The numbers are very clear: candidates are far more likely to complete a job application on their desktop, instead of their mobile device. Applying to jobs is simply not as good an experience on mobile as it is with a full screen and keyboard.
While that information may come as no surprise, new research shows that there is a huge difference in the click-to-apply rates for the different types of mobile devices. A study from Appcast has found that candidates using Android devices are 2.25 times more likely to complete a job application as their peers using an iOS device.
Why are Android users more likely to complete their job applications?
The general functionality and features of these devices are comparable, and there is no demographic that is widely labelled as an iPhone or Android user.
The single major difference between iOS and Android devices is the ability to store documents: storing your resume file is impossible on your iPhone, but can be done using an Android.
This means that for any application process that does not offer an alternative to attaching your resume from a folder is prohibitive to iOS users. This is the major difference between the operating systems in terms of applying for jobs, and the impact is clear.
What’s the solution for a better mobile application rate?
Take a close look at your current application process. When a job applicant is faced with well over 50 fields to fill in to apply for one job, Chris Forman, CEO of Appcast points out “that’s absurd on a 2″ x 3″ mobile phone.” Mobile devices are ideal for short bursts of use: checking email, texting, doing a search, but not for time and energy-intensive tasks. Unfortunately, job applications are not often designed with the mobile user in mind.
Forman states that a low mobile click-to-apply rate has nothing to do with the recruiting software a company is using, or any technical issue. “…it’s business process decisions that we as recruiting professionals and leaders make.” Requiring applicants to answer over a hundred questions has nothing to do with how the recruiting software functions, but shows a need for a better understanding of the applicant experience.
The real solution to improving your mobile click-to-apply rate is to stop designing the application process for desktop users! Rethink the experience to fit mobile users from the beginning, instead of trying to make your desktop process work for mobile.
Here are our top 4 ways to improve your mobile experience:
- Eliminate the need to login or register for an account in order to apply.
- Offer upload from Google Drive, Dropbox, or use a LinkedIn profile to obtain resume information. Ensure an applicant can access and upload their resume from anywhere.
- Optimize for mobile. Instead of having small text links, use finger-friendly buttons, responsive page design, efficient loading time, etc.
- Ask a minimal number of questions. What are the most valuable facts you need in order to screen and decide who you want to pursue further?
In short, a mobile application needs to be fast and easy. This may mean a completely new process, and stepping away from the traditional desktop mindset.
What’s the value in improving the mobile experience?
If you are currently paying to advertise your jobs, it’s likely your organization is being charged on a pay-per-click basis. This means every time a job seeker clicks on your ad (whether through Google, or a more traditional job board) it costs money. With lower application rates, mobile candidates cost a far greater percentage than desktop users whose drop-off rates are lower.
With only a 1 or 2 percent rate of mobile users finishing their application after clicking on your ad, a higher conversion rate means more candidates for less money.
Have a look at the video of Chris Forman discussing his mobile vs desktop study with ere media.