With the Mobile Operators Association stating that 57% of adults used their mobile phones for internet access in Q1 or 2014 and 3 in 5 job seekers (60%) are now using mobile devices to search for jobs according to Social Talent, making your online presence mobile-friendly has never been as important as a recruiter. Newman Stewart recently launched a new website which is responsive to the device you are viewing it on. A great deal of time and effort was spent on the design and development to ensure that the end user has a seamless experience whether on a desktop or on the go via a tablet or smart phone. Here are the top 9 things we learnt and considered during the development process:
1) Which platform?
If you are developing a responsive website rather that a mobile specific website or app then make sure that you constantly review the site on all platforms and in both landscape and portrait on a smartphone or tablet. A specific design may look great on a desktop or in a particular position but a change of device or of the orientation may change the concept entirely.
2) 30 seconds to apply:
As mentioned above 3 in 5 jobseekers are doing so via their mobile, but it isn’t enough just to make your vacancies easy to view on a smart phone or tablet. In order to increase the number of applicants you must also make the application process mobile friendly and as easy as possible. In order to do this we introduced the ability to add a CV via Dropbox (as few people have their CV actually on their mobile devices) and added a postcode finder so that applicants need to type in very little of their personal details from scratch in order to register.
3) Me me me:
Not only are more people applying for jobs on the move, their attention spans are also getting increasingly shorter. If a user is unable to find the relevant information they are looking for straight away it is unlikely that they will stay on your website for very long and there is even less chance that they will revisit your site in the future. Therefore the navigation of a website is extremely important.
The user must be able to find the relevant content in a few clicks and the path must be clearly sign posted. We split our site into a client and candidate section and added an area for each of our divisions so that all the relevant information the user needs can be found in one area depending on their background. Clients, jobs and testimonials are also tagged as they are entered on to the site so that information for each division is dragged into the relevant section from the main hub of the site automatically.
4) Don’t make it hard:
People’s time is increasingly precious. Trawling through pages and pages of irrelevant jobs is an annoyance. In order to keep job seekers engaged they need to be able to find the relevant jobs that fit their requirements quickly.
We introduced functionality so that users can search our available positions by division, salary and location and also allow them to sign up to job alerts so they are contacted directly if any suitable positions for their needs become available.
5) Read all about it:
Providing regular content which is useful to your clients and candidates is essential to any modern marketing strategy. We used the opportunity to introduce features so that our articles, blogs and news could be tagged and grouped easily by users into specific categories. Also to increase our ability to engage with our users we added the ability to add comments and feedback on our content and made it easy to share our content with others via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. This not only allows the chance for our articles to be seen by as many relevant people as possible, it also contributes to SEO and gives users a reason to revisit the site as new content is regularly being added.
6) Can you feel it?
The challenge that recruitment companies and other service providers have is how do you demonstrate your service through a still visual platform? How do you make it more tangible? As well as blogs, which can be used to demonstrate your expertise in the recruitment process and the sectors in which you operate, adding testimonials, case studies and survey results from satisfied clients and candidates is essential. At a minimum a name must be attached to a testimonial, but by adding a photo or a video with the authors permission will increase their credibility. If you are adding survey results it is important to be transparent in order to build trust. Don’t just include glowing reviews. You don’t have to include negative quotes but by addressing the areas where you can make improvements not only demonstrates that you want to continually improve your services, but also that you actively listening to your customers.
7) Look after your insides:
As well as the user functionality we also used the opportunity during the website development to look at ways to improve our in-house processes. We integrated the website with our job-boards management platform and introduced automated data transfer from the website into our CRM system to reduce the amount of admin we need to carry out internally.
8) Everybody’s juggling:
There are a lot of stake holders involved in the development of a new website from Directors and employees through to IT support, CRM suppliers, your job-boards management software provider and the web developers themselves. It doesn’t matter how much you project plan, changes will occur at every stage and there will usually be a knock on effect from one contributor to the next. Your developer may need your CRM supplier to test something, but before that happens your IT supplier might need to change the permissions settings behind the scenes. External suppliers will obviously have other clients so your job will be prioritised and certain areas of the development may stall until certain pieces of the puzzle are complete.
9) It never ends :
The launching of a new website is only the beginning, it isn’t the end. In order for a site to be as effective as possible new content such as testimonials, blogs and videos need to be regularly added, the effectiveness of your SEO needs to be monitored and tailored, and feedback needs to be sort and alterations made in order for your website to be the best promotional tool for your business and for users to experience the best service that the platform can offer.
So that is our guide to what we learnt while developing a mobile friendly recruitment website. If we had to do it all again what would we do different? We wouldn’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to develop, test, amend and retest, but now it is complete we are extremely pleased with the final results and were confident users will find using the site a pleasant experience no matter what device they are viewing it on.