Job seekers no longer pick up a newspaper to find their dream job. Online job boards are also becoming a thing of the past. Where are job seekers looking? The hunt for work has jumped to a mobile environment as more individuals across the globe use their smartphone to search today’s job market.

The Job Hunt Has Mobilized

In 2011, Pew Research Center discovered that 35% of Americans owned smartphones. Today, that number has grown to 77% with 95% of Americans owning a cell phone of some kind (not necessarily a smartphone).[1]What’s more interesting is how we use our phones.

The average person carries a cell phone everywhere and not just in case of an emergency. Daily Infographic reports that we check our phones at least 110 times per day, including while in the shower, after we’ve turned in for the night, and even (gulp!) during sex.[2] So it makes sense that on-the-go portability of smartphones are utilized for those on the hunt for a new job.

While most employers believe that Millennials alone use their phones to conduct their job search, this just isn’t true. In fact, the smartphone has become a tool that has cut across generations. According to, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers all do most of their job searching on mobile devices.

Generation % that use mobile devices for job search*
Millennials 78%
Gen Xers 73%
Baby Boomers 57.2% (up from 51.2% in 2014)

*as of 2016[3]

The Indeed Hiring Lab states that “all of these numbers are an increase on previous years — which means that employers who do not have job listings optimized for mobile recruiting face a greater risk than ever of missing out on talent.” Businesses that do not accommodate mobile users will not only be seen as behind the times, they’ll also be edged out by competitors who are targeting mobile job searchers.

Smart HR Uses Mobile

Professionals in the recruiting and human resources fields have used social networks to address passive candidates for years. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter house a plethora of talented individuals who don’t even know they would be perfect for a role in your company.

However, smart HR managers are utilizing mobile platforms to reach candidates actively seeking new positions. Recruitment campaigns utilize the high engagement rates of social media while tapping into mobile’s quick and easy response rate.

According to Glassdoor, in 2014, 45% of job seekers used their mobile devices at least once per day to search for jobs. In addition, 48% of those job seekers felt that by 2017, mobile recruiting would super cede all other methods of searching for jobs.[4] But by 2016, according to Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report, only 45% of companies reported that their career site supported mobile usage.[5] Additionally, CareerBuilder reported that 41% of US employers planned to use text messages as a method of scheduling job interviews in 2017..[6]

Clearly, there is room for growth from employers in order to tighten the gap between employee expectations and hiring realities.

Smartphone Recruiting Benefits

Beyond being expected by candidates, putting a smartphone recruiting platform into place offers a myriad of benefits for both the employer and the candidate.

  1. It reaches most occupations. Indeed found that mobile devices account for job searches across all occupations. Most searches came from employees out in the field, such as building and grounds cleaning and construction and extraction. Even though individuals in business and financial operations were at the bottom of the list of occupations, the majority of searches still were made through mobile devices.
  2. It’s a global experience. Job seekers around the world use smartphone technology for their job hunt with workers in Korea, Taiwan, and Japan being the most likely to search for jobs on their cell phones. So if your organization spans the globe, your recruiting software should, too.
  3. It’s important to employed job seekers. It’s fast, easy, and convenient for job seekers. Since many workers look for another job while currently employed, smartphone recruiting makes sense. Individuals who are currently employed will want to manage their job hunt from their personal device rather than from the company computer.
  4. It reaches a diverse range of candidates. It’s proven that a workforce built with different genders, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds produces more innovative and effective results. Studies show that 64% of lower-income Americans own a smartphone and 74% of older Americans ages 50-64 use smartphones. Studies by Nielsen shows that Asian/Pacific Islanders are at the top of smartphone ownership at 86.6% followed by Black-African Americans at 83% and Hispanics at 82.4%, while non-Hispanic whites come in at 74.2% for smartphone ownership.[7]


The hunt for work has moved from the newspaper to the internet and now to mobile devices. People across generations, occupations, countries, and ethnicities are searching for their next position through their smartphone. Today’s employers should stay in the game through optimized smartphone recruiting. If not, they will most certainly lose their next candidate to the competition.


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