Mobile Job Application Conversions for Most Employers Really Suck


Talent acquisition conferences always seem to have a topic or two that sometimes overtakes the conference.  Remember the numerous sessions on the power of the internet (remember this video), employment branding, and social media recruiting? 

Today, most conference recruiting sessions are focused on how all the data that is being collected can now be used to eliminate even more job seekers (not kidding). Big data and people analytics are the rage and most sessions touch this subject in one way or another.

These same conferences have been talking about mobile recruiting for the last seven years.  While the big data conversation is booming, why is the job application process from a mobile device still seemingly stuck in 2010?


Until employers make changes to their internal applicant tracking systems, mobile application success via these current systems will be less than ten percentThis means 9 out of 10 job seekers who finds your job on their smart phone will not complete your application. 


I ask employers to so this simple test.  Apply to one of their own companies’ jobs using their personal smart phone.  It usually ends with them admitting that the process is almost useless on a smart phone.  Can you imagine how that precious job seeker feels?  Many who start the application process and don’t finish almost never come back.

At, we also have noticed in a big way that our clients who don’t have applicant tracking systems and get a resume delivered “directly” via email have over a 60% apply rate via mobile since they are basically just attaching a resume/cover letter.  Yes, seven out of ten candidates who apply to a job on mobile without the ATS are delivered to the hiring company. 

Kelton Research study found that 86% of active candidates are using their smart phones when looking for a job. Mobile is blowing up and you need to really develop a strategy to capture the “curious” job seeker who wants to apply at that moment.  Ironically, many companies have invested in “mobile friendly” job sites that look fantastic on a smart phone.  However, they lose their luster the second a job seeker tries to apply to job. 

So, what are the successful companies doing to make sure their mobile applications increase exponentially?

1. Have a Short Apply Form

For those companies with a long ATS application process, or their mobile sites application process, have a short form that just requires name, email, and resume upload (via cloud products like OneDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive).  When the job seeker applies, it creates an account in the companies’ ATS that in turn emails the job seeker a nice message and link to complete their application.  It still requires the job seeker to come back to the employer but at least the employer can start the recruiting process.  Most importantly, they can catch this candidate.

2. Apply Using Social. 

This scares many companies but what if you accepted social profiles (with one click) as an application to begin the recruiting process.  Sounds like a great place to start. However, in a recent survey done by our company, nine out of ten human resource professionals say that job seekers should not put their picture on their resumes.  Times are changing and I think a good social profile is as valuable as a resume to get the career conversation started. 

3. An “I’m Interested” Form. 

One click and they get a form that collects their name, email, and cell phone number.  Once they submit this, it will send a text and email with the job, application process, and message on how to apply.  This message should include a deadline, as well as automated reminders if they don’t apply within 48 hours. 

Clients of will have a huge advantage in 2017.  We will have technology that will work with most applicant track systems. So instead of “redirecting” a job seekers to your ATS when they apply, their application is already stored in our databases.  All that will be required of the job seeker is to answer any customized questions from them employer to include with their application.  This will make the mobile application state of art by making it easy for the job seekers while getting the employer a full and robust application.

The best mobile application I could find was Netflix.  It took one minute to fill out.  Check it out on your smart phone ( and compare to your mobile application process.  Mobile is huge…don’t neglect the application process.


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