TALK | Mobile Media Expert Professor Dr. Stephan Böhm on mobile recruiting: Purposefully use special features of the terminals

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Best of HR –®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 three-part interview was created while researching one ZEIT ONLINE-Article, In the first part, Böhm tells what mobile recruiting is and what you can do with it.

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.

Here writes for you:

Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


How do you define mobile recruiting?

In my understanding, mobile recruiting is an electronically supported form of recruiting, i.e. a variant of e-recruiting, in which communication with potential applicants is via mobile devices (e.g. feature phones, smartphones) and on the basis of mobile media technologies or via ( Mobile) radio networks takes place and thus also enables applicants to be addressed in mobile use situations or “on the go”.

So practically every website that is aimed at applicants and is optimized for mobile devices ...

Right. Mobile recruiting actually exists when companies optimize their conventional career websites for access via mobile devices. It should also not be forgotten that companies and job exchanges have been using SMS for some time, for example to provide information about new job offers.

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But that sounds a bit like just transferring the Stationary Web to your mobile phone?

“Real” mobile recruiting or mobile recruiting in the narrower sense only exists when companies not only try to overcome the limitations of mobile devices, but also specifically use the specific features and new possibilities that such access offers in the mobile usage situation or allowed via mobile devices.

Why do you need mobile optimization at all?

So far the smartphone share in Germany is only around the 20 percent. The large mass of users with simple end devices and without data flat rate needs today still mobile-optimized websites. The aim of such an optimization is to adapt the pages to the limits of mobile devices (small display, lower data rates, higher connection costs).

However, modern smartphones such as the iPhone can also display conventional pages well - does the need for optimization disappear in the future?

Even with modern smartphones, it does not necessarily make sense to deliver career pages developed for use on desktop computers in order to then only present them in a reduced size or in sections. In addition to small display sizes and limited input options, significantly reduced attention when using "on the go" will continue to shape the mobile medium. This makes other concepts of addressing and informing target audience groups and presenting content necessary.

How common are mobile recruiting offers?

Mobil-optimized career websites were only offered by 2009 less than 10 percent of companies, according to our mobile recruiting study.

And how many users do you use?

According to a study by Accenture (Mobile Web Watch 2010) beginning 2010 only one in five German Internet users (17 percent) also surf the web with his mobile phone.

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Because of this, and because only a few career websites are optimized for mobile devices at all, this mobile recruiting technology is, for example, based on the totality of Internet users of a utilization rate even more in the single-digit range.

What is the reason?

The performance of the networks and devices is increasing (see iPhone or the upcoming introduction of the UMTS successor standard LTE). The prices for mobile data use are also falling steadily or are losing their importance as a usage barrier due to the spread of cheap flat rates.

... what should actually increase the distribution ...

Yes, but contract customers typically retain their terminals for two years. In addition, the end user subsidy drops and many prepaid customers have to dispute the change to a modern smartphone quite at its own expense. In the foreseeable future, therefore, a large part of the terminals in use will still be characterized by such restrictions against the stationary web.

What are typical mobile applications?

This includes the “detachment” from the desktop workstation through the implementation of cross-media concepts in connection with out-of-home media - eg quick response (QR) codes on posters like here (link: Remomedia website) - or also automatic inclusion of information related to the current mobile usage context of the recipient, such as this with location-based services (location-based job search such as the Jobstairs iPhone app) or augmented reality applications (e.g. job search by Tempo Team in the Layar AR browser in the Netherlands).

Which offers are used most frequently?

Our study of 2009 has shown that SMS and Mobile Internet / Web are the most used technologies so far.

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And what do users expect from mobile recruiting applications?

On the user side, I do not have any interviews. It is, however, expected that SMS, mobile career websites and mobile applications are the most frequently used mobile recruiting technologies. In order to receive sound information here, our project assistant, Dipl.-Kff. Susanne Niklas, in the area of ​​the acceptance factors of mobile recruiting applications, and compiled a dissertation for this project.

I would hope that I can not only find jobs, but also apply right away ...

An interaction - eg in the form of a job application - we have not yet been supported very often. In many cases, activation for mobile use (eg through QR codes on print media) is in the foreground. But this is already possible for example with the apps of or Jobs and Mares of Deutsche Telekom. Here we will see more offers in the near future - which are also increasingly networking with social media platforms.

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