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11/30/2011
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Help Wanted 2.0: SMB Recruiting Goes Mobile

Does your recruiting strategy extend to tablets and smartphones? Learn how and why Photobucket reaches out to mobile-savvy candidates

8 IT Hiring Strategies Of Top CIOs
8 IT HIring Strategies Of Top CIOs
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It's fairly straightforward logic: If you're hiring in the mobile age, your recruiting strategy should extend to the smartphones and tablets workers can no longer seem to do without.

That's part of the thought process for Fred Holt, VP of human resources at Photobucket. The Denver-based photo and video sharing startup, which currently has around 100 employees, has seen the hyper-growth of mobile through use of its service. Holt said mobile uploads to Photobucket have jumped sixfold year over year, to roughly 25 million per month among the platform's 100 million-and-counting users.

Holt and his small team translate that to their HR responsibilities: As mobile devices and the apps that make them useful become second nature, things like job hunting will become more common functions--particularly among the tech-savvy folks that typically fit Photobucket's employee profile. Photobucket uses the SmartRecruiters hiring application, which recently added mobile-optimized career sites to its offering.

Now, when a potential candidate uses a mobile device to click through from a listing on Dice, Indeed, or any other job site, he gets a mobile-ready version of Photobucket's recruiting site. Then, if a job seeker is so inclined, he can apply directly from a phone or tablet. Given the adoption boom, Holt sees mobile as an important, growing part of talent recruiting.

"We're competing for in-demand, scarce resources--and we're picky. We're trying to find the best of the best," Holt said in an interview. Like just about every other tech company, Photobucket is always on the hunt for development talent. Graphic design and quality assurance are two other key functions within the firm. "Some of these slots are really difficult, because everyone's looking for the same thing. Any [edge] we can get in recruiting is advantageous."

[ It's time to consider how Apple's Siri voice assistant affects your SMB's marketing and business plans. What Should SMB Marketers Ask Of Siri? ]

Having a mobile career site is part of Photobucket's plan for gaining and maintaining that edge. By no means does Holt see it as a be-all, end-all recruiting tool; rather, it's a piece of an increasingly complex puzzle in acquiring the best talent. That echoes other small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that have deployed mobile apps not so much to replace existing functions and processes, but to enhance them.

"The jury's still out on: Are people applying through mobile apps?" Holt said, noting the newness of both the SmartRecruiters feature--and of mobile support for applicant tracking systems in general. "More likely people are using the app as they're having lunch or on the weekend to search for what jobs are out there--and then very well may go to the Web to apply and do cover letters and that sort of thing."

In tandem with mobile, social media plays an increasing role in how Photobucket advertises and fills its open positions. SmartRecruiters automatically pushes Photobucket's job listings out to its corporate presence on Facebook and Twitter, for example. Holt will soon travel to Photobucket's San Francisco offices for internal meetings on expanding the company's social recruiting efforts. Likewise, Holt expects his team's mobile recruiting strategy to evolve with the company.

"It's one more arrow in the quiver here--it certainly can't hurt," Holt said. "Based on the increase in mobile usage that we see, it will be advantageous."

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