Advancement of Mobile Technology and the Future of Recruitment

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In 1984, Motorola released the “DynaTAC 8000X”, the first cell phone to be offered commercially. This “brick” weighed about 900g, offered 30 minutes of talk time or 8 hours of standby for every recharging. The cell phone was priced at $3,995 back in 1984; you could probably buy 14 iPhone 4S with at that point in time.

20 years on, mobile technology is advancing at such a staggering rate especially with the rise of smart phone that it is a norm for an individual to carry a smart phone. There is now a new and widely accepted definition of what makes a mobile handset ‘smart’. It now means a phone that can run programs, or apps. It can connect to the internet, usually via 3G, but also by other methods including WI-FI.

In fact, about 86.7% of the global population has a mobile cellular subscription. Out of these mobile phone users in the world, about 1.08 billion are smart phone users. 92% of smart phone users use their smart phone to send text messages to other phones, while 84% of users use their smart phones for browsing the internet. Singapore is also one of the countries with the highest smart phone penetration rate in the world, which is 54%. In a nutshell, we can expect more users to connect to the Internet over mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets as compared to desktop PCs as the demand for instant access anywhere and the need for seamless integration with the world is likely to drive the direction of future mobile growth and development. The question is are we ready for this shift?

We’ve already established the significance of growth for mobile technology, so it seems obvious that this trend will also change the way recruitment is being done. Mobile and recruitment have special synergies and efforts in mobile internet have already been seen within recruitment.

Several research carried out back in 2010 suggested that 17% of people searching for a job online were using mobile internet and 4% were doing this via apps. Although fairly recent, the numbers have already substantially increased since then. To be frank, even these figures represent a decent market share for mobile in recruitment already. No one should ignore these advances.

Mobile has a unique role to play in recruitment. One reason for this is privacy. The importance of privacy cannot be understated in job search. The ability for a person to browse jobs from almost anywhere in private is a significant driver of mobile internet use in recruitment. Job applicants like the convenience of mobile as it enables them to browse at times that best suit them. Candidates are also delighted to receive push-notifications about job opportunities via their mobile. We can also see a significant push into mobile, with launch of a mobile version of main websites, as well as apps development.

While there is still far too much focus on fixed line websites in most agencies, and that recruiters will do more to embrace mobile. Acting now will help to make sure you are properly placed for the future, and safeguard you from having to play catch-up. The message is clear; mobility will play a significant role in recruitment in time to come and we should have some form of mobile action plan to stay relevant, if not ahead.

Here are some suggestions to do so;

Mobile enabled personal websites or resumes

These days there is NO excuse not to have your personal website optimized for mobile. It is fast becoming a requirement. There are just too many smartphone and tablet users out there not to have it!  Having a mobile optimized personal site is the first step towards integrating mobile into your current strategy. Looking at a desktop website on a small mobile device just kills the experience for the user. Recruiters will not spend time trying to navigate on such as screen; they will simply close the browser if it takes more than 3-5 seconds to load!

QR codes on your business card

People in Singapore are still a little skeptical about the use of QR codes. Many like the concept but still feel they are not used appropriately at times. The code should be easy for the QR-reader to read and should re-direct to a content rich site or your personal website that adds value. The process should be simple and quick; there is definitely potential for QR codes to be used in the recruiting world in the near future.



Anfernee Tan is the Operations Director of biipmi Pte Ltd and the Chief Editor of biipmi.print. He oversees all marketing initiatives for content and channel optimization across multiple networks to drive engagement, retention, leads and positive experience for the individual users and business owners. He is a career coach, an adult educator, and an entrepreneur. He can be contacted at

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