One can barely turn around in the digital space (as well as in the Recruiting/HR space) without having a discussion about the rise of smartphones and tablets and the movement away from laptops and desktops. Simply Hired recently released its 2013 Mobile Recruiting Outlook which explores how the rise of mobile technology has forever changed the way in which job seekers search for new opportunities as well as the way in which organizations need to leverage mobile. It’s a good, concise report that’s a must read for anyone tasked with finding talent for their organization who has yet to tackle the use of mobile as a recruiting tool – let alone an employee connection channel!
According to the report:
“In the U.S., nearly everyone owns a mobile phone. As of June 2012, there were 321.7 million mobile subscriber connections in the U.S. More than 114 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in July 2012, up seven percent from April 2012. Smartphones now make up half of all mobile subscriptions in the U.S. and 22 percent of adults in the U.S. own tablets.”
In addition, according to the report: “By 2016, the number of mobile devices is expected to surpass the world’s population – an 18 fold increase between 2011 and 2016” and “with many people now using smartphones to access the Web, mobile phones and tablets accounted for a combined 13.3 percent of total Internet page views in August 2012, doubling their traffic since 2011.”
I think most of us get it. I, for one, certainly use my smartphone and/or tablet to access information in all sorts of situations/locations; in the office, lounging on my couch while I’m tuned in to House Hunters International or in my car (preferably while stopped at the traffic light, thank you very much). The ones who don’t get it are those who, I can pretty much guarantee, are not reading this blog post.
These are the people who look up phone numbers and/or addresses the old-fashioned way. Apparently there is still a market for phone books.
While strolling through a workplace recently I unearthed some interesting finds. Much like an archaeologist in search of the Tombs of the Pharaohs, after finding one relic I kept watch for more. As I ventured forth on my journey I compiled a list of the objects I saw; items once deemed essential tools in the workplace, which have now been relegated to the dust bin of obsolescence. Or have they? Because I found people using:
- phone books (actual photographic evidence at the top of this post)
- multiple fax machines
- a Rolodex
- “While You Were Out” phone message pads
- those little squeezy bottles to moisten postage stamps
- inter-office envelopes
- giant paper desk calendars/blotters
- scotch tape, masking tape, duct tape and all other many of adhesives and fasteners. For paper.
All the kinds of trinkets and supplies that I loved using when I was 6 years old and “played office” by setting up a card table in the living room, putting on my mother’s high heels and pretending to be the boss-lady. Or the secretary. I dunno.
But I do have a point. We shouldn’t be so quick to assume that everyone (everyone!) is using a smartphone and has the wherewithal – or the comfort-level - to use a mobile device to look up a phone number, peruse a website, get directions…or apply for our jobs.
Do we need to be prepared? Of course. Every single HR practitioner needs to do some fast learning on mobile technology and how it can be used across the spectrum of HR/Talent Management functions. At the same time though it’s quite alright if people in one’s organization continue to excavate and use those relics-from-the-past as long as they’re getting the job done.
So let your fingers continue to do the walking. Just realize that one day soon they’ll only be taking that stroll across a mobile keyboard.