If you came of age when Zack Morris ruled the halls of Bayside High, it would be pretty unbelievable to fathom how far cellular technology has come for the mobile-first, always-connected millennial generation.

Form factors have gotten smaller. Designs are elegant and responsive. Load times for web sites, audio and video are swift. And for the generations that grew up with talking on phones, the biggest change has been watching mobile devices evolve into text-based communication platforms, less focused on calling. After all, if you can’t get in touch with someone by a voice call, you tend to leave a text more than a voice message.

That’s had a huge impact on our jobs. Mobile is now a platform driven by contextual workflows. What’s the best information you need at the moment? Who do you need to collaborate with? What do I need to make a decision? Who do I need to talk with?

All of these questions draw upon trends that are very much a part of how we get work done today: contextual, collaborative, conversational, and transactional. And, it all sits nicely on one mobile platform.

While these devices are also vehicles for our amusement, enjoyment, communication, news consumption, and socialization, it’s no surprise that some of these channels -- especially social media and chatting are becoming tools for recruiters and companies to get in touch with potential candidates and employees.

More than ever, people are mobile. The future of work is less tied to a desk, and more dependent on mobility and location. We polled some HR experts about how this mobile transformation and social media are impacting the world of work. Here’s what they said.

Matt Charney is the Executive Editor at Recruiting Daily. Regarded as a go-to resource for HR executives, Charney has an innate understanding of what’s coming next in the world of recruiting and talent acquisition. Considered a top influencer by the likes of GlassDoor and LinkedIn, Matt began his career as a corporate recruiter for Walt Disney and Warner Brothers.

Branch Messenger: How are mobile and social technologies impacting employee recruitment and retention?

Matt Charney: Employers are spending a shitload of money on this stuff for recruiting without realizing that 1) social is a crap source of hire, somewhere around three percent, and 2) no one really gives a flying f** what their company posts on its careers Twitter or Instagram, so as far as retention goes, it's probably a push. All the money you're spending on your social activation should probably go into increasing employee salaries or total rewards offerings if you really want to move the needle. Even Twitter can't make money off of Twitter, and yet, employers are spending billions on what's more or less a money pit.*

Mobile, on the other hand, is basically helping make the world of work, work better. From enabling virtual workers and teams to mobile enabled productivity and collaboration platforms, there's no doubt that mobile is a game changer when it comes to worker satisfaction—and most employees would take a pay cut or lateral move for the chance to work virtually at least a couple days a week (see: every survey on this topic in the last five years). So as far as recruitment goes, these devices enable recruiters to hire workers from anywhere at less cost, and they tend to stay about 1/3 longer in the job than those who are required to go into an office every day.

With mobile, work is becoming a thing you do, not a place you go, and that's a good thing for all of us. Just stop using the term "mobile." It's not an independent category. It's the foundation of most technology today—and tomorrow.

Meghan M. Biro is the Founder and CEO, TalentCulture.

Branch Messenger: How are mobile and social technologies impacting employee recruitment and retention?

Meghan Biro: First, recruitment: mobile and social have completely transformed the process and the means by which we communicate. In terms of how we relate with each other, it is so much easier now for a recruiter to reach out and just give someone a little nudge, a Hey, how are you? Just checking in. We can personalize our messaging very quickly and easily, and share relevant information or ideas with someone on a very informal level — not pushy, no overbearing, but clearly in a way that conveys interest.

I’ve seen great recruiters do that really effectively, keeping in touch with a whole pool of talent by using a mobile and social tool that keeps track of everyone and every interaction. It allows us to build relationships with potential candidates, passive or active, in a quiet and easy way. And with the younger generations, which I really don’t even want to say anymore, but let’s say generations for whom a smartphone is a vital part of their life, this is awesome. We’ve all read the studies about their preference for texts and the fact that they don’t always pay attention to emails, and they don’t tend to like phone calls. So mobile and social is pitch perfect. And this is no small thing, but we can measure everything. We can get data we need when we need it, and use it to better attend to our candidates.

Be sure to check out our blog later this week, when we feature a longer piece with Meghan and insights into how mobile is changing the world of work.

Ben Eubanks, a human resources professional, and speaker who blogs and podcasts at upstartHR. He has more than seven years of tactical, strategic experience and is a nationally-recognized speaker in human capital management.

Branch Messenger: How are mobile and social technologies impacting employee recruitment and retention?

Ben Eubanks: HR technology plays a critical role in helping companies not only see, but actually understand, the trends behind employee turnover and absenteeism. It could be a policy issue, an engagement problem, or something else, but without leveraging technology it's often challenging to pull the data together in a way that shines light on the actual underlying issues. Too often companies try to address the symptoms instead of the root cause, which means they will never really make the right choices to resolve the issue.

Keshila Shannon is the Head of Marketing at Achievers. Their Employee Engagement Blog covers topics including culture, leadership, and employee engagement.

Branch Messenger: How are mobile and social technologies impacting employee recruitment and retention?

Keshila Shannon: Around the world, there are approximately 2.3 billion smartphone users and 2.46 billion social media users. These productivity and communications tools are no longer exceptions in the workplace; they are the way in which work is getting done. So, it’s no surprise they’ve impacted employee recruitment and retention significantly, whether via the utilitarian purpose of applying for a job using “mobile apply” or for peer-to-peer social recognition for a job well done.

At Achievers, we believe mobile and social-based apps drive positive employee engagement by giving managers and peers what they need to easily and frequently recognize and reward others. Not every employee sits behind a desk all day; a considerable percentage of workforces are deployed remotely, on the road and in settings such as retail and hospitality. “Always-on, always-available” mobile and social technologies create new and innovative opportunities to consistently engage employees across the enterprise, resulting in better recruiting, recognition and retention.

Key Takeaways

As mobile devices become a bigger part of our work and a necessary tool for productivity, here’s a few tips you can use to leverage mobile and social technologies in your recruiting efforts:

  • Determine where in the mobile ecosystem you can reach potential job applicants. Can people apply to your job openings from their mobile devices?
  • Mobile is an important platform for channeling positive social recognition for employees.
  • Mobile devices not only boost productivity, but they also enable recruiters to acquire and hire employees from virtually anywhere.
  • Recognize challenges from your employees before they become urgent problems.