How Mobile is Revolutionizing Recruiting: Q&A with Alan Lepofsky

Cornerstone Editors

The mobile revolution has already started to transform the way we get things done at work, but how is it changing the way people get hired in the first place? To get the scoop on how recruiters can (and should) integrate mobile technology into their process, we talked to Alan Lepofsky, VP and principal analyst at Constellation Research. Drawing on nearly 20 years of experience in the software industry, Lepofsky explores how businesses can leverage technology to collaborate and work more effectively.

Here's what he had to say about how mobile is starting to change the hiring process now — and what to expect in the future.

How is mobile technology changing the recruitment process today?

One of the important things to mention is that, to most people, when they hear ’mobile,’ they immediately think smartphones and tablets. But mobile is less about the device and more about the working style and the process it can enable. What’s exciting about mobile is how it can change the way we do business, instead of just creating a mobile-friendly website for the same things we do today.

What could that radical change look like for jobseekers and recruiters?

For example, it’s not that that you can read job posts on your phone, but that you could be walking through a mall and iBeacon could send a message to your phone when you go by a store that's hiring. This could be the modern version of flipping through the classifieds. And instead of an old-fashioned sign above a booth at a job fair, companies can create a mobile app that allows applicants to input their skills, likes, characteristics — essentially their application, and then have iBeacons match them to opportunities, schedule an appointment and tell them what the recruiter’s name is. Companies are starting to use mobile tech in recruiting, but it's not yet the norm.

How could the move to mobile affect job applicants?

Mobile has been huge for recruiting, and the intersection of mobile and social media is kind of the key. There is this idea of a recruiting process being more than a resume. Basically, social media has become your resume. Everyone out there is taking applicants names and pulling in their social media profiles. Where mobile comes in is to bring these tools together with a one-button touch through an app. Think about how much you can do in real time — maybe a recruiter can scan a QR code on a business card to get to an applicant’s website or social media feed. That’s something you couldn’t do with static paper documents.

Let's play devil's advocate. What about privacy concerns?

I do think there is a lot of concern as we combine all of today’s buzzwords — cloud, mobile, social. All of these things are happening at once and we are so much more transparent about who we are and what we are doing online that a lot of people have lost sight of privacy. Protecting personal identity is absolutely critical. Imagine if candidates could see whom they are competing against.

What change do you think we'll see next?

I think the biggest change will be the shift in power from recruiter to applicant. As applicants become more easily identifiable through mobile tech and social media, recruiters will be able to go after people rather than people going after recruiters.

We are also seeing a shift toward going after the unknown candidate through the known candidate. The old adage is, "It’s not what you know, but who you know." That "who you know" bit is now an applicant’s entire online social network. Companies can tap their employee’s friend and family network to find candidates. This is far more efficient than generically starting from scratch every time.

Photo: Can Stock

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