HR Is Getting Mobile

With over 4.5 billion mobile phones in service, apps that relate to life and work on the go — in all their varying manifestations — are the new norm. Human resources, the corporate denizen of recruiting and employee development, while not as quick as others to adopt a mobile way of doing work, is finally gaining some traction in using mobile devices to carry out its marching orders.

Staying abreast of best practices is how most industries learn to do their work better, and HR is no exception. It has always been recommended you read the advice of experts in the field, and these days, those experts are pointing to mobile devices. The work of getting jobs and acquiring talent is changing as quickly as the rest of culture, due to technology’s increasing ubiquity. Because so many people — or in HR terms, “potential talent” — are connected to the wider world through cellphones and tablets, companies and HR-consulting firms that use mobile technology in both gaining and engaging potential employees have a distinct advantage over those that do not. The real-time capabilities of response and the personalization that can come along with it are both in candidates’ and companies’ best interest, as each side of the employment equation seeks to quickly find a good fit.

When an organization doesn’t make use of the technology its recruits are using — even if those recruits do not yet use their devices for job hunting — talent acquisition is going to suffer. Whether the problem is a career site not optimized for mobile use, a company that still forces potential employees to go through a traditional application process or an HR department that lags behind in ease or immediacy when it comes to getting workers through the vetting processes for employment, it all means a loss of talent. Mobile technologies — if they’re used well — can aid almost any organization in talent acquisition.

Research has shown up to 70 percent of mobile Internet searches lead to action in an hour on the part of the user. When HR offers easy and reliable ways for potential recruits to find out about positions and apply for them through mobile devices, not only is the organization more likely to reach a broader talent pool, they’re also more likely to get a response. When mobile device–users job hunt on their phones or tablets, they expect to click through a search and apply all on their mobile device. After all, they found out about the position on their mobile device; why shouldn’t they be able to apply for it the same way?

Technology developers in human resources are working to solve the field’s many needs. New apps and other mobile solutions that help companies hire, manage and track HR in relation to the massive amounts of people in the mobile device market are cropping up on a regular basis. Most of the newest technology and mobile tools assist in acquiring and managing new employees, but analytics apps that will enable HR professionals to dig into data — especially as it relates to technology — are also beginning to appear. Some applications even make the day-to-day work of a human resources department, like payroll and scheduling, easier and more efficient.

Here are a handful of the apps that are changing how people do HR:

  • Kenexa 2x Mobile. This app helps HR by approving job requests and hiring via mobile applications. Connected with Kenexa’s 2x Recruit cloud-based recruit tracker, the app keeps all the incoming and outgoing information updated in real time for hirers and hirees.
  • Jobvite. This app makes referrals to qualified candidates by utilizing social networks. Users of this app can send Jobvites to anyone within their social networks. Because of its trackability, human resources staff can track the referrals and build relationships with people who are more likely to be good fits for open jobs.
  • Vortex’s Mobile Manager Connect. This SaaS-based program lets HR managers do their jobs wherever they are. With this app, time cards can be reviewed, edited, approved and submitted, time-off requests can be submitted and granted, reports can be reviewed and adjusted and schedules can be tracked and changed. Both management and employees can utilize the simple interface, and it even syncs with payroll systems.

The changes coming to HR are similar to the changes that technology is making in almost every industry. The ins and outs of job seeking and recruitment are mirroring our techno-centric 21st-century lives, making employment as mobile as we are.

About the Author: Jamie Orr is a contributing blogger and HR consultant who recommends for anyone looking to improve their HR skills and connections.