How to Hire for the Retail, Transportation, Hospitality, Restaurant Industries: Facebook and Mobile Recruiting

By Kirsten Smith

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Picture this: you’ve just left your house, and your pockets feel suspiciously empty. What is the very first thing you check for: 

Your wallet? 

Your keys? 

Or, more likely...your smartphone? 

If you’re like 91% of Americans who keep their mobile devices within reach 24/7, then you’re not alone. 

In today’s hyper connected world, where conversations happen in a 140 characters and at the speed of a 4G connection, if you’re not leveraging the right technology, you won’t reach your ideal candidates. 

Candidates for jobs in industries like transportation, retail, hospitality, and restaurant are not necessarily spending hours searching through job boards in between shifts. When they’re off the road or on a break, they’re quickly connecting with friends, acquaintances, and companies through social media--while on their portable smartphones and tablets. 

If your jobs are social and accessible from a mobile device, you’ll hold a tremendous advantage when it comes time to recruit new, passive, high quality talent for your jobs. Here are three easy steps to take to get started connecting with your ideal candidates: 

1. Be Social 

Social recruiting is an incredibly effective way to get in touch with and engage candidates across industries, backgrounds, and skill sets--and when I say “social recruiting,” I don’t mean tapping a small talent pool of professionals; I mean interacting with talent on the largest, most diverse and engaged social network in the world: Facebook. 

Why Facebook? Because when you need your next driver, waiter, or retail associate, chances are he or she will not have a profile on LinkedIn. However, there are currently 1.15 billion monthly active users on Facebook (meaning users who not only have created accounts, but also actively log on and interact with the platform), and a full 78% of those active users (that’s 897 million) log into Facebook from their mobile devices. 

When 54% of drivers access social networks like Facebook every day, for example, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not putting your jobs directly in passive candidates’ line of sight. You’ll be able to catch the eyes of your next candidate, no matter who they are, while they scan their Newsfeeds before clocking in.

2. Be Mobile

If you’re looking to convert passive candidates into active talent, you’ll need to make sure you can put your jobs where your candidates are--and for many hourly candidates, that means catching them while they’re on the go. 

According to a recent Potentialpark study, almost 70% of jobseekers said they would like to be able to search job openings from a mobile device and 47% wanted the ability to use mobile to research companies and career opportunities, yet only 13% of companies actually have a mobile-optimized career site. 

Don’t expect your candidates to be scouring the job boards from their desktop and laptop computers when they get home; meet them where they’re already looking: on their smartphones and tablets.

3. Be “Applicable” 

Philip Altshuler, the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Gables Residential, recently noticed that many of his candidates “are mobile, taking public transportation, going to and from work. They get opportunities while on the go. Time kills deals, even in recruiting. So if a candidate has to wait to go home and apply later, the likelihood of them not doing it increases tenfold."

For a candidate who discovers your careers while on a short break or waiting for the bus, a drawn out application process or an inability to apply until they return home can be a deal breaker. Optimizing your application process for mobile is more than a good idea: it’s a must if you want to increase your conversion rate. 

One easy way to streamline the application process for mobile is to go back to step one: be social. Most of your candidates will have a social profile. Let them upload their basic data (name, location, job title, etc.) directly from their social profiles in a single click. Make the process as simple--and as fast--as possible, and you will see your drop off rate diminish while your talent pool grows. 

It’s especially imperative that you get your mobile application process ready as we head into the busy holiday hiring season. More and more people will be discovering jobs from their tablets and smartphones--will your jobs be one of them? Make certain that you’re following the above three steps, and you’ll be on your way to a bigger candidate pool than ever come 2014. 

Author: Kirsten Smith


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