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UK companies risk putting off jobseekers due to outdated websites

by Sellick Partnership | 18 November 2019

The British public are more than twice as likely to use their phone to look for a new job in 2019 than compared to five years ago, according to our latest research.

In 2014 we conducted an investigation into the use of mobile devices for job hunting, and when the survey was run again this year (2019), we discovered a 42.3% increase in the number of people who turn to their phones to find their next position – up from 32.4% to 74.7%.

Our results also revealed that job seekers now spend much longer on their phones looking for their next role. Nearly half of the 2019 job-hunting survey participants (48.8%) said they spent over an hour each week looking for jobs on their mobile, compared to 38.5% in 2014. Similarly, 59.4% of respondents in 2019 said they would apply for a role using their phone, up from just 27.3% in 2014.

This highlights a significant shift in the way people look for work, and offers a stark warning to businesses who do not currently offer a fully mobile-optimised website as part of their recruitment process. Without addressing this issue, they stand to miss out on valuable talent who could be turned off by a website that is impractical, slow or confusing when accessed via a mobile device.

Analysis: how candidates in different sectors use their mobile devices for job hunting

We asked our survey participants which industry they worked in, and the section below provides a breakdown of how the most popular sectors performed for mobile phone use during a job search. The included sectors are Health & Social, Teaching & Education, Retail & Sales, Public Sector, IT and Finance & Banking.

Respondents from each sector selected ‘convenience’ as the biggest benefit of using a mobile device to search for a job (see below for details). The two most popular time slots for participants from all sectors to job hunt on their mobile were ‘after dinner’ or ‘early evening’.

However, the sectors varied in terms of how keen they were to use their phones for applying for a job. While 70% of respondents in IT and 82% respondents in Finance & Banking said they would use their phones to apply for a job, this dropped considerably for those working in the Public Sector (43.6%) and in Teaching & Education (46.3%).

This implies that the online application system used by public service sectors may be more difficult or impractical to use on a mobile device compared to other industries. This is demonstrated in the results: 30.5% of Teaching & Education and 29.6% of Public Sector respondents said that the biggest limitation of job hunting on their phone was because ‘the websites I use are not optimised for mobile devices’.

Data: breakdown of results from the survey

Take a look at the data below to discover the breakdown of the top six sectors that took part in our 2019 mobile job hunting survey.

If you wish to use this data, please cite ‘Sellick Partnership’ and include a link to www.sellickpartnership.co.uk.

Health & Social

Key statistics: 

  • 9.8% of total survey participants
  • 79.1% have searched for a job using their mobile phone
  • 60.4% would consider applying for a job using their phone
  • 54% used their phone for over an hour a week to look for a job
  • The most popular place people liked to job hunt was while watching television (74.7%)
  • 73.6% said ‘convenience’ was the biggest benefit of using a phone to search for a job
  • Early evening was the most popular time of day to use a phone to look for a job (28.6%).

Teaching & Education

Key statistics:

  • 8.8% of total survey participants
  • 67% have searched for a job using their mobile phone
  • 46.3% would consider applying for a job using their phone
  • 65% used their phone for under an hour a week to look for a job
  • The most popular place people liked to job hunt was while watching television (64.6%)
  • The second most popular location for job hunting was ‘at my current job’ (57.3%)
  • 69.5% said ‘convenience’ was the biggest benefit of using a phone to search for a job
  • Early evening was the most popular time of day to use a phone to look for a job (26.8%).

Retail & Sales

Key statistics:

  • 8.8% of total survey participants
  • 84.1% have searched for a job using their mobile phone
  • 69.5% would consider applying for a job using their phone
  • 55% used their phone for over an hour a week to look for a job
  • The most popular place people liked to job hunt was while watching television (78%)
  • 75.6% said ‘convenience’ was the biggest benefit of using a phone to search for a job
  • Early evening was the most popular time of day to use a phone to look for a job (30.5%).

Public Sector

Key statistics:

  • 7.6% of total survey participants
  • 71.8% have searched for a job using their mobile phone
  • 43.6% would consider applying for a job using their phone
  • 55% used their phone for under an hour a week to look for a job
  • The most popular place people liked to job hunt was while watching television (61.9%)
  • 59.1% said ‘convenience’ was the biggest benefit of using a phone to search for a job
  • After dinner was the most popular time of day to use a phone to look for a job (19.7%).

IT

Key statistics:

  • 5.2% of total survey participants
  • 70.8% have searched for a job using their mobile phone
  • 70.8% would consider applying for a job using their phone
  • 56% used their phone for under an hour a week to look for a job
  • The most popular location for job hunting was ‘at my current job’ (60.4%)
  • 60.4% said ‘convenience’ was the biggest benefit of using a phone to search for a job
  • Early evening was the most popular time of day to use a phone to look for a job (22.9%).

Finance & Banking

Key statistics:

  • 4.2% of total survey participants
  • 84.6% have searched for a job using their mobile phone
  • 82% would consider applying for a job using their phone
  • 48% used their phone for over an hour a week to look for a job
  • The most popular place people liked to job hunt was while watching television (79.5%)
  • 64.1% said ‘convenience’ was the biggest benefit of using a phone to search for a job
  • After dinner was the most popular time of day to use a phone to look for a job (28.2%).

Can we help you?

To find out more about our mobile phone survey, please email our marketing team on marketing@sellickpartnership.co.uk.

If you would like to find out how our recruitment services can help you secure your next candidate or job, get in touch by calling 0161 834 1642 or use our online contact form.