking to fill vacant roles and candidates looking for work across many and varied industries. SEEK's mission is to help people live...

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