There’s An App For That

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There’s An App For That

Very recently, Yahoo brought into sharp focus the argument about the efficiency of working remotely. Were the people who you only saw as an email address or a smiley face sign off, really pulling their weight? Or were they the smart ones that could fit in more than a full days work around a busy modern life, working at a location of their choosing?

We are so used to access of information while mobile that it’s now inevitable the nature of work and the location of the workplace has evolved. Often that means sitting at home or your local café using your laptop or tablet, checking and responding to emails while at an airport, café, child’s recital, sports game, or in an airplane on your smartphone.

Winter2013_Complete_Page_003Once the preserve of small, modern, agile companies with small staff – remote working is now a feature of large companies who require their staff to be out on the road and available no matter where they are. Some companies’ IT structure is remote worker friendly – others aren’t. This can either liberate or restrict the time and efficiency it takes to conduct a job as if you were sitting in your cubicle, logged into the IT system. As the world becomes more mobile and the devices that are available are more powerful and feature packed, the IT infrastructure of most companies just isn’t catching up. Or worse, it’s containing a response window that’s restricted to office hours. This often can mean the difference between success and failure.

As the demand for talent increases and the time pressure to hire intensifies – the traditional suite of hiring systems needs to recognize that a mobile solution is inevitable. As both hiring managers and candidates gravitate towards a mobile world, it’s clear that the systems need to follow suit. On the whole, recruiting has not been able to exploit this new phenomenon. Often, the IT department has held onto the keys to the gate for remote access and made some of the most everyday HR functions, securely fixed to access via the desktop in the office.

A candidate who uses an app to search for a restaurant, pay his or her electricity bills, order a cab, and conduct banking will quite quickly see that the leap to applying for a job via their mobile is not a large one. Furthermore, the hiring manager is also using mobile devices to do everyday things – from booking travel on the move to videoconference to document sharing. So putting the two together is a natural industry next step.

Very exciting things happen when theses two areas merge and everyday recruiting systems are accessed on the Apple or Google app stores and able to be used just like an app for your favorite restaurant finder. Very soon we will see a scenario where a hiring manager will be able to access the most fundamental tools, irrespective of where physically they are and what device they are using.

A common response will be concerns about how a complex system such as an ATS can be paired down to a point that it works like a mobile app, but still gathers the same type of information, as if accessed from a desktop in the office. These concerns will be proved to be unfounded, as mobile ATS apps in the future become the norm for both the candidate and the hiring manager. Ease of access, gathering of information and processing the application are going to the standard features of mobile hiring in the future. The ability to process a candidate application quickly and efficiently from the kitchen table, the café, or airport boarding gate is right around the corner. So remotely accessing and using key hiring systems will be easy, fast, and a natural extension to the way the smart phone and tablet are evolving. Proving the worth of remote working will be as easy as tapping a thumbs up icon on a mobile ATS.

Tyler Holbrook

Tyler Holbrook

Tyler Holbrook is SVP of Product at Findly, a social recruiting company, based in San Francisco, CA.

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