How to Attract Quality Talent in the Era of Smartphones and Social Media

Local government human resource teams across the country are faced with the same challenge: how to attract quality talent in today’s digital-first society. In order to remain relevant in the job market and in particular, attract millennial job seekers, public sector human resource managers are enhancing their talent search strategies to ensure they are reaching qualified talent using the most appropriate channels. To optimize your talent acquisition model and recruit the most qualified pool of applicants possible, make sure your strategy leverages the power of social media, and is optimized for mobile.

The Paradigm Shift to Digital

Today, most job seekers start their search online. According to a 2015 survey by Pew Research Center, the proportion of Americans who have researched jobs online has doubled in the last ten years:

  • 54 percent of adults have gone online to search for a job.
  • 45 percent have applied for a job online.

The Job Search Goes Mobile

Today, more Google searches are performed from mobile devices than desktop computers. Not only are job seekers searching for employment from a desktop computer, they are searching on-the-go from their mobile devices.

  • 28 percent of Americans have used a smartphone as part of a job search.
  • Half of smartphone job seekers have used their smartphone to complete a job application.
  • 6 percent of adults have used their smartphone to create a resume or a cover letter.
  • 53 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds have used a smartphone as part of their job search, as have 37 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds.

Despite the proliferation of mobile technology, the mobile resources and tools available for job seekers do not always enable a convenient, streamlined experience. Nearly half of smartphone job seekers have reported experiencing difficulties accessing job-related content due to issues with usability and mobile functionality. In addition, 30 percent have reported having difficulty entering a large amount of text into mobile interfaces, or having difficulty submitting supporting documentation from their mobile devices.

In order to attract today’s mobile-savvy job seekers, local governments need to ensure any job postings or digital talent acquisition tools are optimized for mobile. To optimize your job postings or mobile, follow these best practices:

  • If you are using an applicant tracking software solution to streamline your job recruitment process, make sure your solution is optimized for mobile so that job postings can be easily read and responded to by mobile device users.
  • Write concise job descriptions that can easily be read or scanned from a mobile device screen.
  • Ensure the employment page of your local government website is mobile optimized. Not only will it give job searchers viewing your site from a mobile device a better experience, mobile optimized content will rank higher on search engines such as Google and Bing. Remember that mobile optimization includes the use of large, clickable buttons and eliminating large files and graphics that are slow to load.
  • Use online forms for job applications, rather than downloadable PDFs that can be impossible for some users to download, complete, and submit from a mobile device.
  • Reduce the total amount of career pages a job seeker will need to search through on your website. Slow, repeated page loads can be frustrating to mobile users.
  • Use dropdown menus and yes/no responses to primary application questions to minimize free-text response requirements, which are more time consuming to complete for mobile users.

Attract Talent in the Digital Age eBook

Leverage the Power of #SocialMedia

In addition to starting their job hunt from a search engine, many Americans are passively, and actively searching for jobs using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Many job seekers are even using social media to share employment opportunities are refer friends and colleagues, making it a powerful platform for amplifying the reach of your job openings. If you haven’t yet incorporated social media into your talent acquisition strategy, consider these facts from the Pew Research Center:

  • 35 percent of social media users have utilized social media to look for, or research, jobs.
  • 21 percent have applied for a job they first found out about through social media.
  • 34 percent have used social media to inform friends about available positions at their own employer.
  • 13 percent of social media users say information that they have posted on social media has helped them get hired.

If you’re ready to leverage the power of social media to help identify and attract talent for your civic staff, start by implementing these best practices:

  • Create a YouTube Channel and post videos that describe what makes your community unique and the benefits of working for your local government.
  • Share job openings on your community Facebook page, and encourage leaders in your administration to share the posts as well.
  • Make sure your Facebook community page includes a job board to offer citizens another channel to learn about open positions.
  • Provide the ability to apply to open positions using a LinkedIn profile. This expedites the ability for job seekers to submit an application.
  • Promote available job positions using paid Facebook ads. For a minimal investment, you can set-up highly targeted advertisements to ideal candidates, regardless of whether or not they are actively searching for a position.
  • Keep all your community social media profiles active with constantly updating content that demonstrates the benefits of civic employment.

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Jessica Marabella

Jessica Marabella

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Rochester, and a Master of Arts degree in Advertising from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She has over ten years of experience in communications with a focus on writing in the digital marketing space.