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War for Talents

Current surveys show that the topic of talent management at a time of demographic change is at the top of personnel managers' agenda in enterprises not just across Germany, but in many other western European countries as well. The much discussed "war for talent" is already beginning to arrive in personnel recruitment – in any case when it comes to competing for the target group of the most highly skilled, best-fit talents. Already today many enterprises lament declining numbers of applicants for their apprenticeship or trainee positions, both in terms of numbers and of qualifications. Even enterprises boasting an attractive employer brand need to significantly ramp up their efforts in the university graduate recruitment segment.

The marketing tools used in this area are increasingly moving from the print to the electronic media. Especially for younger target groups, the internet is the job search medium of choice. Thus, including e-recruiting in their recruitment choices is an absolute must for today's enterprises.

E-Recruiting as Innovative Candidate Sourcing

While the e-recruiting of recent years has remained largely pull-oriented, with most potential applicants actively using their PCs to search for job offers on company career web pages or on external job-search websites, the market is now shifting towards more push-oriented approaches. This means that potential applicants receive tailored job offers that are "pushed" into or, in other words, actively sent by the job-offering employer to the' e-mail accounts of applicants that have registered for the service at a prior point in time.

Even this "active" form of candidate sourcing however is already experiencing yet another transformation. To reach younger target groups, simply creating an initial contact via the internet and the PC as sole terminal device no longer suffices. Mobile communication and mobile devices such as cell phones, PDAs or interactive kiosk systems need to be included into the range of recruitment offerings. Today 17-year-old pupils are more easily reached via their camera phones than through their PCs at home. This in turn opens up new opportunities for candidate sourcing via mobile media.

Mobile E-Recruiting as Logical Consequence

The logical consequence of the increasing use of mobile devices by young people is thus to broaden the range of e-recruiting activities to include the mobile internet. This type of mobile e-recruiting can be defined as electronically supported personnel recruitment, whose communication with potential applicants makes use of mobile devices such as cell phones, smart phones or portable media players.

Empirical studies on the acceptance and effectiveness of advertising on mobile devices have confirmed that content designed for TV or PCs can not simply be transferred to mobile devices. Successful content offerings must add a concrete benefit for the mobile context (for example mobile uses that allow users to gain time), need to be applicable to specific situations and places and must be customizable to fit the user's personal profile. It is likely that these insights from the area of mobile advertising also apply to mobile e-recruiting.

If the discussed issues are heeded, this new type of e-recruiting appears to be an especially promising tool that can be used in addition to cross-media campaigns or as part of target-group-specific strategies in order to attract specifically young and tech-savvy applicant groups through a new and innovative medium. To plan and implement such a scheme, however, enterprises crucially require detailed research findings on the application potential and user acceptance of such mobile e-recruitment applications.