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How Technology and job search apps have changed Recruitment

Published: Wednesday 16th December 2015

Technology is changing the way people live, faster than we realise – and it’s a lot wider than just the invention of job search apps. We now entertain and educate our children with iPads, have phones that talk and integrate with our cars and have smartwatches that tell us when we have received an email and how far we’ve run. In the earlier stages of the internet, we would search for what we wanted and then look through the options. Whether it was a flight, accommodation, a coffee, a date or a job – it was a simple search process with instant results at any point in time. The process started and ended there. But now with mobile apps and other technology on the market, the way we search and find things online has completely changed.

How has the job search apps’ industry changed job hunting

A handsome young businessman holding his laptop while using his phone and standing on the street

Mobile apps are the future – take booking flights for example. We can now put our details into a price comparison app for flights. After entering our preferences for the location, date and time, we not only get results instantly when we ask for them, but we will then also receive useful information later down the line – in the form of relevant updates and/or new deals when flying back to the same location next year. Mobile phone apps, like job search apps, learn the requirements of a user and instead of the need to manually search each time, give users the ability to receive alerts for things they know they are interested in.

Accommodation apps for booking hotels offer similar functionality now. Not only can we get instant results when we search, but our basic preferences can be saved so that we can get alerts as and when relevant offerings come onto the market or come down in price to meet our requirements. Shops, cafes and dating sites have all evolved in the same way and as a result of so much on offer in those markets – from “places to eat” to “hotels in London”, push notifications and smart filtering options give users a much more sophisticated way of finding the relevant information they want.

Recruitment on technology

If using modern day technology has changed how people now live – how has this impacted our industry? For recruitment agencies searching online for the best candidates and for candidates searching online for the best jobs – the recruitment sector as a whole has had to embrace new technology in order to match these two audiences in a more effective way – enter the ‘job search app’.

What are job search apps?

As with other industry sectors, there have been basic websites with search functions for many years. In recruitment, preferences for location, salary and keyword searches have let users see rough matches for the jobs they are looking for. The problem with these websites is that often there are hundreds of matches for common search terms like ‘administration jobs’. Using new technology, companies are developing their websites further and adopting mobile to give their audiences the same experience they receive when booking a hotel, when they are looking for a new job.

Job search apps allow candidates to set their location where their mobile currently is, based on GPS. Alternatively, they can define the location they wish to search for a new role in. For example, someone in Manchester can search for jobs 20 miles from their house, or in London if they are thinking about relocating. After entering their details and preferences for permanent, temporary, part-time or full-time work, pay details and desired job title; job search apps will show all of the matches that fit these criteria, using GPS to sort relative location preferences.

The biggest difference between job search apps and websites is the pace in which candidates can be matched with recruiters and hirers. In today’s job market, especially for temporary and seasonal workers, the landscape is changing every day. Real time push notifications are an instant way messages can be sent to candidates as soon as a relevant match is uploaded. For recruiters, access to an engaged job searching pool of candidates, in real time, can make all of the difference when faced with multiple vacancies to fill. In the recruitment industry timing is everything, so the ability to be literally in a candidates back pocket, can be the difference between filling a vacancy – or not.

Who uses job search apps?

Close up of african businessman holding coffee to go and using brand new mobile phone with functional icons

For recruiters, job search apps don’t mean manually using a mobile to fill in forms and type up job advertisements. With job search apps like Zoek, posts are completed easily on a laptop and then viewed on the app once live. So the ease of use for the candidate is matched by the ease of inputting for the recruiter. Once jobs have been posted, relevant candidates will find the roles through real-time push notifications that inform them of roles as soon as they have downloaded the app.

Launched in February 2015, Zoek has been working with recruitment agencies in all of the big cities; London, Birmingham and Manchester and has received over 62,000 downloads to date as a result of our million pound marketing campaign. If you are a recruiter interested in finding out more about Zoek, read our page on how Zoek works or find out more about our recruitment packages.

For candidates, Zoek can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices for free. After entering basic details like location, desired salary, and job title, the app then starts finding relevant matches. Unlike with many job boards, no longer will candidates receive hundreds of irrelevant job vacancies wasting hours of precious job searching time.

Here are six reasons why you should change how you find candidates. As research will show many of your competitors are living in the age of smarter, faster recruitment. Are you?

Moving online happened long ago

Hand holding smartphone with hand drawn media icons and symbols concept

In the past, people used to carry a paper diary everywhere and fill in or cross out appointments, a calendar on the wall with circles around key events and dates, and have a physical address book with a list of names, numbers and addresses of contacts. The new generation would only know the term address book as the icon on a smart phone.

As this migration of the majority of day to day administration to the internet has happened, so too has behaviour in the recruitment industry. Over 90% of applications are now online, up from just 22% in 1990 to 2000. Nowadays, the only physical paperwork that is regularly completed in a job application process is in the reading and signing of the Employment Contract to finish the process.

Gone are the days of receiving copies of application forms and filling them in. We no longer print a CV and fold it nicely into three before sending it off in an envelope. There is no need to look through the newspaper through all the listings, circling or cutting out the ones that take your interest.

Online job boards are actually old technology

The first online job boards appeared around 1997 and 70% of agencies have been using online job boards for 14 years. This was futuristic technology 18 years ago. To put it into context, other futuristic technology of 1997 included using Windows 1995 as the operating system, dial-up internet with that terrible noise and often ‘surfing the web’ with Netscape Navigator. Instant communication was achieved through AOL or MSN Messenger, and alternative search engines included Ask Jeeves and AltaVista.

A young asian woman is using an innovative future technology to view her phone data

But life moves on, and there is a cycle for anything. After 14 years of the majority of agencies using job boards, technology has evolved. Job search apps are new to the field, are increasing in use and are more convenient for the candidate. They also allow for real time push notifications on their mobiles to alert candidates of a new relevant listing. So if recruiters aren’t on a job search app, they’re missing out.

People spend the most time on mobile

The majority of digital media consumption now takes place on mobile apps, which has overtaken desktop and is still climbing. As smart phones have evolved to do most of what a computer can, preference for consumers to use the convenience of their mobiles on the run, or when they’re bored, has evolved too. This means that job search apps are now more important than job websites if recruiters want to be exposed to a captive audience in real time.

Mobile usage has become so wide-spread there are few instances where it is frowned upon. With silent modes and touch screens replacing the clicking sound of traditional button key pads, the discretion one can be used with is surprising. On the train to work, walking down the street or at the back of a lecture theatre, people are using their mobiles. Everywhere. All the time.

People are hooked to their mobiles like never before

Happy people using mobile smart phone

We unlock our mobiles an average of 85 times per day. Perhaps most interestingly, that is twice as much as we estimate it to be. This means we aren’t even aware of just how much we are connected with our mobile and rely on it. With Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS, WhatsApp – the list of things to check is forever growing. It’s now growing into the world of the mobile job search app too.

There is a concept called the Phantom Vibration Syndrome. This is when people imagine that the phone in their pocket is vibrating with a text, notification or call, when it isn’t. We are so on edge to receive updates and not miss out, that we imagine vibrations and alerts that don’t exist. Fear of missing out (FOMO) and other anxieties when access to phones is restricted are also increasing. Mobiles are no longer just tools to make a phone call, but a continuous access to being online and available 24/7. If this is where people are living and breathing, this is where they need to be accessed.

Most job seekers look for new jobs on their mobile

Consistent with the wider trend of digital consumption moving to mobile, almost 90% of job seekers say they plan to use their mobile for some job searching in the next year. Because mobile use is now so widespread and people are so often on them, it has become the first step of a search, rather than a later or complimentary one. Job search apps are critical to reaching job searchers at the first point of their job search. With push notifications, you can stay in their pockets through their journey and continue the interaction after the initial search.

Zoek’s job search app has been downloaded 62,000… and counting!

With over 62,000 downloads to date, the Zoek job search app launched earlier this year and helps recruiters reach their target audience in a faster, smarter way. People are Zoeking on the bus to work, walking down the street and even at their desks at work. For more recruiting top tips visit our InfoHub or follow us on LinkedIn to stay connected.

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