Online jobseekers – rise of the mobile awkward squad

Pew Research recently published its findings about how Americans use the internet to search for jobs

The weight of evidence has so far suggested that when it comes to job searches and mobile devices, people are more likely to seek information on their mobile device (browse jobs/see what the company is like), and leave the complicated business of filling out the application until they get to a desktop or laptop.

It seems more Americans (esp. young Americans) are trying to actually do their resumes/CVs and fill out online applications on the phone itself. Pew says of the 28% of Americans that have used a smartphone in a job search, half of these have tried to fill out an application on their device, and about a quarter have tried writing their CV. Maybe not surprisingly the report says they are finding this a frustrating experience.

The question for companies is should they attempt to respond to this trend in some way, by making it possible/easier to fill out mobile applications on their websites, or if by doing so they degrade the desktop experience (a real danger in the age of responsive sites). Certainly less complexity in corporate online applications could benefit users of all devices. Something tells me that, like with most other online trends, the question is not ‘either/or’ but ‘both’. In other words, they’ll need to try to cater for everyone – the rising mobile awkward squad and the ‘desktop dinosaurs’.

- Jason Sumner