Mobiles, Metronerds and Digital Footprints with Jobsite’s Fresh Thinkers


Earlier this week, I attended one of an ongoing series of events run by the Jobsite, called Fresh Thinkers. These are run several times a year and have two speakers that are recognised thought leaders in their field, sharing their ideas, thinking and opinion with an invite-only audience. The topic yesterday was mobile.

This is a good concept by Jobsite, and one that proved to be an enjoyable and informative morning. The two speakers were one of the global authorities on mobile, and the self-confessed 'Mobilista', TommiAhonen, and the author of the book, My Digital Footprint, Tony Fish.

Jobsite_logoThe importance of mobile in recruitment in recruitment was demonstrated by a simple stat by Jobsite; 60,000 applications are made each month on Jobsite for jobs via mobile.
Mobile has also changed the visitor traffic patterns at Jobsite; before mobile the peak traffic times were between 11 – 14.30 each day: now there are three peak traffic times – morning commuting hour to work, evening commuting hour home and at 22.00hrs (presumably just before bed).

There was some very good information and stats shared by Tomi and Tony through the morning, but rather than just recite them, I have picked my five take-aways from each of the sessions to share with you.

Mobile, mobile, and more mobile by Tomi Ahonen

  1. Context on the scale and growth of mobile: "the world population has just gone past 7 billion this week – by the end of 2011, there will be over 5.8 billion mobile phone subscriptions on the planet"
    Even allowing for multiple mobile phone usage, that is a lot of mobile phones!
  2. SMS: " 31% of US adults say that SMS is their preferred method of being contacted by people. The figure in the UK is 51% and in Sweden it is 61%". (Pew Internet and Life Study).
    Tomi talked a lot about SMS, and this was just one of many stats he produced. While we have more and more smartphones, Tommi's point was that SMS should be considered as a key communication channel within the recruitment industry. I agree to a point – IMHO, SMS should be used, but give the candidates the choice – they may actually prefer a social channel instead.
  3. "There are two internets - mobile is as different from the internet as TV is as different from the radio". People get confused talking about mobile = the internet. According to Tommi, you shouldn't because mobile is a completely separate channel. From a recruitment perspective this is really key to take on board – your mobile recruitment channel (whether an m-site or an app) is a completely different channel to your 'normal' internet channel like your website etc, and should be treated as such.
  4. This is an image:
    Tommi ahonen benefits of mobile
    5. Finland is a strange country that has so many 'MetroNerds' that they have mobile apps to help them meet women! [I am serious here!] 
    Finnish students from the University of Oulu have developed a mobile phone application to help geeks improve their looks and behaviour. Specifically, MetroNerd is a mobile quiz game intended to improve the appearance, behavior, and sex appeal of nerds. In theory, the app would motivate users with a vision of greater social acceptance.
    This has got nothing to do with recruitment, but I am still laughing to myself about this so I just had to include it here :)


Digital Footprints and Data by Tony Fish

  1. "The internet NEEDS data consumption and data creation – if you don't do either it has no purpose. This data store is the font of life." As we live in a world that is more and more online, this statement by Tony just resonates more and more. What would Google be without content for people to search?
    As the recruitment industry is still coming to terms with this concept, it is not surprising to see many companies and recruitment agencies miss this point altogether. They need to think like a consumer/jobseeker. Just because 'tradition' states a website needs to b built in one way, doesn't mean the target audience is going to read and engage with it! 
  2. "Data can't be controlled online - it is not what you say, it is what others say about you!" In terms of recruitment this is absolutely spot on. It is about reputation – but then it always has been, hasn't it? It is just that social media is there to amplify and comment/discussion -good or bad, made about people and the companies they work for. Think TripAdvisor!!
  3.  "Google doesn't want your identity, it wants the data that gives you your identity." As a recruiter/sourcer that is what you should be pleased about! Obviously all the 'anti-big brother'brigade will be shouting from the roof tops on this, but from my perspective, more data online found by Google = more candidates to find :)
  4.  "When a candidate has turned up for an interview, they have already bought the job and the company before they even got there. They wouldn't be there otherwise. They want to know what you are going to do for them!" Online footprints can go both ways – candidates can research you as much as you can research them before an interview. Don't be naive and think any different.
  5. "Loyalty is dead. Brand is dead. Trust is what we want" I loved this statement from Tony, and it is true in every walk of life, particularly in recruitment. Put an employers hat on and read the statement to yourself; then do the same from a candidates perspective. See what I mean?


It will be interesting to watch this series from Jobsite grow further because industry specialist thought leaders like Tomi and Tony, make you think about your own sector from different angles, and that is always healthy.

A little plug for a good friend of mine, Mike Taylor. If you are wanting to find out more about mobile in recruitment, and hear many compelling reasons why you need to be thinking of it now, then Mike's upcoming conference this month - Mobile and Video in Recruitment - is a place you need to be. More details can be found here.

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