Forget Mobile Version, It’s Time to Focus on Mobile Apps

January 26, 20152:46 pm708 views

It’s time for HR folks to start thinking about going mobile. Based on a report released by Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), people worldwide are spending half or even most of their time on mobile. KPCB mentioned that mobile usage growth is very strong, as you can see below:

mobile usage

The world only need precisely a year to increase the mobile usage. The Asian continent is now on the second place below (surprisingly) Africa continent. We used to call it as “mobile”, yet it is now becoming “the internet” itself.

According to KPCB research, there are now 5.2 billion mobile devices and 1.6 billion smart phones, while only 789 million laptops and 743 million desktop PCs. This is such an interesting fact for every HR professionals who strictly rely on the company website or the mobile version of its site.

We could assume that your employees (most of whom are most likely to have a smartphone) are 2-5 times more likely to reach your HR applications through their phone than desktop/PC.

The assumption leads us to a simple premise: mobile first. Right now, mobile is everything. Yes, the website is still running, and the web application is not going away. However, current event forces us to focus on building a mobile apps, not just “mobile versions”. Every company have to look at usage mechanics, user interface, and design of mobile apps.

Still not sure about building mobile apps? Here’s another fact from KPCB:

mobile apps vs ads

Currently, mobile apps trumps mobile advertising revenue. Mobile apps are rising rapidly since 5 years ago, and apparently it will only growing high. This is another reason for us to focus on mobile apps.

For your information, mobile apps are small, interactive, easy to use. It is also using single function systems. In a mobile device, we usually “tap and swipe” rather than “click and type”. A mobile apps supposed to be usable within one or two clicks. Even so, many HR applications take dozens of click just to get started. Remember that any mobile apps are fast and efficient with red dots, simple swiping mechanisms, and lots of feedback.

Now, let’s see all the typical HR applications that work better on mobile devices:

  • Time and attendance: most hourly and consulting and service workers are mobile. They need a rapid fire mobile app multiple times a day.
  • Online learning: what better time to learn than when standing in line, sitting on a plane, or waiting at the doctor’s office? Especially, if it is certification or compliance training.
  • Employee directory: in most cases we will phone someone through a mobile device, shouldn’t the directory be there? Single click, find someone, send an email, or give them a call.
  • Goal setting and management: what if I have a great idea for a project or goal over the weekend? Why can’t I update my goals while I’m out and about?
  • Employee communications: people are more likely to read a newsletter or email on their phone during off hours. If we want to read company news, chances are Twitter feed or phone reader are preferred than email.
  • Job candidates: more than half all job responses start from a mobile advertisement and companies. Maybe, the best candidates are those who apply from their mobile devices.
  • Feedback and engagement: engagement and feedback surveys, which are becoming more dynamic every day, can be done on a phone in minutes. For example, Adobe found that their employee feedback increased by five-fold when they put their pulse surveys into mobile. Well, if an employee have something to say immediately about the work environment, then they prefer to just post it instead of logging into a corporate HR system.

There’s a lot of speculation and prediction that the mobile device will be the primary interface in the near future. With the trend toward mobile apps is only accelerating, we should start integrating things between HR and mobile. Any companies better consider to create mobile apps and not mobile version of existing site.

See: Reintegrating Sales & Marketing

Credit: Forbes and KPBC

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