February update from Sales Director Gavin Mochan

Gavin_picTravelling around Scotland one of the most common questions I am asked is “Why does s1 not have an app?”

Most times when the question is presented to me it’s at an s1essentials or product launch event during the Q&A session, so sometimes I am often unable to give a complete answer. It’s a hotly contested debate and thus requires a proper explanation…

One thing is certain, mobile is important, especially in Scotland. Mobile usage has grown faster in Scotland than any other UK nation. 93% of adults own a mobile phone and many use it to access the internet every day. With this in mind, it will come as no surprise that over 40% of s1jobs traffic comes from a mobile audience. So the discussion is around how best to handle this shift in traffic.

When I joined s1 in 2013, my opinion was s1 should have an app. Since then I have made a complete 360 degree turn, in favour of Ethan Marcotte’s introduced concept of Responsive Web Design.

Years back people didn’t need to think about mobiles, tablets or different screen sizes because there wasn’t enough of them. But now we are in a world of multiple devices which are readily and easily accessible.

Responsive web design, for those who are not familiar, is the concept of a website which will adapt to any device it is accessed from – mobile, tablet, desktop etc.

So let me try and answer why I am in favour of responsive over app:

S – Shareability. In the social era it is important that website content can be shared easily between platforms and users. A mobile website is more equipped to do this.

C – Cost and Compatibility. A mobile website is more adaptable across many platforms and the lifetime cost of supporting and developing an app is significantly higher than a website.

O – is for Opportunity. There is a bigger opportunity for employers to present themselves to seekers on a mobile website than there is an app. Display advertising in apps is largely limited and intrusive to the seeker experience. Some ad agencies tell me the click through rate is higher, I think that’s just the ‘fat finger effect’.

T – is all about Timing. mobile websites are all immediately available. It is important for clients and candidates that new features are instantly available on any device.

L – Latitude. The Latitude of a mobile site has far greater reach than that of an app.  Accessibility is obviously important for internet based platforms such as s1. Mobile websites can be found more easily via search engines for example and can be stored just as easy on the mobile ‘desktop’ as an ‘app’.

A – is actually for App. A mobile site can be an app, just like a standard website mobile site can be developed as a database-driven web application that act and look like a native app.

N – Native websites are a better user experience for users. s1 have a lot of returning users, who enjoy the s1 experience. That familiarity is important to maintain a high standard of conversion (users to applications ratio) for clients and for seekers familiarity is symbiotic with “easy to use”.

D – is about Death. Sorry to be morbid but an app can be deleted and statistics will show you that after the initial install apps quickly lose the engagement of the user – they don’t come back. The lifecycle of a mobile website is significantly longer.

So there you have it, this is the reason I believe that a fully responsive website is the right direction for the seekers of SCOTLAND.

That being said there are reasons why an app might be appealing and I am not against having one. Mobile applications have their advantages. They are better at being interactive and I believe gamification should be used more in the recruitment process.

Apps also have easier access to the devices tech, like the camera which is advantageous for video interviewing, so depending on the intent of the interaction, apps may have some distinct advantages.

Another flaw with a mobile site itself is the Internet, they can’t work offline while an app can. And sometimes apps are just cool, and there isn’t enough businesses doing things because they are cool. So maybe we should have one after all, have I come full circle?

The only thing I can say for sure is that with client and candidate in mind a responsive website will trump a mobile app.

Hopefully I have answered this as comprehensively as I can, but I am not a developer and there may be some willing to have a barney over my points.

Until next time.