Once upon a time a phone was just a phone. Then it became something you could fit in your pocket and take pictures with. Then we started connecting to the Internet and the world was revolutionized — including, of course, the world of job search.
Just how widespread is smartphone usage today? Well, according to the most recent findings from the Pew Research Center, 77% of adults in the United States own a smartphone, while the numbers climb as high as 92% in the 18-29 age range. Not to be outdone, the 30-49 age group follows closely behind, with 88% being smartphone owners. In addition to that, 74% of people aged 50-64 have one.
These high levels of mobile adoption have also had a huge impact on job search. And so for employers, optimizing your job postings for mobile is more important than ever. How important? Let’s take a look at the data.
Mobile job search cuts across generations — not just with millennials
While the popular cliché depicts millennials as having their eyes perpetually glued to their phone screens, Indeed data shows that there is much less of a difference than you might think when it comes to how the generations conduct their job search.
In fact, whether we’re talking about millennials, Gen Xers or baby boomers, each age group does most of its searching on mobile devices.
While millennials may be the most active on mobile — 78% used mobile devices to find jobs as of 2016 — Gen Xers aren’t far behind, with around 73% searching for work on mobile devices. In recent years, baby boomers have seen the highest increase in mobile job search among the three generations, with around 57.2% of boomers active in 2016, up from just 51.2% in 2014.
All of these numbers are an increase on previous years — which means that employers who do not have job listings optimized for mobile recruiting face a greater risk than ever of missing out on talent.
Mobile devices account for the majority of job search across most occupations
Not only does mobile job search dominate across the generations, mobile devices also account for the majority of job search in most occupations.
The occupations with the highest rate of mobile job search are building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, with 80.28% of job searches originating from a mobile device. This is followed by construction and extraction at 79.79%.
Installation, maintenance, and repair as well as transportation and material moving also appear at the top of the list. Why? People working in these occupations aren’t sitting behind desks all day — they’re on their feet and working with their hands, and their mobile-centric job search experiences reflect their equally mobile work situations.
On the flip side, rates of mobile job search are lower among people working in business and financial operations, at 57.13%, as well as legal jobs, at a rate of 57.46%. In these occupations people tend to work in a sedentary office setting, and so are more likely to make use of desktop computers rather than mobile devices.
The lowest rates of mobile job search occur in architecture and engineering occupations, at 52.55%, as well as computer and mathematical occupations with a rate of 45.28%. Again, people in these fields almost always use desktop computers in their work — so while employers should focus on optimizing their jobs for mobile, they shouldn’t neglect the job seekers who do use desktop computers.
Mobile job search is a global trend
The rise of mobile is not just a U.S. phenomenon, either.
When we analyze the data at the global level, job seekers in Korea, Taiwan, and Japan take the top spots for using mobile devices to find jobs, with more than 80% of job searches originating from mobile devices in each country.
These numbers are considerably higher than the United States or Canada, which are further down the list — with around 60% and a little more than 50% of job searches from mobile devices, respectively. In fact, in almost every country we looked at, more than half of total job searches in originated from a mobile device. The only exceptions were France and Poland, where desktop searches are still in the majority.
The prevalence of mobile job search across generational groups, occupations, and on a global scale cannot be ignored. Employers today have no choice but to optimize their jobs for mobile. The alternative is to miss out on far too much talent.
Download the report Targeting Today’s Job Seeker for more data, trends, and insights.
This post was powered by analysis by the Indeed Hiring Lab.