Let’s Go Mobile!
By Terri Roeslmeier, Automated Business Designs, Inc.
Recruit using a cell phone? Why not? We seem to do everything else on our mobile devices. From groceries, to directions, downloading music, checking our bank account, emailing, texting, checking weather, checking time (who needs a watch) and sometimes we even talk on the cell. The bottom-line is that information is important and getting information from anywhere at any time is the norm rather than the exception today.
Using a mobile device (phone or a tablet such as an ipad) is simply an extension of cloud computing. The key is using software that is optimized for such a device. Optimized software allows you to get around the application utilizing the functions of your device and the screens are sized for mobile usage. When you access the application, it detects the type of device that you are on and reacts accordingly.
So, How Can You Get Started with Mobile?
A good way is to access your office database of candidates and clients when you are out on the road. For client visits, lookup phone numbers, email addresses, and map your client location. No need to carry around address books because you should be able to log into your staffing software and find all of the information you need to connect with clients when out of the office. Your phone features should all work so you will be able to click on a phone number and auto-dial or click on an email address and launch an email.
The one thing to keep in mind is that you are on a mobile device. If you are using a cell phone, your screen size will be limited. This means that you probably won’t see a screen that looks like the one you have in the office. However, you should have some basic search criteria to be able to bring up information quickly and easily. The software, if optimized, will display key information and allow you to move around and drill into additional data.
Your Staffing Business and Mobile
A good mobile solution will update your information at the office immediately. This increases the flow of communication and lends to better customer service for clients and candidates. As you will be able to see the communication efforts of those at your office, your office can in turn see your communication efforts. This infuses a controlled open line of communication that translates to more effective team.
Just like your system at the office, you should be able to check on orders, see who is interviewing and which assignments have been scheduled. If you visit a client, you can even look up information on candidates while on site. Enter your visit notes as soon as you leave while everything is still fresh in your mind for more effective notations. Enter follow-up dates so that they can go directly to your staffing solution’s planner to ensure accuracy.
Of course with mobile access, you can also keep in touch with candidates and do some on-line sourcing. When you run across top talent, you want to make sure to communicate with them at the earliest possible time. By the same token, you would not want to miss a big order while you are out of the office. Making yourself accessible to clients and having the ability to actually look up and forward information instantaneously, is a huge step forward. There is a difference between responding to a client and telling them you will get back to them vs. returning their call and being able to respond at that moment. In temp staffing this is huge, as orders can be stolen by competitors in seconds. Everyone has a phone but not everyone has access to their staffing software.
But the ability of the staffing firm to utilize mobile technology is only the beginning of a fully functional mobile strategy. Affording candidates the ability to enter their time via phone and having clients approve time can make a difference when recruiting quality candidates and landing a key account. Other customer service tools may include allowing candidates to look up payroll information or allowing clients to look up invoices. Perhaps your clients would enjoy the ability to enter orders from their phone or tablet.
Another way that mobile technology can be used is alerting candidates to new opportunities via mass text message. This is a great service to provide to candidates that would appreciate such notice; and it provides the extra bonus of being able to fill orders quicker. This same text message technology can be used to remind candidates of start times and directions on how to get to the site. In certain industries such as medical, it is necessary to remind candidates of expiring certifications and tests.
In other industries, such as day labor, an ipad could be a very effective tool to register labor and immediately assign them to jobs. This process facilitates the same day pay and improves the management of such assignments.
Mobile access to candidates can be a tremendous aid in managing cancellations and no-shows on assignments. Imagine having access to all of your information immediately so that situations can be managed and services can be delivered promptly.
With the technology strides currently available, who could afford not to take advantage of this new way of working? But there is another side that must be seriously considered. Security. If you implement a mobile solution, you must make sure that there are certain security measures in place. First, everything must be securely password driven. Maybe Mickey Mouse was an ok account and password for logging into your software while in the office, but on a mobile device, you must make sure that everyone is using a strong password system. Next, you must be able to immediately disconnect people that you no longer wish to have mobile access to the database.
Your server should have all of the appropriate firewall and anti-virus/malware software installed so that it is guarded against virus and malware attacks. In addition, you can install mobile security on your phone so that it too is protected.
The software application designed for mobile should guard against database and HTML injection attacks as well as cross domain scripting vulnerability. The application should be able to be set to timeout and disconnect if inactive. This is so that the application disconnects when not in use. If your device is lost or stolen, you can be assured that the application has timed out and ended before any harm could come. You also want it set so that the user must identify themselves by actually keying in the account and password every time they log in, rather than an automatic login.
Everyone is “going mobile” and so the staffing industry shall too with “Mobile Recruiting”.
Terri Roeslmeier is President of Automated Business Designs, Inc., software developer of Ultra-Staff software for the staffing and direct hire industry. Ultra-Staff is a full-featured business solution with components for front office, back office and web suite. For more information on Ultra-Staff go to www.abd.net.