Emerging Media: The Best Opportunities You Aren't Taking Advantage Of

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  • By
    Andrew Streiter
  • in Emerging Media

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Job seeker behavior has changed remarkably in the past few years. So, why hasn't your recruitment strategy?

In this competitive market for talent, it is imperative that employers be at the forefront of what job seekers find accessible. With today's emerging technologies job seekers have come to expect a more interactive experience when it comes to their job search. In order to meet the needs and desires of top talent, employers have to meet them halfway.

The smartest employers are taking advantage of today's emerging media to connect with job candidates where they work and play and deliver a more interactive and engaging job seeker experience.

Two forms of emerging media employers need to take advantage of right now are mobile and online video technology. Not only are mobile and video technologies surprisingly easy to implement into your overall recruitment efforts, but they are a must for any employer who hopes to remain competitive in the new recruitment landscape.

Mobile: The New Desktop

According to the latest findings from Pew Research Center, 83 percent of Americans currently own cell phones, nearly half of whom (44 percent) use their mobile devices to get access to the Internet. This finding highlights the opportunity mobile devices offer employers to reach job seekers anywhere, at any time. The opportunities to use mobile technology for recruiting are vast, ranging from mobile-friendly websites that enable easy job searches on the go; to quick response (QR) codes that point smartphone users to job listings; to text alerts informing candidates about recruiting events and opportunities.

Regardless of size or industry, every company should take advantage of mobile recruiting opportunities. Increasingly, job seekers are using their mobile devices to receive job alerts, search jobs and research companies. It won't be long until this behavior is commonplace, and those companies that do not embrace this technology are losing out on candidates every day.

Video: An Underutilized Advantage

For all of its power to influence and engage people, video is one of the most underutilized recruiting tools out there today. One thing CareerBuilder has seen consistently throughout our 15 years of research on job seekers is their desire to work for companies that care about their employees, work for the greater good and are at the forefront of innovation. Video enables companies to get this message across better than any other medium, because it enables candidates to really see and hear what the true employee experience is like.

The evidence supports this finding, too: According to CareerBuilder internal data, job postings with video icons are viewed 12 percent more than postings without video. On average, CareerBuilder customers receive a 34 percent greater application rate when they add video to their job postings. At the same time, only 10 percent of job postings include video, underscoring a major opportunity for employers to take advantage of this technology and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Dispelling the Myths of Emerging Media

Change can be intimidating, but companies that fail to embrace these emerging media are only cheating themselves out of the opportunity to reach the growing number of qualified candidates who utilize this technology for their job searches. If what's holding you back is the fear that implementing these technologies is too expensive or simply more trouble than they're worth, consider the following popular misconceptions about emerging media.

Myth 1: It's expensive.

It's surprisingly inexpensive to send text messages, create QR codes or create a mobile-friendly career site. Likewise, video is also inexpensive to produce, and it can be as easy as creating a video yourself and posting it (for free) on YouTube. It may not be the most polished video, but it's a way to start the process and see how much feedback it generates.

From there, you might decide to invest in a more streamlined production process to get an even better return. Implementing mobile and video recruiting efforts can be an investment, but when you look at the return, cost should be an afterthought.

Myth 2: It's too complicated.

Mobile technology can feel like somewhat of a black hole for employers; however, integration with mobile devices is surprisingly simple, and the time it takes to build a mobile website is minimal. The same can be said for video. As mentioned above, uploading video onto any online platform — from a video-sharing site like YouTube to the company career site — is increasingly easy. When in doubt, consult a third party expert to help you navigate these technologies for the best possible ROI. You won't regret it.

Myth 3: It's a trend.

If there's one thing to take away from this article, it is that emerging media, such as mobile technologies, social networking and video, is not going away. Consider the following statistics:

  • In 2010 alone, the worldwide mobile phone market grew by 18.5 percent.
  • More than 5 billion text messages were sent on a daily basis in the U.S. in 2010.
  • In the last quarter of 2010, smartphone sales surpassed that of PCs, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).
  • Over the course of 2010, CareerBuilder saw more than 400 percent growth in job searches on our mobile career site, and the number of job seekers storing resumes on their phones using CareerBuilder's iPhone App increased by more than 350 percent.
  • Web pages with video are 53 times more likely than pages with just text to show up on the first page of Google results.
  • Internet video is now 40 percent of consumer Internet traffic, and will reach 62 percent by the end of 2015.

These are just a few of the findings that underscore the reach and power of emerging media, as well as the need for employers to adapt their recruiting efforts to keep up with mobile usage trends. As these technologies become the norm for candidates as they search for jobs and research companies, employers need to adjust their recruiting efforts accordingly to remain competitive.

In other words, you might not be taking advantage of emerging media, but your competitors are. Don't get left behind.

Andrew Streiter is an area vice president at CareerBuilder, LLC, where he is responsible for developing human capital strategies for organizations ranging from Fortune 1,000 companies to mid-sized businesses throughout the U.S.

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