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Retailers must adapt to mobile’s impact on recruitment process

To avoid missing out on top candidates retailers need to adapt their HR systems to take into account the increased use of mobile devices for applying for jobs and the tracking of these applications. By Glynn Davis


Retailers must adapt to mobile’s impact on recruitment process

Ahead of speaking at the 5th Retail Bulletin HR Summit in London on October 8 Christopher Bogh, technical director at Eploy, suggests “retailers are missing out on the opportunity” afforded by mobile. 

They have gradually incorporated social media into their recruitment practices and systems as another valuable channel to attract and engage with candidates. However, it seems unlikely that social will replace the likes of job boards and other traditional methods as a way of advertising and applying for roles.

But he warns that “mobile has happened much more quickly” and that many retailers are not where they should be in terms of adapting their recruitment platforms to taken into account the way candidates increasingly prefer to engage with the recruitment process.

“Some retailers just tick the box – ‘we’ve done mobile’. But in many cases they’ve just improved their careers site with good branding, which means it looks great but it’s often difficult to use and mobile has just been added on. When the candidate applies it can often be unintuitive, and this is the most important bit!” says Bogh.

It is now common practice for retailers to have a career portal system that attracts candidates for advertised roles and allows individuals to register for potential future jobs with both groups entering the relevant information including their CVs. This information can then be tracked by both the recruitment team and the candidate who can update the details when necessary.

The problem with these portals is that their standard varies greatly between retailers. One of the issues is that merchants have frequently built their career portals in an ad-hoc fashion, according to Bogh, who says they have lots of individual systems whereby the application tracking solution could be from one supplier, while another has created the website. The two systems often have very different visuals and usability.

Another vendor might then have developed the portal’s mobile site and this could simply involve making some of the main site’s pages mobile friendly. In contrast Eploy has developed an entire career portal solution that is enhanced for mobile, it has all the same content and pages used on the main website.

The solution also provides access to a powerful, user friendly, mobile version of the portal for hiring managers having recognised that in addition to having central recruitment teams most retailers also have hiring managers who would benefit from access to candidates’ details.

Without giving candidates a seamless portal and mobile capability Bogh warns that retailers run the risk of losing quality applicants: “You have to assume that good candidates could be lost. Many candidates send their CVs to companies because the portals are often not easy to use. But even in these cases the retailer might not be capturing all the correct data on the candidate.”

Christopher joins speakers from Marks & Spencer, Home Retail Group, Adidas Group, B&Q, Boohoo, Groupon, Three, Kallidus, EOH Business Solutions, The Career Gym Ltd, Click here for programme details and registration.

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