With the fast pace of businesses today, employees need to stay connected and continue to be productive from wherever they are. Organizations are therefore looking for new ways to leverage available mobile technology for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, to maintain a competitive advantage.
With the fairly recent and wide adoption of social media and networking sites, mobile devices have become more affordable and hence more readily accessible. And it is expected that mobile computing will continue to grow in 2012, owing to an increase in the number of devices in use, lower prices in emerging markets, and an explosion of apps for both personal and business use.
Mobile devices are therefore changing the way organizations manage their talent. With the exception of mobile learning solutions (which have exploded in the past few years), few vendors have yet to develop complete mobile talent management applications. Software providers however are beginning to design their talent applications with mobile capabilities—a huge enhancement for many vendors in 2012.
What Can Mobile Talent Management Do for Your Organization?
The need for mobile connectivity is particularly high in the realm of human resources (HR). Recruiters need to know which highly qualified candidates are in their talent pool; supervisors need to quickly access information about the employees they manage in various geographical locations; and employees travelling for business need to be able to easily manage their learning activities on the fly.
How can organizations use a mobile talent management solution and still be able to capture and analyze critical workforce data? Below are some high-level capabilities of mobile talent management solutions:
- Candidates can browse, share, and apply to jobs.
- Employees can communicate with hiring managers.
- Hiring managers can track status of candidate applications.
- Administrators can view employees’ work schedules.
- Employees can request vacation time.
- Employees can enrol in a training course.
- Administrators can manage training courses, learners, and instructors.
- Managers can track the performance of their employees.
Mobile technology has had the most impact on recruitment, learning, and performance management.
Mobile recruiting, a popular yet fairly new option, allows recruiters to manage their work on the go. Recruiters, for example, can access information about a candidate from a mobile device. A mobile talent management solution with recruitment functionality also allows internal or external candidates to log in to an organization’s career portal to apply for a position, complete an assessment survey, track their application status, or respond to interview requests.
However, only a limited number of employers have implemented mobile recruiting strategies via apps and mobile Web sites owing to a lack of knowledge of how job seekers are using mobile devices and how their businesses could take advantage of the mobile Web to find top talent.
Companies that have embraced mobile talent management solutions can enhance their brand awareness, and thus recruitment capabilities, by having their brands appear on job sites, career portals, or social networks. They can also easily customize their branding and design elements on these sites for viewing on a variety of mobile devices (including iPhone, iPad, and Blackberry). These are generally modified versions of the desktop application.
Recruiters and HR professionals can perform these recruitment activities on their mobile devices:
- Access e-mail
- Search for and process résumés
- Capture candidate information
- Approve job requisitions
- Schedule interviews
- Provide feedback to candidates
- Connect with social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
- Manage internal and external talent pools
- Provide career site management
- Analyze job profiles, competencies, and assessments to target top talent
The advent of more affordable mobile devices has created more opportunities for learning. For example, Google Apps for Education is used by more than 10 million students worldwide. With new mobile applications available for download from the App Store daily, the realm of mobile learning is virtually endless.
Mobile learning (m-learning) focuses on the mobility of the learner—allowing him or her to interact with portable technologies, taking in bite size of learning content bits at a time. It is convenient in that content is accessible from virtually anywhere. And the lightweight portability of the various available devices removes the need for learners to carry books and notes around with them.
Mobile devices can also be ideal for a blended learning strategy, where chunks of learning objects push knowledge to employees as needed, making training available to them without the need for an instructor or even a wireless connection. And many organizations that have adopted this type of learning strategy will agree that the ability for their employees to work anywhere, anytime, via a mobile device helps increase their productivity.
M-learning, like e-learning, is also collaborative. Learners can easily share advice with or ask questions to others using the same content. This leads to instant feedback from peers, coworkers, and managers, etc.
With the growing demand for mobile access to critical learning, talent management software as well as learning management system (LMS) vendors have started to deliver more learning applications for mobile devices—competing with their social network counterparts, e.g., the Apple App Store.
Below are some of the learning activities that learners and/or instructors can perform on their mobile devices:
- Manage certifications
- Handle course approvals
- Access course catalogs
- Check assignment calendars
- Check message boards
- Take exams or surveys
- Review learning progress
- Track learning through analysis and reporting
Mobile Employee Performance Management
Many companies today offer performance management, a standard functionality of talent management solutions, for mobile devices. And those solution providers that do not yet have mobile applications are likely to have mobile capabilities in the future.
Busy organizations can leverage mobile devices to deliver and administer performance appraisals, provide instant access to expert advice via chat rooms or threaded discussion forums, and deliver learning content for training on the fly. Drill-down capabilities allow individual employee performance to be associated with total pay and rewards packages via an employee compensation module.
Below are some of the employee performance activities that HR professionals and managers can perform on their mobile devices:
- Manage classifications
- Access and track employee performance
- Complete performance evaluations
- Assess competency measures
- Provide performance feedback
- Rate competency development progress
Mobile Talent Management in Action
Today, manufacturers of mobile devices are delivering broader feature sets with greater capabilities while mobile network service providers are delivering improved performance. Below are just a few of the vendors in mobile talent management.
Spotlight on Peoplefluent: One Vendor that Gets the Bigger Picture
Peoplefluent (formerly Peopleclick Authoria) launched its Fluency on the Move mobile product line this past June—one of the most innovative solutions for mobile talent management on the market today.
These mobile talent management apps help connect organizations with the right talent—while providing a visual presentation with answers to strategic questions in recruiting, compensation, employee performance, and leadership development. These mobile apps display high-quality graphs, providing an at-a-glance visual representation of data relevant to the mobile user.
Peoplefluent’s Mobile Talent Management (its suite of mobile applications under the Fluency on the Move marketing banner) comprises four iPad apps providing manager insights:
Workforce Explorer—This app provides visibility into the entire organization, allowing managers to drill-down to the performance, potential, readiness, and flight-risk information about individuals on their team. Flipbook is a feature that allows managers to swipe across the screen (as if reading a digital book) to learn more about employees—and even know the employee’s physical location.
Manager Compensation Assistant—This app enables managers to reward and motivate their high-performing employees while viewing their compensation history as well as the company’s budgeting and incentive options. The app provides a visual presentation of the compensation reward process, allowing executives to see how managers are allocating rewards and thereby ensuring the integrity of the entire process.
ManagerCoach—ManagerCoach provides managers with an easy reference to HR best practices. The app “coaches” managers on all aspects of the organization’s culture—whether it’s communicating the company’s philosophy on goal setting, evaluating performance, evaluating new hires, or onboarding a new employee.
The Candidate Explorer (Recruitment)—The Recruiting iPad app helps recruiters close the loop with hiring managers by helping managers manage and track the company’s supply of talent. Managers can filter potential candidates and provide feedback to the recruiting team in a visual manner. Bringing this experience to managers on their mobile devices allows them to respond more quickly to new candidates.
Other Vendors with Mobile Talent Management Capabilities
Kenexa—Kenexa 2x Mobile is an application designed for use with mobile devices including iPhone and BlackBerry. Integrated with Kenexa 2x Recruit, 2x Mobile includes features from its Kenexa 2x Onboard™ and Kenexa 2x Perform™ solutions4. From the mobile device, the 2x Mobile application securely connects to the Kenexa 2x software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. Once logged in to 2x Mobile, mobile HR professionals have a single interface to accomplish recruitment, onboarding, and performance management tasks.
Lumesse—Lumesse Mobile is a device-independent mobile application (available for Android, Apple iOS, and BlackBerry devices) that allows users to work via collaborating—while gaining mobility and access to relevant information about colleagues, candidates, jobs, interviews, and hiring processes. Lumesse Mobile gives users access to all relevant information on a smartphone or tablet and is directly connected to the company’s talent acquisition solution Lumesse TalentLink.
SuccessFactors—Recently acquired by SAP, SuccessFactors’ BizX Mobile (which includes Mobile Jam, Mobile Org Chart, and Mobile Recruiting apps) helps companies perform talent-related activities from a mobile device. Mobile Jam provides connectivity and collaboration tools; Mobile Org Chart helps managers see the role of individual employees as well as the overall reporting structure; and Mobile Recruiting allows hiring managers to perform hiring-related activities, including requisition and offer approvals.
Taleo—Taleo10 is Taleo’s mobile talent management system. It includes Taleo Anywhere, which contains a Microsoft Outlook plug-in, and features applications for the BlackBerry, iPhone, and iPad. The Taleo Anywhere Dashboard for Outlook allows users to capture candidate information, access contacts, provide performance feedback, and rate development activities without ever leaving Outlook.
The Bottom Line
Mobile talent management applications (and the devices they are created for) have become an integral component in the everyday activities of HR professionals, recruiters, and managers—a trend sure to continue in 2012. With ready access to these applications, company representatives can make prompt and informed decisions—from virtually anywhere—saving the company time and money.