Everything You Need to Know About HR Content and Mobile Devices

Use of mobile devices is undeniably on the rise – except, it seems, when it comes to HR pros. While a 2015 comScore report found that smartphones alone account for 60 percent of the time people spend consuming digital media, the popularity of mobile devices isn't as high among people in the HR industry.

In a recent survey from Recruiter.com and my company, Come Recommended, only 18.5 percent of HR pros reported using their phones or tablets to access industry-related content.

Why are HR professionals so anti-mobile device? And more importantly, what does it mean for your content marketing efforts?

The truth is that, in many ways, mobile devices fail to meet the needs of the HR industry. That means if you want HR pros to see the content you're creating, you need to adapt your strategy accordingly.

Here are four reasons HR pros prefer desktops when it comes to looking at industry-related content and how that fact should influence your content creation:

1. Video Is King

There is no end to the number of videos now available on the Internet. They're also extremely popular with the HR industry. Our survey found that video was one of the top forms of content preferred by HR pros and also one of the types they were most likely to share with others.

While it's convenient to be able to watch these video on our mobile devices, the size of the screen and the weak speakers make the viewing experience less enjoyable. Desktops, however, make it easier to see and hear what videos are all about. Plus, watching videos on your computer doesn't eat up precious data.

So, instead of shying away from video in your content, embrace it. Since your target audience is already using the perfect device for video viewing, it's more likely that they will see and share your message.

2. Work Hours Are Peak Content Consumption Time

Our survey found that 35.1 percent of HR pros look at industry content between 9 AM and 11:59 AM. In other words, HR pros are logically looking at content related to their jobs while at work. However, a 2016 CareerBuilder survey found that 26 percent of companies have policies in place to limit smartphone use. Without their mobile devices, employees have to turn to their desktops to access content.

But remember that your content won't get seen if you're posting on websites many organizations consider unprofessional or distracting. The CareerBuilder survey found that 32 percent of companies have blocked certain Internet sites in the office.

If you want your audience to find your content, make sure you're not posting it on websites that tend to be off-limits at work. For instance, Facebook may be a great way to share content, but many employees can't access the site from their work computers. That doesn't mean you shouldn't share your content on social media, but it does decrease the odds your content will be seen if you're posting during work hours.

Our survey found that 35.8 percent of HR pros consume industry-related content between the hours of 6 PM and 9 AM. That's your sweet spot for getting your content in front of their eyes on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Share your content on nonprofessional social media once most employees have clocked out. That way, they'll be able to access and enjoy it.

3. Content Needs to Be Digestible

When it comes to the length of HR content, people prefer articles of around 650 words. Our survey found that 26.4 percent of respondents identified that length as their favorite.

Unfortunately for HR professionals, reading pieces of that length requires a lot of scrolling on a mobile device. A desktop, on the other hand, makes it easier to see and read the content, which helps explain why so many HR pros use their desktops to access industry articles.

Interestingly, close on the heels of 650 words was 390 words, with 22.5 percent of HR pros saying that was the best word count. Get the best of both worlds by breaking your content up into sections that are between 300 and 400 words in length, with the total being around 650. That'll give you the ability to deliver quality content that is easily digestible for your readers.

Consider using media like photos, videos, and graphs to make the separations between sections interesting and appealing.

4. Nobody Uses the LinkedIn Mobile App

A staggering 46.4 percent of HR pros look on LinkedIn every day for their industry content – but they're not doing it on the LinkedIn mobile app. A 2016 report from SimilarWeb found the LinkedIn app's user retention rate was lower than the average social media app. It also had a high uninstall rate at 22.8 percent within 24 months.

That means HR pros turn to their desktops to go on LinkedIn. The nice thing for you is that LinkedIn has the built-in benefits of being able to publish and share content from one platform. Post articles you've written on LinkedIn and share links to other content. Try to find ways to encourage engagement with your posts, like posing a question at the end so readers can interact with your content.

Mobile devices are wonderful for a lot of things, but it's clear they fail HR pros in a lot of ways when it comes to finding and reading industry-related content. If you're aware of the limitations of smartphones and tablets as well as how your audience consumes content, you'll be able to reach people more effectively.

What are some other reasons mobile devices aren't popular for HR content? Share in the comments below!

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder and president of Come Recommended.