Hey Careerleaf, why don’t you offer a job board app?

Super-obvious, statement-of-fact, spoiler-alert for off-the-grid lifestylers: mobile devices are the most popular way users access the Internet, growing almost 400% over the last four years.

 

While riding the city bus, I noticed just how many of the passengers were using a device to send a message, play a game, watch a video, etc. Seeing someone using a smartphone is something I take for granted, but once I took a moment to focus on what my fellow passengers were doing, I experienced a split second of amazement – these mobile devices are everywhere!

 

Given the mobile revolution, we are often asked, “Why don’t you offer a job board app”?

 

At Careerleaf, we think recruitment is too often made difficult, regardless if you’re the one seeking work or doing the hiring. One of the things we do to make the process less painful is by creating our software using responsive web design as a principle MO; everyone, including Apple purists, Android devotees, and just-out-of-bed pajama-flaunting desktop users get the same experience.

 

Responsive Design sounds great, but what about having a m.mysite.com mobile-specific site?

A well-designed mobile site can certainly provide a great experience that can be faster and/or more efficient than a responsive website. On the other hand, this approach effectively creates two websites that need to be maintained, requiring a division of efforts and attention. As well, if not properly executed, the site’s content can be duplicated, causing search engine brownie points to be split between the desktop and mobile versions of the same site.

 

How about mobile apps? It’s all about having an app these days, right?

I totally understand. I love having my phone record my bike ride using GPS and automatically synchronize it with my account when I finish; that’s something only an app can do. Considering functionality and speed, there is no delivery channel slicker than a designated mobile app. There are, however, obstacles that mobile apps pose for recruiting:

  • Traffic through mobile apps do not contribute to a site’s favourability among search engines.
  • It’s worth mentioning that businesses also need to optimize how their apps are searched and found in each platform’s respective application store. That’s a whole new (albeit, smaller) can of worms, but suffice to say, the finding, downloading and regular usage of an app doesn’t just happen by itself – usually the app itself needs a marketing effort.
  • It can also interrupt the candidate’s experience. “Oh, this looks like a cool job. Wait, I have to download this app first before I can apply?”
  • Delivering mobile apps means accepting Apple, Google, and Microsoft as business partners; meeting their guidelines and approval process is something to be considered.
  • Apps require businesses to split their developers’ maintenance and improvement efforts with an additional channel. To make matters more complex, apps are specific to their operating system, and certain platforms often get less attention than others. As a BlackBerry user (yah, we’re still around), I can testify that being application backburnered is at the top of an otherwise short list of frustrations.

 

So why does Careerleaf choose Responsive Design?

No solution is perfect, and a responsive website isn’t without its own drawbacks – it’s commonly a less efficient way to deliver a site, using more data than a mobile-specific version would. We use Responsive Design to deliver a consistent experience with our software to any and all users, and that means being as platform- and device-agnostic as possible. For us, a responsive site is the best way to achieve that.

 

Wow! You guys sound pretty resolute.

Given the functionality our software needs to deliver, we have yet to justify the additional costs and capacity requirements of having a native app. Who knows, maybe one day, with a convergence of mobile platforms and the additional need to take selfies with our software, maybe we will adopt an app. As mentioned, each approach has benefits and drawbacks, and our delivery method may change some day, but that decision is driven by our principal mission to make hiring easier…for everyone.

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