Mobility and HR

ipad
Source: Flickr user smemon

Be it mobile phones or tablets Australians love our mobile devices with 76% of us having a Smartphone and almost 40% of us now have tablet devices, however only 50% of these with non-wifi communication capability limiting the remainder to use in cafes and other public wifi locations.

The 8th Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index goes on to look at the types of activities Australians are undertaking on their phones; excluding voice and SMS. The growth rates for the period 2010 to 2012 of these non-traditional activities are fairly substantial:

  • Send and receive emails – 25%
  • To get information – 21%
  • For entertainment – 15%
  • To visit websites, and/or search or browse the internet – 20%
  • For banking, including transfers and bill payments – 19%
  • To buy things online – 16%

The survey also reveals that “approximately 40% of respondents use their mobile phone to compare prices online and to look at product or service reviews before making a purchase decision.” This implies that consumer facing organisations that do not have a mobile optimised web site could be suffering when consumers are making purchasing decisions. From personally experience will I often double check information and prices while in the store before making the final decision so I am not surprised 40% of users are doing the same.

With a majority of Australian’s now actively use mobile versions of web sites and downloadable apps how are we doing from a HR perspective in leveraging mobility?

Not very well.

Of the top 20 listed companies in Australia only 3 had any form of mobile optimised career or job search site. The rest directed mobile job search traffic to their traditional ATS which assumes the candidate is on a desktop device and able to complete the extended application process including the uploading of a resume. A handful of organisations have mobile sites which automatically redirect users when a mobile browser is detected, unfortunately other then Wesfarmers the user then needs to navigate to the main site to find career information.

Company Mobile Careers/Jobs
AMP No
ANZ No, only banking site
BHP Billiton No
Brambles No
CBA No, only banking site
CSL No
Macquaire Group No
NAB No, only banking site
Newcrest Yes once you reach the job search
Origin No, but do have a mobile site
QBE No
Rio Tinto No
Santos No
Suncorp Yes once you reach the job search
Telstra No, but do have a mobile site
Westpac No, but do have a mobile site
Westfield No
Wesfarmers Yes a mobile site that integrates some careers information but not a job specific job site
Woolworths No, but do have a mobile site
Woodside Petroleum No

Is this an issue?

Yes. Primarily because we are seeing a growth in the usage of mobile devices in the workplace. The Telstye 2012 report “Digital Workplace: The fast pace of business change” found that 43% of Australian organisations are allowing the practice of “Bring Your Own Device”, which allows employees to connect their own devices to the corporate network, and 28% allow some form of “Bring Your Own Application”, using non-corporate IT applications on your devices, resulting in more employees undertaking workplace tasks using mobile devices. According to the report’s author Rodney Gedda, the number of applications people can use in a work environment growing due to the increased use of cloud based offerings.

As more business processes become accessible via mobile devices employees are going to expect HR processes to be accessible on mobile devices. Recruitment tends to be the first process to “embrace” new technology and this lack of “mobile aware” careers and job sites indicates that HR is behind in being able to offer mobile solutions to the workforce.

UPDATE – 23 Jan 2013

I just spent a few hours with Simon Cariss Senior Vice President – Innovation at PageUp People, looking at a number of their new product offerings. We got discussing mobile and how limit usage it has at the moment. A majority of the sites that had mobile job offerings were in fact based on their platform, a fact I left out of the post as it was not a review of products.

We then discussed the Suncorp site as they do have a mobile optimized Career’s site, the issue is if you visit Suncorp directly via your browser you are sent to the banking home page and then have to navigate through a non-mobile optimized site. However if you search for Suncorp via Google there is a link directly to their Careers landing page in the Google search results allowing you to experience their mobile offerings. Another interesting fact is Suncorp do not have an Apply Now button on the mobile jobs site (a configuration feature clients control), instead they are using PageUp’s email feature to allow the job seeker to email the job directly to themselves to deal with at a later date. As soon as the job seeker completes this step the recruiter has their email address and then follow up if no application is received.

A final update PageUp People have a very interesting tool that is a practical use case for Big Data, more on that later.

Unpaid Internships: Fast Track to your Dream Job or Glorified Slave Labor?

This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas.

So after getting being accepted to your Dream University–after painstakingly editing college applications, obsessing over grades, finding extra-curricular activities that sparked your interest AND would somehow impress a college admissions committee–you thought it was all over, right? Once accepted, you’d think the next logical step is to finish your degree and get a job.

But, especially in today’s economic climate, in which employers are consistently scaling down their college grad hires, a full-time job is one more step away. Welcome to the world of internships.

Even though internships are largely unpaid, applications for what are considered absolutely necessary precursors to scarce jobs are on the rise. That means more competition for positions that will force you to pay for work, and not the other way around.

A recent Chicago Tribune article describes students struggling to raise funds for their internships, sometimes with the help of their parents.  Two internship placement services, The University of Dreams and The Washington Center, are charging as much as $9000 just to help students FIND internships. That, and the cost of living, means some students–who have traditionally worked service related jobs as waiters during summer months– will now be forced to run into serious debt, or miss out on ostensible opportunities.

The value of an unpaid internship, however, goes without saying. Even though we’re all familiar with the coffee-fetching, copy-machine-running clichés, many internships do provide some real, hands-on experience in fields as varied as publishing, marketing, software engineering, and teaching.

An internship gives students the opportunity to get a taste of a prospective career before they dive head-first into a full-time job they may not enjoy.  Since internal hiring is a favored practice among employers, the only way for a recent college grad to work for certain companies is to have worked within the company first. So even if you are fetching coffee, you’ll benefit from being considered an “internal” hire. In fact, an acquaintance of mine did just that–after two unpaid summer internships with Sports Illustrated magazine, he now has full-time job as a sports reporter in SI’s New York City office.

Although unpaid internships seem like an inherently unfair practice, universities often offer stipends to fund internships, and internship placement services do have a variety of need- and merit-based scholarships. What’s more, unpaid internships can offer students an opportunity to learn the difficult lesson of budgeting and living independently.

To get a better idea of what it’s like to be an intern, read former college student Steve Kent’s harrowing but entertaining account of his unpaid internship experience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for recruiters

Over the last few years there has been a significant growth in the number of people using general search engines to search for jobs. In Australia alone the word jobs appears in around 30 million searches per month!

However what does this really mean?

Does it mean that Seek, MyCareer and CareerOne will be going out of business because everyone will be using Google?

Not at all!

So does it mean you can ignore the world of search engine optimization or SEO for short?

Again not at all!

Very few people who use search engines look beyond the first one or two pages of results. If your website is not returned within those two pages, preferably on the first page and ideally in the number one position, your competition is beating you.

So then what is SEO? At it’s core SEO is designing your web site in a manner that makes it easy to be found, and indexed by search engines. Simple.

Well to a point. Obviously the best way to optimize your site for search engines is ensure that your content contains the keywords that people might use to find your product, brand or organisation. However by just adding these terms to your web site will not magically promote your site on top the number one page or into the number one spot.  This means you must learn the art of SEO.
SEO Tricks for Recruiters
There are many other tricks that you need to master such as making sure your keywords are used in headings, appropriate naming of your pages, meta data, links and having relevant content. However you should always keep in mind that for some keywords there is lots of competition which makes it very difficult to get your site in the number one spot. This means you need to undertake keyword research to know which keywords to target.

So why is this relevant for recruiters in Australia?

Because the word jobs appears in 30 million searches per month. But so do the brands, products and names of your clients. This means that the potential for searchers to find the job advertised by you significantly increases if you know what you are doing.

Let’s not forget that potential clients also use search engines to find new recruiters. So your business also benefits from effective use of SEO.

To learn more about search engine optimization and how it can benefit your recruitment activities register for the March Webinar, SEO for Recruiting.

(Image from Flickr by Search Engine People Blog.)

Unique job seeking method

I was forwarded an interesting Facebook event invitation today, someone seeking a job!

Paul Wants to be an Engineer

Here is the deal, our hero today is Paul a recent uni graduate in Engineering majoring in Robotics and Mechatronics and minoring in Mechanical Design Engineering with 18 months professional experience. Paul is having issues getting a job, so he put a call out to his Facebook friends to see who might be able to help him get a job. I like the idea.

I have posted his text below, but also see the Paul wants to be an Engineer!!! event on Facebook:

Hi there Facebook friends!

So, here’s the story;

I have just graduated from university with a Bachelors Degree in Engineering majoring in Robotics and Mechatronics and minoring in Mechanical Design Engineering. Along with this, I earned Class 2 Div A (Distinction) Honours.
I have also had over 18 months professional engineering experience with 14 months of that being employed at Bosch Australia.

The only problem is that I am finding it EXTREMELY difficult to find a job in this current global financial climate.

As you are all aware, in any industry it’s all about WHO you know and not WHAT you know.
So, I’m appealing to you to see if ANYONE has any contacts in the engineering world that could help me in getting my engineering career started!

I’m not too fussy with what position I’m looking for but I would prefer it to be in a capital city with a medium to large sized company with good career prospects in the automation/robotics/mechanical/engineering consultation areas.

There will also be prizes for the person who helps me land my first job 🙂

I have cover letters and resumes available upon demand.

Thanks heaps guys, any help will be greatly appreciated!

Paul.

Oh and if you happen to know someone looking for a graduate engineer you might want to drop him a line.

Looking for a job or looking for candidates? Look on Twitter.

A little experiment in recruitment has been kicked off by @BJMendelson on Twitter. Using Twitter to connect job seekers with employers through the use of hastags. Hashtags are a community driven tagging process for adding additional context and metadata to your Twitter.  You create a hashtag by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.

Brandon has created two hastags, Have A Job? (#HAJ) and Need a job (#NAJ), the details can be found on his blog. While Brandon is saying he will retweet the job ads the real power is you do not even need to use Twitter to gain access to the jobs and candidates.

If you are looking for staff, head over to Twitter Search and search for the hastag #HAJ, http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23HAJ. If you are looking for a job go to Twitter Search and look for the hashtag #NAJ, http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23NAJ. (Update: Ok I go the search the wrong way around!) If you are looking for staff, head over to Twitter Search and search for the hastag #NAJ, http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23NAJ. If you are looking for a job go to Twitter Search and look for the hashtag #HAJ, http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23HAJ.  You can pull this data into an RSS feed and get the jobs or candidates delivered directly to you. 

Nice and creative!