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August 15, 2013

The disadvantages of mobile recruitment applications

The internet is becoming increasingly mobile. With Wi-Fi hotspots ubiquitous in public spaces, you see more and more people browsing or working on laptops and tablets every time you grab a takeaway latté. Interestingly, in 2011 the Office For National statistics found that over 50% of people access the internet via their mobile phone, which you can do anywhere you get phone signal (with varying levels of speed).

Given that so many people use their phone in place of a computer some of the time you might think that having a mobile recruitment advertising app would be a great idea. And while it certainly looks it on the surface, it’s actually a platform that may not be as useful as it seems. The smart money is on developing a mobile optimised version of your website, particularly as Google will now push you down the rankings if you don’t offer this option to smartphone users.

Here are some other disadvantages of mobile recruitment advertising applications:

Low Download Rate. This isn’t Angry Birds so it would be foolish to expect millions of downloads, but less than 20 per cent of brand apps are downloaded 1000 times or more. That’s a pretty small uptake on what will be an expensive and time consuming piece of software to develop.

More Investment. Mobile apps need updating, usually every few months to accommodate clashes with handsets or new operating system updates. That adds up to much more outlay than for the development of a mobile optimised site, which will need updating with much less frequency.

Size Limitation. Although phones are great for reading the news on the go, playing the odd game and updating your social media feeds, their size limitation can make filling out forms and searching through fields of results a less than pleasurable experience. People are quick to discard apps if they find using them laborious.

Negative Reviews. App stores allow users to post reviews of apps. If you don’t get your app right, straight out of the gates, then you can bet you’ll get a ton of negative reviews. Unfortunately these kinds of reviews can stick and influence potential downloaders. You might find your mobile app scuppered before it’s even got started.

Platform Specific. Despite what Apple might want you to think, not everyone uses an iPhone. You’ll have to make more than one app to cover different platforms, unless you don’t mind limiting your audience. The costs of developing for iOS and Android alone will be expensive, and that’s before you think about Blackberry and the new Windows phones. In contrast, a mobile website is accessible from any mobile platform which increases coverage and decreases cost.

Although online mobile recruitment advertising apps make sense for some companies, and definitely have their uses, they aren’t a magic cure all. It’s important to weigh up the potential benefits against the disadvantages inherent in the platform before investing.