– by Holly Watson, Webrecruit

What effect does a non optimised career site have on the candidate journey?

The recruitment market is changing and becoming candidate-driven once again.

As a result, recruiters and HR professionals are having to hone their candidate attraction strategy, in an attempt to draw in the right applicants. Many are turning to recruitment software, such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and careers sites to give them the edge.

So, where does mobile optimisation come into things?

43% of candidates are regularly using a mobile device in their job search, according to the 2014 Jobsite Social Recruiting survey.

And a huge 59% of recruiters and HR professionals currently invest nothing in mobile optimised career sites.

With this statistic in mind, you might start to consider the implications that a non mobile optimised careers site can have on your recruitment process.

Let’s begin by taking a look at two very different candidate journeys.

Candidate journey A: The non mobile optimised careers site

Candidate A wants to apply for a role – they’re pressed for time, so they use their iPhone to submit an application whilst commuting to their current job.
Lady with a laptop and mobile
Upon visiting the careers site, they’re presented with a big chunk of text about the role that requires them to scroll across to read. They then face a lengthy application form where they have to type a lot of information about themselves which is already included in their CV.

Once they finally reach the CV upload page, they’re unable to upload using their mobile device. Frustrated, they try and phone the business directly to apply. But guess what? They can’t find the Contact Us page due to poor navigation.

What’s this candidate likely to do? Probably give up.

Candidate journey B: The mobile optimised careers site

Candidate B also wants to apply for a new job. Like Candidate A, they’re pretty busy in their current role so decide to use their mobile device.

They visit the company’s careers site, search for the vacancy and find a short summary of the position. From visiting the site, they’re able to access the CV Upload page in just three clicks, where they can upload their CV from Dropbox and answer a few basic application questions.

Within minutes, Candidate B has completed the application process.

So, what’s the effect of a poor candidate journey on your application and fill rates?

A non mobile optimised careers site can have huge implications for hiring managers and HR professionals.

Man with mobile and cup of coffeeA frustrating candidate experience will inevitably lead to a drop-off in applications, which is bad news for your recruitment process. Imagine if Candidate A happened to be the perfect applicant for a vacancy that you’d been working on for weeks.

Large number of applicants dropping out of your application process can also be costly to your business – just think about the cost of having to re-advertise your vacancy.

Poorly laid out careers sites suggest that your business doesn’t care about the candidate experience; you haven’t designed your site with the user in mind and this can be very off-putting for applicants.

A non mobile optimised careers site also implies that your business isn’t tech-savvy and up-to-date with advancements in technology.

Your careers site is meant to represent your company in the best possible way, so make sure that it’s mobile optimised and easy to navigate.

But what makes for a good careers site?

A good careers site should make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply. The application process should be kept clean, simple and straightforward and it should, ideally, take no more than three clicks to access the CV Upload page.


Your careers site and online application form should be responsive to whatever device candidates are using. Unnecessary questions should be cut out of the form for the mobile application process, such as large text boxes.

Example 1 

The screenshots below may resonate with Candidate A. As you can see, with this non mobile optimised site, users have to scroll across to read all the text. The Login/Register page also contains text boxes that aren’t aligned and overlap with eachother, making for a confusing and cluttered candidate experience.

Screenshot of non mobile optimised careers site   Screenshot of non mobile optimised careers site

Example 2


In contrast, the careers site below is fully mobile optimised. It is fully responsive and the navigation bar turns into a drop down menu when viewed on a mobile device, making for a much cleaner and uncluttered experience.


Screenshot of mobile optimised careers site   Screenshot of mobile optimised careers site

It should be easy to search for vacancies by a number of criteria, such as location, salary and industry sector. It’s also helpful to have a Register Your CV button, just in case candidates are unable to find a vacancy they’re interested in but still want to work for your company. This will add them to your talent pool.

An overcluttered appearance is problematic as this can be too distracting and complicated. However, an overly simplistic design with too much white space might imply that you don’t have a great deal to say.


With 36.9 million active mobile internet users in the UK, we are a nation who are continuously browsing on the move. Therefore, we need to embrace change and make things as easy as possible for users.

A mobile optimised careers site is vital for the candidate experience. And, after all, in this ever-changing market, the candidate really is king.


About Webrecruit

Webrecruit has developed a new offering for the resourcing market with its strategic partner, Hireserve.

Building on Webrecruit’s 14 years’ candidate sourcing and reporting abilities, and combining them with Hireserve’s market-leading recruitment software, the partnership offers in-house recruitment managers the best tools to build direct sourcing capabilities.

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.