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    Entries in mobile (27)


    CHART OF THE DAY: We have all the apps we need

    Question time, then today's Chart of the Day...

    How many smartphone apps would you say you use regularly?

    10? 15? Maybe more?

    Likely more, actually. According to some recent data from Statista the average US smartphone owner uses about 27 apps on a regular basis. 

    But here's the interesting thing - that number is hardly changed in the last three years. Let's look at the chart, then some FREE comments from me after that.

    Three quick takes...

    1. As you can see from the data, we aren't using many more apps than we did in 2012, but the monthly time spent on them has almost doubled since 2012. Which means fewer apps are breaking through the clutter and noise of the Apps stores, but the ones that do are commanding more and more attention and mind share.

    2. Getting user's attention with any new app is getting harder and harder by the month. Sure, we do sometimes swap out some older apps for some newer ones, but we seem to have no more room for an increase in the number of apps we can manage and use. So not only does any new app need to offer a compelling value proposition in its own right, it likely also has to 'replace' something in most user's minds, since we can't 'fit' more apps into our lives.

    3. If you are considering rolling out any new apps for your workforce, no matter how fantastic and functional they may seem, you are competing for precious and limited time and attention from your targeted users, and are also fighting a battle for phone screen real estate and attention not just against the web-based version of that HR system, but also all the personal apps your employees are using every day. And what the Statista data suggest is that collectively we are running out of app capacity in terms of what we can and would like to engage with on our phones.

    Do you need an app for your HR, recruiting, benefits or other HR tools?

    Maybe. Probably even.

    But will your users have the bandwidth and ability to adapt your fancy new app?

    Maybe not.

    Have a great Tuesday. 


    Communication in a post-email world

    It is no secret to long time readers of the blog, and also to some folks who have tried or are trying to get in touch with me, that I have a long-standing hatred of email. The specific reasons are not really important and the moment, a quick search of this blog archive, or even Google will provide ample ammunition for why email is terrible. But I bring it up again because of a post I came across on the blog of Forrester analyst Julie Ask, titled How Will You Communicate With Your Customers if they Don't Read Email?

    Check out Ms. Ask's rundown of the various messaging apps and platforms she is currently engaging with, and the current state of unread messages in them:

    A summary of my communication (or lack thereof) shows:

    • 24,998 unread personal emails (okay, mostly from marketers)
    • 4,937 unopened work emails
    • 272 unopened SMS messages
    • 45 unopened/read messages on WeChat (these are from marketers)
    • 0 unread notifications from Facebook (and I average 23 per day)
    • 0 unread notifications from Slack (and I average 87 per day)

    The reasons and reasoning that Ms. Ask offers for this current state of (mostly) ignored emails is instructive and probably similar to what many of you, your employees, and your job candidates/prospects are finding. Namely, our email boxes (both personal and professional) are overrun, we have recently adopted more and newer messaging tools (like WhatsApp or Slack), and we elect to migrate only a small subset of our universe of contacts into these new, preferred platforms.

    Check one more excerpt from the Forrester piece, and note, I am going to swap out the work 'marketer' with 'recruiter' and 'customer/consumer' with 'candidate'.

    Marketers Recruiters and really anyone looking to engage with consumers candidates thought they had checked the box with gaining consumers’ candidates' trust when they gained permission to send emails. Think about how many times you’ve made a purchase online and the box to “receive additional promotional materials” is already checked for you. You have to opt out rather than opt in.

    Mobile came along and changed the game. Now digital business professionals and marketers recruiters worked hard to drive app downloads. They wanted to own their mobile moments with their customers candidates on mobile phones. Each download was considered a win.

    But then consumers candidates stopped opening or using the applications. Only a few marketers recruiters have realized that they have to do more. Now if Marketers recruiters want to reach consumers candidates, they have to gain consumer candidate permission to receive push notifications.

    The bar keeps moving for marketers recruiters who want to reach consumers candidates on their mobile devices. Permission lies with each application. At a time of hyper-adoption when consumers candidates can switch apps in less than a minute and migrate their base of friends or colleagues in a matter of days or weeks, marketers recruiters can’t rest.

    This is really good stuff from Ms. Ask, and totally relevant for any of us who are trying to capture attention in a highly-fragmented and rapidly evolving communications technology landscape.

    I guess the bright side could be that no, people are not ignoring your email. They are ignoring all of their email.


    Three data points that should tell us something about how things are changing

    For a 'please can this week be over yet?' Friday, here are three unrelated pieces of news/information from the last few days that individually are interesting, and taken collectively should make us think about where the next few years are heading in technology. First, here are the three stories for your consideration:

    League of Legends is now a college sport - and one University is offering scholarships for its team (Venture Beat)

    Robert Morris University of Chicago is now accepting applications for its first competitive League of Legends season. Associate athletic director Kurt Melcher said the university is also looking to hire a coach.

    Competitive League of Legends is a remarkably successful enterprise. E-sports racked up an astounding 2.4 billion viewer hours last year, with this online strategy game being the most-watched game of the bunch. This has brought a multitude of advertisers and sponsors to the table. League of Legends also made $624 million dollars in microtransactions last year and has over 70 million monthly players.

    RMU is looking to fill around 18 or 19 player spots. Eight or nine players will be a part of the varsity team, but the college is also looking to field two full (five man) practice squads. The university is offering scholarships that will pay up to 50 percent tuition and 50 percent room and board, which Melcher said is valued at around $19,000.

    Yo Now Has Over 200,000 Users - 140,000 More Than It Had Yesterday (Business Insider)

    You might still be figuring out what you think about Yo, the app that only lets you send "Yo" notifications to your friends, but the app is taking off.

    Yo just announced that the app has surpassed the 200,000 user threshold.

    Yo has also broken into the Top 50 free apps on Apple's App Store, surpassing even Facebook's new Slingshot app. It's currently #24.

    The Best and Worst: Media Habits of the Class of 2014 (Niche)

    This year’s high school graduating class is part of a coveted demographic for tech companies. In a survey of 7,000 Class of 2014 Niche users, students ranked 50 popular apps and websites based on frequency of usage.


    Steve here - really interesting data points I think. Video games and gamers are getting more and more mainstream each day, the hottest App in the Apple App Store has a single function, sending the word 'Yo' as a notification to one of your contacts, and the oldest Gen Z (or whatever we call them), has no time for anything that exists primarily as a website or a web-based destination. With Yo, and the data from teen tech usage, we see that attention spans for individual tasks are getting still shorter, (if that was possible). But the video game trends remind us that for the right experience, you can capture attention for long, long periods of time. And those experiences are changing.

    I think it is important if you consider yourself a student of people and technology, (what the best HR tech folks should be), to at least keep aware of these kinds of developments as they arise, and before they turn into full-blown trends. If you are still writing and reading stories about how 'Mobile is going to be big' or 'Social media is important for HR', you're really late to the party. In fact, that party is over, it ended in 2010 or so.

    This weekend you should spend 10 minutes thinking about what, if anything, 'Yo' means for you in HR and for your workplace tech in the future.

    Or just send me a 'Yo'.

    Have a great weekend!


    Technology for the post-search world

    On the road this week to attend and present at the PeopleMatter Collaborate '14 event, so today's take will be a short one, and really is not much more than a recommendation to check out this fascinating piece on Quartz titled This is what comes after search, a really interesting look at how the way we interact with the web (particularly on mobile devices) is changing.

    Long story short, we don't really 'search' in the traditional sense, by typing some words into a box on Google.com, nearly as much on mobile devices as we traditionally have on personal computers, (where 'searching' was essentially the only way to find anything).

    And since more and more the only thing that really matters is mobile, this change is user behavior and preferences for information discovery are having a pretty profound impact on both the major sellers or search, (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft), and the new companies that are developing technologies that are meant to deliver the next generation of 'search', where searching happens automatically, is context-aware, and is personalized for you.

    Here is a excerpt from the piece on Quartz to give you an idea of what the 'post-search' world might look like:

    In the old days, if you wanted to do something - navigate to the restaurant where you've got a dinner reservation - you might open a web browser and search for its address. But in the post-search world of context - in which our devices know so much about us that they can guess our intentions - your phone is already displaying a route to that restaurant, as well as traffic conditions, and how long it will take you to get there, the moment you pull your phone out of your pocket.

    Manually searching for things, especially for basic information like the names of places or their locations or details about a person with which you are about to meets just seems kind of old school, kind of a 2002 way to interact with information.

    Earlier this week I posted about Microsoft's Oslo project, the beginnings of their attempt at making 'search' less onerous and even unnecessary for the people in organizations that have pretty much their entire work lives tied up in Microsoft Office applications. That project, and the ones that are detailed in the Quartz piece both serve as signals of a sort, that the days of you having to figure out what it is you are looking for, then manually issuing a request to some kind of search tool to help you find the right information, and finally you figuring out which choice to make from hundreds or thousands of options are perhaps drawing to a close.

    For the solution providers that will thrive in the second part of this decade, it's not about making technology that helps you find things anymore. It is about making technology that delivers the right information, in the right context, before the user even had to search.


    WEBINAR: Get inside the brain of the mobile job seeker

    You (and everyone else you know) simply CANNOT PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY.

    You can't do it. Admit it. Just try and go 20 minutes disconnected from that little miracle device. 

    After five minutes you will give the phone a furtive glance. After ten minutes your palms will start to get a little clammy and you will be compelled to pick up the phone, (but you will still have it locked). 


    So you break down at minute seventeen only to find the only things you've 'missed' are some forgettable work emails, some strange dude who might be a 'bot followed you on Twitter, and your cousin 'liked' your latest Instagram selfie.

    Disappointed, you turn to one of the few important things your little handheld portal to the Universe has to offer - you start looking around for a better job. C'mon admit it, you have a few job board apps on that little screen, maybe a couple of company career site apps too, and you have definitely clicked on a few job ads that you've seen on the mobile apps for LinkedIn or Twitter.

    It's ok, no shame at all. You are just like the rest of us in that there really isn't much of a difference or distinction between the activities and expectations for information and capability that we want from our iPhones and what we grew up with on our old PCs.

    Whether it's processing work stuff, shopping, and certainly, looking for that next great job opportunity - if it is happening, it is happening more and more on mobile devices.

    So as an HR/Talent pro you need to ensure your talent attraction game is ready for this new playing field. But don't fret, your pals over at Fistful of Talent have you covered with the next installment of the free FOT Webinar series -  Happy Hour Job Search: Driving the Behavior of Mobile Job Seekers, to be held on Tuesday, April 1 at 3:00PM EDT.

    In the webcast, presented by Kris Dunn from FOT, and Ed Newman from iMomentous, the guys will hit you with the following:

    A complete breakdown of the basic demographics and behaviors of mobile job seekers, with strategies on how to use that data to influence candidate behavior.

    Inside information about power users of mobile career sites, including the level of education they’ve achieved, years of work experience and most prevalent zodiac sign (we’re kidding about the last one–but it would be cool if Capricorns were the most mobile savvy, right?).

    What behavior and life patterns surrounding mobile use cause employers to see spikes at particular hours of the day from mobile, and how that impacts your mobile recruiting strategy.

    The impact of mobile friendly career sites and email campaigns to click through rates from mobile candidates.

    Then, we’ll show you how all the factors listed above make providing highly relevant content and calls to action the key to success with mobile candidates.

    A winning recruiting strategy starts with understanding the candidate you’re seeking. Where is your candidate sitting at the moment they choose to hit “apply?” What are they doing 10 seconds before they land on your site?

    Remember how your parents thought the Internet was a fad? Don’t fall into the same trap with mobile recruiting.  Join Kris Dunn and Ed Newman on Tuesday, April 1st from 3-4pm EST for Happy Hour Job Search: Driving the Behavior of Mobile Job Seekers, and they’ll hit you with the best strategies to get the most out your mobile recruiting strategy in 2014 and beyond.

    Have a great weekend!