Facebook’s Billion Dollar Question: Will Candidates Buy Into Mobile?

Last week, Facebook announced that they had gone from zero dollars in mobile advertising revenue to $1.09 billion.

When I heard Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speak in September at TechCrunch Disrupt, he was hot and heavy on the mobile bandwagon. They not only saw it as a catalyst for their own growth, but as an opportunity for improvement.

Now we see exactly why.

But the $1 billion dollar question isn’t actually whether you can get a lot of money from advertising revenues on mobile. The bigger question is whether you can get people to act on a mobile device, not just simply consume and communicate with those you already know.

Turning mobile traffic into something real

That’s something those of us in the talent business should be very excited about.

If you ever read my posts over on SourceCon, mobile is probably already on your radar. We’ve talked about mobile apps, mobile sourcing and about the state of mobile-enabled job boards and career websites.

In conversations with people at conferences and networking events, you could tell there is still some hesitancy. In fact, if you don’t have a Fortune 500 recruiting budget, the idea of pushing for mobile-enabled action on your career website may be daunting. There are solutions out there but it might be a tough sell internally, especially if your regular website isn’t even mobile-enabled.

Part of that tough sell is whether any traffic you would get from mobile would ever convert to something real. Would you get leads and candidates from it? Do people even want to apply for jobs or show some sort of interest in it?

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Are you still skeptical?

Maybe I’m reading too much into what was announced by Facebook last week. Yes, you can call me on that — and it wouldn’t be the first time.

If people are willing to click on advertisements within an app or their browser to buy something, I’m willing to bet they are also open to checking out a job as well. It isn’t as if mobile adoption is slowing down or becoming less significant, especially in emerging markets, either.

And of course, as people become more open to doing tasks on their mobile phones that they would normally do on a desktop or laptop computer, they’ll be even more open to getting contacted via mobile apps.

So the billion dollar question is this: is mobile something you are reacting to? Did the news from Facebook resonate with you the way it did with me or are you still in skeptical mode?

Lance Haun is the practice director of strategy and insights for The Starr Conspiracy, where he focuses on researching and writing about work technology. He is also a former editor for ERE Media, broadly covering the world of human resources, recruiting, and sourcing. 
He has been featured as a work expert in publications like the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, MSNBC, Fast Company, and other HR and business websites.
He's based in his Vancouver, Wash., home office with his wife and adorable daughter. You can reach him by email or find him off-topic on Twitter.