Part two of the interview is about how the first gadgets become promising technologies. Dr. Stephan Böhm is since 2006 Professor for Telecommunications / Mobile Media at the Media Management degree program of RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden. The interview was made while researching one ZEIT ONLINE-Items. After his diploma in the field of industrial engineering electrical engineering at the TU Darmstadt graduated Dr. Böhm on the subject of innovation marketing for UMTS mobile services at the University of Duisburg. He worked for several years as a management consultant for the international strategy and technology consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton in Berlin and Düsseldorf and has many years of experience in the telecommunications and media markets. As an expert in mobile media, he lectures at industry events and is the author of several publications in the areas of telecommunications and innovative mobile service offerings. Dr. Böhm is also a co-initiator of the Mobile Media Forum in Wiesbaden and has been co-director of 2008 with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Jäger the BMBF research project Remomedia on mobile recruiting.
How do you assess the economic possibilities of mobile recruiting offers - future market or more bauble?
Mobile recruiting is then a "gimmick", if it marks an aimless trial of individual mobile media technologies in the field of personnel marketing and procurement activities. Here then, in fact, no further effect is to be expected than an astonishment of the technical possibilities of the demonstrated application, without a measurable economic effect can be registered by this measure.
What will users use more in the future - desktop or mobile devices?
However, the time budget for the use of the Internet will spread to new forms of access, such as mobile devices or tablet PCs, to the extent that these technologies will spread in the future. Not only are new usage situations and so far untapped time budgets developed, but also time budgets are shifted from classic desktop workplaces.
Usages that are relevant for personnel marketing and procurement are often not dependent on the context of use or time-critical and will therefore, in the future, usually be handled via desktop access or be relocated to it. For example, a university graduate is interested in starting a career at a particular university Company, he will find this even if he can not retrieve appropriate information on the go, since such a decision is typically not made "ad hoc" or situation or location-dependent.
And what will be so fundamentally new with mobile recruiting?
Some. The situation is different in the case of applications in which the time and location aspects are of particular importance - for example, in the placement of internships, auxiliary work or even mediation in temporary work. Here, ad hoc character and also context sensitivity of mobile access can provide an additional benefit. In addition, the mobile terminal as a communication channel will become increasingly important for the target group approach as future broadcasting media transfer their use to this medium and expect corresponding access possibilities and services from companies.
So a fundamental change in recruiting methods?
While in the "War for Talents" mobile access is still an unnecessary additional offer today, this will become an expected standard performance as media usage changes. The nature and extent of these services will, however, first emerge. The challenges are quite similar to the situation in the 1990 years when companies' largely human resources recruitment and sourcing activities were expanded to include the stationary World Wide Web and enterprise e-recruiting was discovered.
How should companies adapt to this?
It is important that companies develop a mobile recruiting strategy and systematically assess the success of individual measures for the entirety of their commitment in this area, as well as for individual campaigns, goals and strategies, and derive consequences for further activities.
"Deriving Consequences" sounds somehow as if companies had to learn from past mistakes and make uncomfortable decisions ...
Campaigns should not be based on the current popularity of a technology or application, but should be planned to fit the specific target audience. This also against the background that otherwise there is a risk to "bogged down" in the variety of different activities. For example, this is currently also recognizable in mobile applications. So it is questionable whether companies after the "hype" of the iPhone now also applications for other platforms (such as Android) develop and maintain.
What speaks against it?
In particular, the steadily increasing development and maintenance costs, which can only be met by large companies. Applications in the HR area are not "fire-and-forget apps" such as games that may be developed quickly and then used by customers for a short time and only incidentally.
And it follows?
It is to be expected that the way back to universal as well as platform-independent solutions and thus, for example, to browser and web technologies (keywords: web applications) will lead. However, such approaches are only promising if companies are guided by a strategy and systematic discussions with the new possibilities of mobile recruiting and not by the hype of individual technologies.
How do the companies see it?
In our 2009 study, 42 percent of respondents were able to implement a mobile recruiting campaign in their company during the next 24 months, although only 15 percent of such a statement strongly agreed (page 13 of our study). While a mobile career web site was already available for 8 percent, it was planned for a further 14 percent of respondents. To this extent, it is to be assumed that in the medium term the spread of mobile recruiting will increase.
Your results are from 2009 - has not there been a lot in the meantime?
Between the end of 2009 and today, there is a tendency to move sideways as a result of the economic or overall economic development. The 2009 / 2010% / 13% / 18% usage of mobile Internet is generally the same. However, we are currently working on a new edition of the study, the results of which are expected to be published in the middle of 17.
Do companies not feel like getting involved anymore?
Mobile Recruiting is currently an additional theme for which there are usually no fixed structures and budgets in the company. To this extent, it is to be assumed that such activities are also postponed first when budgets in the personnel marketing departments become scarce. As the competition for new employees and talents gains in intensity, mobile recruiting as an additional and innovative communication channel will again gain in significance.
And how could this change?
With the increasing spread of smartphones, rising data rates and the availability of low-cost flat rates, the use of the mobile device will continue to penetrate the mass market and become a medium that companies can no longer ignore.
We are looking for our jobs or employees soon on the go on the phone, not at home on the computer?
The stationary desktop computer will surely also dominate the access to the Internet in the medium term as a terminal device. With mobile devices and tablet PCs, new devices with special features are added, which are used alternatively to the PC / laptop at home on the sofa or on the road. Which communication channels are used here depends on the specific objective, target group and also the number and characteristics of the addressed applicants.
What role does mobile recruiting play in the company?
Mobile recruiting tools are more likely to expand than replace the existing recruiting and HR marketing portfolio. In the future, companies will be faced with the challenge of orchestrating their HR marketing and procurement activities in an ever more heterogeneous media portfolio and developing an independent and appropriate approach for the company.
Which recruitment tool does a company successfully use depends on the target group?
Correct. Different end devices and forms of access have - especially in front of a largely ubiquitous distribution in the mass market - characteristic user groups that are to be compared with the goals and target groups of personnel marketing.
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