Mobile Jobseekers are a Mobile Workforce

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The Age of Corporate Paternalism is Over

When I was young, the jobseeker and the employee had no control over the lay of the land, how they found a job, what they did when they got a job, how they were able to keep a job, or succeed or grow in the job.  The only thing we had control over was whether or not to apply, how we would commit, and whether or not we would quit.  The changes over the last 30 years are immense and sometime for this old bird, unfathomable and thrilling at the same time.  I love the control jobseekers have and I think the tide is turning on employee control.  The latest generation of employees grew up during a time of successive and rapid technological revolutions.  They have had the world in their hands and at their finger tips for all of their adult lives.  They have probably never dialed a rotary phone or tapped furiously on a typewriter.  They will never stand around a water cooler or even have mail delivered to their office.  Mail is delivered to their virtual inbox and IM is their water cooler.

Workforce on the Go

We are now a mobile workforce.  We can take our work with us – on a laptop or mobile, in the cloud, or a virtual file.  I used to make sure there was a pen or two in hand before I ever left the house or my desk.  Pens are a conference giveaway – throwaway.  And the latest generation of jobseekers is calling the shots – like consumers of today, they devour information based on their own behavior, not the behavior of  who is sharing.   A job is no longer a stationary theater drawing in an audience with playbills and advertising.  The audience is setting up its own theater and auditioning jobs in their own space, on their own time, and under their own conditions.  We saw it coming – we recognized a revolution.  We wrote about it, we talked about it… And still no one listened – or very few listened.

Mobile to Go

Of today’s Fortune 500 Companies, only 2% have a successful mobile apply process – think about it – that’s 10!  Only ten of the top 500 companies have invested in the way we communicate now.  The rest think that 1/3 of all job search traffic (which is via mobile) doesn’t apply to them – that their jobseekers, those people who WANT to work for them will seek out a computer and log in to their apply process from a desktop or laptop.  And 87% of all career sites are still NOT optimized for mobile.  Pinch and zoom is not a mobile recruiting strategy.

Mobile in the World

We can take a conference call from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection.  Cash registers, cars, parking meters, coffee shops, thermostats, cameras, and 2 by 2 inch shiny boxes are connected to the internet… the Internet of Things.  Southwest Airlines just announced gate to gate wifi, no more powering down for takeoff.  We are connected.  Jobseekers are connected.  Best of all — employees are connected. Traditional or Old School models of work organization no longer fit into today’s models, today’s practices.

The job search revolution is already happening, it’s happening fast – next will be the employee revolution. It’s coming.  How many will be ready?


by Rayanne Thorn


Talent Management Series
Part 1: The Greatest Challenge for Businesses Today? Talent Management
Part 2: Successful Talent Management Requires Creative Retention
Part 3: Culture Breeds Commitment: The Truth about Talent Loyalty
Part 4: 5 Simple Reasons You Didn’t Get The Job
Part 5: The Impact of The Social Jobseeker
Part 6: Age Discrimination Has No Bias
Part 7: Change and Live: Leadership Today
Part 8: Be Disruptive Today. Be Human
Part 9: Mobile Jobseekers are a Mobile Workforce

**Some information presented in this series comes from the book, Ups and Downs of Talent Management in Challenging Business Environments.  If you’d like a free copy of this quick read, please email me at and I will be happy to send you a copy.  Thanks!





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  1. So true! I read an enlightening article in Time magazine (I think) talking about the housing bubble in the U.S. and how ‘pushing’ Americans into home-ownership is having a real (and not-so-great) impact on the workforce. Home ownership made sense in the 1950s when people were ‘lifers’ at the local ___ plant. Today, home ownership reduces flexibility at a time when a mobile workforce is more in demand. Will be interesting to see how many of “today’s kids” will opt to rent vs. buy in order to be able to relocate more easily. (I’m not completely convinced that everyone will work remotely anytime soon.)

  2. Hi Veronica–

    I would agree with you about home ownership, completely. I have owned a couple houses, it is a great and grave responsibility that many took lightly during the last 20 years. There have been more than 4 million foreclosures since 2007. Sadly, I was part of that statistic – joblessness and divorce are worthy adversaries in the fight to keep a home… 🙁

    However, this post was more about mobile communications. The majority of hiring companies still haven’t figured that this is the era of mobile and social comms, they are lacking when it comes to advertising jobs, engaging with jobseekers, and hiring. If jobseekers are on mobile platforms to communicate and find information, do you think they will stop this practice once they become employed?

    Companies need to figure out that the shift isn’t happening, it has already happened. Organizations who have remained flexible and understand the shifts technology brings, implement these changes in a timely manner, and engage withtheir workforce will be the ones who survive.

    Thanks for stopping by the blog and commenting!



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