For the first time, mobile users opened up native apps more than we used our mobile browsers. 44.9% of us used mobile apps compared to 44.4% of mobile subscribers that used the browser (I use both), according to data from comScore’s November mobile subscriber report.

I’m not really surprised by this report, in fact I’m a bit surprised it is still this close. For one thing, the two most popular mobile platforms are Android and iOS (75.6% of all smartphones) which are both app-friendly. And if we think through our own mobile habits, I bet the majority of us spend a lot more time in apps than in the browser. We all likely use at least one of the major social apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Path and LinkedIn, at least daily. How about Weather Channel to view the forecast, ESPN Scorecenter for sports, Instagram for photo sharing, Meebo for messaging, WordPress to write this post. I can already see that I likely use apps more than the browser.

But if I want to find information about something that does not fit neatly into one of the apps I have installed, I use the browser because its fast, reliable and easy. And I’m not alone. Google has seen a 400% increase in mobile searches this past year from fully featured mobile browsers.

That means if I’m interested in learning more about a company, the first place I’m looking isn’t in the app store where I have to search, find, install, enter my apple ID password and wait for it to download. The first place I’m going is google or directly to the company website.

Mobile Career Sites are the foundation

Its critical that companies today start thinking mobile first. But they need to be thinking about the right piece of mobile to put first. At Bernard Hodes Group, we believe the foundation of a mobile recruitment strategy starts with an optimized mobile career site. Having an optimized mobile career site allows your organization to tap into the widest set of mobile users regardless if they are iPhone/Android/Blackberry/Other users, granting them instantaneous access to your career information such as company info, events nearby, and “jobs near me.”

Here’s a quick example of creating a location-centric, app-like mobile site experience: Let’s say I’m in your retail store or walking down the street passing your building or standing in your office looking at an LCD screen promoting career opportunities at your company. I’m likely not going to spend 3 minutes or so to hit up the app store, go thru that process, then open the app, hit the GPS button to find my location, and then see job opportunities around me. But I might take 10 seconds to scan a QR code or type your site URL – or in the coming years leverage image recognition or even NFC – which will take me directly to your optimized mobile career site to pre-generated search results showing job opportunities for that specific location. In a few seconds and only a few clicks, I now have access to the targeted information I want and I didn’t have to download an app to get it. That is one simple example, but it shows just how powerful mobile sites can be at quickly delivering information.

Lots of new Smartphones, rich browsers

Smartphone growth is accelerating with smartphones accounting for 59% of all new phones sold. Over 6.5M were activated on just on Dec 25th this year. These devices have powerful operating systems and rich browsing capabilities. HTML5, while not perfect yet, allows us to create app like experiences for these devices by leveraging GPS to show “jobs near me”, advanced search, multimedia, cool gesture-based actions or transitions and more. And it will continue evolving over time.

In future posts, I’ll dig into the features and functionality of optimized mobile sites and also explore some ways that mobile apps CAN play a successful role in your mobile recruitment strategy. Apps definitely have a place in your mobile recruitment marketing strategy, but if you are just getting started and want to position yourself now and for the future, think mobile sites first.

About Me

I'm the Vice President of Digital Innovation and Mobile, which is probably the coolest job title out there. You can learn more about my work in emerging technology on the About or Work Pages.

As for this site, it's a place where I can jot ideas down and share some of the stuff I'm working on. The views are my own and some of them might not make much sense, but hey, that's part of the process. I'm also working toward being a single digit handicap golfer, so I post a lot about my golf game.