Senior recruitment professionals say they fully expect new web-friendly mobile devices such as smartphones, coupled with the increasing use of social media, to have a major influence on recruitment processes in 2012.

Commenting in ‘Recruiter’ magazine, Matt Adler, founder of the Meta Shift consultancy, claims that recruiters now almost have an obligation to:

“catch up with the changing needs of their audience’ and ‘allow mobile platforms to play a bigger role in the application process”.

In the same article, Paul Maxin, Unilever’s global resourcing director expresses agreement with this view, stating that: ‘recruiters must reach out to engage candidates via their mobile’. Maxin , however, also stresses that smartphone use often goes hand in hand with increased exploitation of social media; claiming that ‘the potential for viral engagement is awesome’.

Social media’s high profile has also left a major impression on the vice president of people at McDonald’s, Jez Langhorn. Forecasting a situation where, because of economies, recruitment processes might involve a greater degree of input from employers rather than agencies, Langhorn, writing in the same ‘Recruiter’ article, urges companies to ensure they ‘continue to embrace the opportunities created by social networking and online recruitment tools’.

The overall prophetic tone of the ‘Recruiter’ article is perhaps best summed up by another contributor, Informatica’s global vice-president of talent acquisition, Brad Cook; who argues:

“Social recruiting techniques are now a must-have, not a nice-to-have, and the race to create more company awareness with SEO and PPC [pay per click] is critical”.