Companies are at risk of losing the best young talent to competitors due to one thing: their websites are not optimised for mobile technology.

New data from recruitment specialist Sellick Partnership discovered that while 92.5% of 18-24 year olds (Gen Z) have searched for a job using their phones in the past, just 72.5% would consider actually applying for a job using the same device.

The main obstacles stopping this age group taking the next step and applying for a role were not being able to upload their CV (37.5%) and the websites they use not being optimised for mobile devices (32.5%).

The survey of 929 participants also highlights a dramatic shift in how younger candidates use technology as part of their job hunting – when the same survey was run five years ago, just 38% of 18-24-year-olds used their phones to search for a job.

Jo Sellick, Managing Director at Sellick Partnership, says:

“Mobile technology has come to dominate the way people look for work, due to the increased power of these devices, their convenience, faster internet speeds and improved signal.

“However, it is clear to see that not all companies have yet caught up to the needs of their prospective candidates. Over a fifth of Gen Z job seekers are failing to transition from looking to actually applying for a job on their phone and outdated websites that do not take into consideration the mobile needs of candidates are to blame.

“In 2019, people want a smooth job application experience and it is much more appealing to be able to apply immediately on their phones, rather than having to turn on a computer, find the job posting all over again, and then apply separately. That extra effort might be what makes the difference between securing or losing a candidate.”

The data shows that an efficient mobile experience is important for all age groups. Nearly three-quarters (74.8%) of 35-44 year olds and 58.9% of 45-54-year-olds have searched for a job using their phone, and they are similarly put off from applying using this method. Just 46.6% of 45-55 year olds and 59.9% of 35-44 year olds said they would consider applying for a job directly on their phone.

Jo Sellick says:

Our survey results stress how vital it is that companies have mobile-friendly websites if they do not want to lose out on the up-and-coming generation of candidates. In order to remain competitive and attractive to Gen Z job seekers, organisations must make sure that their websites are fast-loading, legible, easy to use and have a simple CV upload feature available for mobile users. Without these improvements, they will fall behind as candidates lose interest or become frustrated with the company due to an inadequate job application process.”