The conversation of Mobile in Recruitment has been rightly been dominated by the idea of companies using mobile as a channel for Employer Branding or as a platform for the distribution of jobs.
Perhaps less well publicized are the ways in which mobile applications can be used by resourceful recruiters as sourcing tools – to identify, attract & engage candidates. I’ve been using a few of these apps for the past year or so on the Iphone 4 and I want to bring you up to date with my fave’s so far. Here’s my top 5:
Foursquare is the worlds leading stand alone location based social network. Chances are you’re either using it, know people who do or have heard about it through other social platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Like all great apps, it’s based on a really simple idea – it’s a tool which allows you to post updates on where you are, using your mobile device and a user generated library of locations to pin point exactly your position on the map.
# Through leaving Tips, you can attach messages to locations long after you’ve physically left them.
How can I use it for recruiting?
Many ways, but one of my favourite is still the guerilla job advertising pioneered by Craig Fisher at Ajax Social Media – placing job adverts for his clients in venues where employees of competitor companies were likely to check into.
The use case: If you know company X has a HQ near coffee shop Y, there’s a good chance that employees of company X will go to that coffee shop. Check in to the venue yourself and post a guerilla job advert for company Z through the Tips feature, which supports text, image and links. You’re leaving a permanent, highly visible, targeted job advert, outside the door of your client’s main competitor. Nice.
Sonar is social discovery app which uncovers how you are connected by the people around you. It is less concerned about where they are, it’s really trying to solve the problem of how you can connect with people you know are in the room. Pulling in and aggregating data from a number of social networks of the people around you, Sonar tells you how you are connected to them (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter?) and then provides a one click mechanism on how you can contact them 1-2-1. This intro video will give you a pretty good idea:
# Works even when no one else is using it
How can I use it for recruiting?
Are you serious? Sonar could have been designed with recruiters in mind. It’s core function is how you would actually use it for recruiting – go to a place, fire up the app to find out who’s there, discover how you’re connected, then use the social proof provided by that connection to make a warm approach to your prospect.
Banjo is social discovery app which aggregrates check ins or updates from other geo-location applications or social networks. It doesn’t matter what services people are using, if there is geo tagging, Banjo will pick it up. This means that you don’t have to be on the same service or have integrated services and so you won’t miss out just because you’re on Foursquare and they’re on Facebook. It’s a feature packed app, which makes it a little less user friendly than ‘single use’ services but each of the features add significant value that it’s understandable why they are are there. These include an alerts system for established contacts, a mapping page to display proximity and even a conversation tracker with which you can search for key terms that feature in the updates that are happening around you.
#Conversation tracker through ‘Updates’ feature.
How can you use it for recruiting?
Banjo’s extension of reach by going beyond a single service is itself a boon for recruiters – you no longer have to check multiple services to ID the people around you. However, it’s the search feature that has most potential for sourcing candidates. Go to an industry event, afterwork meet-up or simply an area where there is a density of a certain type of skill set (i.e City = Bankers), the search feature can be used to track conversations, identify people by what they talk about and message them through reply, twitter or even through image.
LocalMind is a mobile Q & A application that enables users to tap into the knowledge of local people, in real time. Users who sign up can both ask and answer questions, incentivised to do both by Karma points system, which cleverly rewards behaviours the platform wants to see. If you have a question, you simply ask it either directly to an individual ‘LocalMind’ or to a syndicate of local experts, any of whom might respond. If you are yourself a LocalMind, then you might be on the receiving end of those questions. Both questions and answers are rated, and you climb a leaderboard based on how many Karma points you earn.
#Successful question / answer interaction unlocks1-2-1 chat functionality.
How can I use it for recruiting?
Come on now, this is an app which enables you to ask large numbers of people unlimited volume of questions on any topic? I’m not advocating mindless recruiter spam (which you’ll no doubt be punished for via in app peer review) but LocalMind is perhaps one of the few mobile services where you might just be able to ask local experts referrals for the job you are recruiting for, and get a decent response. More creatively, the right questions can stimulate conversation, unlock the chat feature and lead deeper conversations on or off platform. More expansively, LocalMind gives you have the ability to retrieve information from a local community about what’s going on in the area – new companies, redundancies, who’s hiring, who’s not – endless possibilities of finding leads and prospects.
Glancee may be the first true convergence of location, social and interest graphs, delivered through a stunning magazine style user interface. You connect through facebook API and Glancee will use your interest graph to match you with individuals who are close to you in geography and personal interest. An assymetrical follow systems mean that you can follow anyone you find by ‘Favouriting’ them, which subsequently unlocks a messaging function via real time chat
#Matching Engine – follows interests pulled in from Facebook API and other connected social accounts to match geographically local members, who share your interests, to your profile
How do you use it for recruiting?
Think about how your prospects signal their personal interests on social networks, and then use the same terminology in adding to your own interests within the application. The matching engine will do the rest, delivering compatible individuals, who are geographically close to you, for you to review, assymetrically follow, and message. Glancee’s primary function as a mobile dating app is as obvious as it’s name, and I have a feeling that the assymetrical follow system might soon turn it into a mobile Chatroulette. However, for now, and before it get’s parasitized by desparado’s, it’s functionally is more than usable for sourcing candidates.
It’s not difficult to predict what’s next, because it’s already happenng; frictionless sharing is the next wave of geo location. Facebook might have already introduced the term to the mass market with the roll out of Open Graph at f8 last September, but for those who would like a reminder, frictionless sharing basically means default authorization to publish activity whenever you use an application. When it comes to mobile, think Marauder’s Map in Harry Potter and you’ve almost got it. Apps like Find Friends, Glassmap and Highlight are already on the market, with #SXSW later this week a coming out party for several of them. These apps will revolutionize how location based data is shared. Initially, this will be amongst friends, but eventually, amongst those who know how to look.
This post was inspired by Shane McCusker (Finding Candidates Contact Details) and Bill Boorman (Twitter ToolBox For Sourcing) who last week produced two outstanding posts on sourcing tools for recruiters. Thought it was high time I did the same.
Wise Man Say is The Social Recruitment Guide. I solve recruitment problems for companies looking to scale. Thinker / Trainer / Doer on social recruiting. Contact me on 0207 739 9358 or email@example.com
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