MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IS THE NATURAL EXTENSION TO ONLINE RECRUITMENT

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Cellphone penetration in SA is massive and, with the Internet fast becoming the preferred way of searching for career opportunities amongst job seekers, it makes sense that mobile technology would be the natural extension to online recruitment.

So says Inge de Klerk, general sales manager of Job Mail. “Almost every South African has a cell phone, and the level of technology available to local users, such as 3G, HSDPA broadband and mobile TV, is very much cutting-edge. As such, mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular for data acquisition and for browsing the Internet.

“Job-seekers are particularly mobile active and it just makes sense to enable them to access the Job Mail Web site and conveniently search for jobs using their mobile handsets, 24 hours a day and from anywhere,” she says, adding that Junk Mail is one of the first companies, and certainly the first publishing house in SA, to make a mini-browser user-friendly for mobile phone-users.

According to De Klerk, the uptake of Job Mail’s mobile service has been tremendous, with the number of page impressions per week on the mini-browser jumping from 18 994 during the first week of the service being launched in April 2006, to an average of 95 000 per week now.

Since April 2006, close to 1 500 unique job-seekers have applied for positions via the mobile site. The number of unique visitors has also grown substantially, increasing from 187 to 855 in the last six months. Although De Klerk says this figures is probably higher.

“It is difficult to determine exactly how many unique visitors there are on the mini-browser, because logging-in is not compulsory. Furthermore, our Web analysis software only counts unique IP addresses, which is erroneous for mobile usage, as many users are likely to be coming through a single IP address due to the nature of GPRS and 3G connectivity,” she says.

De Klerk explains that the technology employed allows for similar functionality to what users have become accustomed to on the Job Mail Web site. At the same time, viewing and navigating the content on the site remains simple and fast. This is because the mini-browser was designed with the mobile user specifically in mind, using reduced graphics and text.

As with the online Web site, using the mini-browser site is free and there is no need to register or subscribe in order to scan for jobs. However, to apply for jobs, job-seekers must register for the service.

“Users do not have to register specifically for Job Mail mobile. Instead they automatically have access to it when they register via the standard Web site. Once they are registered on the Job Mail Web site and have successfully uploaded their CVs, job-seekers are able to apply for jobs using their WAP-enabled mobile handsets. There is no charge for searching for jobs, uploading CVs or applying for jobs,” says De Klerk.

Using the mobile service is easy. Job-seekers just have to enter Job Mail’s Web site address (www.jobmail.co.za) into any cell phone Web browser and connect to the site. Once connected, users can select to search vacancies advertised on the site. Searches can be broad or specific, according to region and industry. Vacancies are then displayed in an easy-to-read format that has been optimised to load quickly in a mobile browser, with the same detail available in Job mail’s print and online products, she adds.

The mobile service not only boosts job-seekers’ ability to conveniently search and apply for jobs but, it also allows for enhanced exposure of recruiters’ vacancies advertised on the Job Mail Web site, she concludes.

ICT World