45 Million Monthly Mobile LinkedIn Searches

comScore_IncWe have all seen the stats: more and more people are using smartphones and tablets to connect to the web. We probably all use our own mobile phone to interact online every day. But what does this mean for recruitment? Do people use their handheld devices to research companies and find their next job?

I caught up with LinkedIn and learned about its experience, which is driving around 45 million people searches a month.

Just in case you have been living in a cave and have no idea how big mobile is, you should know that this week the smartphone market in the U.S. overtook the feature phone market with about 125 million smartphone owners. (See comScore for data on the mobile market.) The much younger tablet market is beyond the 50 million milestone The web connected device is now the majority. The arrival of fast-data-access 4G has seen a massive uptake with about 33 million subscribers.

There are some naysayers who are determined to ignore the prevailing trends that make mobile so important. It is time to get more facts and experience from the recruitment industry to the surface, so everyone can make their own decisions. I have called this project “Mobile In Action” and kicked it off by interviewing Leela Srinivasan, group marketing manager at LinkedIn, to find out what its users are doing via mobile.

LinkedIn offers both smartphone and iPad web support and native apps. It has invested in mobile and has released a few app updates too. The core LinkedIn functionality is supported on mobile, including company pages and jobs.

LinkedIn members enjoy posting updates and reading news from their mobile. Social use is mainstream on mobile. Mobile engagement does not stop there. Every second there are 19 people-searches on LinkedIn via a mobile device. If 19 does not sound a lot to you, a quick calculation shows LinkedIn handles about 45 million people searches a month via mobile.

The increased support of mobile has seen LinkedIn’s mobile traffic close to double year over year; today, 27% of LinkedIn unique visiting members are on a smartphone or tablet. If this growth rate continued, mobile would represent about 40% of all LinkedIn traffic next year. I believe the growth rate will not be the same; it will be faster. We will see a 50/50 split between mobile and desktop/laptop devices.

People looking at other people on LinkedIn is one thing, but what about researching companies? Today LinkedIn holds 2.7 million mobile-optimized company pages. Most of the 2.7 million companies have no mobile support for their own company career websites, which is a very real opportunity for every company’s recruitment strategy.

The opportunity to support mobile users is unfortunately more complex that it should be. At the Mobile World Congress 2013 last month there was a huge focus on the next billion devices to hit the global market. Many of these new devices are likely to be running a new mobile operating system called “Firefox OS” and Samsung is rumored to be focusing on its own operating system and ecosystem. To you and me, this means it could get more difficult to support mobile properly, but the opportunity is going to be even bigger. Identifying key mobile partners will be critical to future recruitment strategies.

As mobile web, Google search, Twitter, and Facebook continue toward mobile web being their primary user base, recruitment campaigns and career sites will go through a shift to mobile first. It is only a matter of time.

Is 27% of users being on mobile (smartphone/tablet) a good benchmark, or does LinkedIn attract more mobile users? An average web benchmark I have seen is 20 percent. How does this compare to your mobile stats? Do you think a poor mobile candidate experience at a company website matters? What’s your experience?

About the Author

Dave Martin, CTO and founder of Three Sparks Global, has over 13 years experience covering online technology and online commercial strategy. More recently he has been an evangelist keynote speaker focusing on rapid growth of mobile internet. His expert experience and knowledge spans across social media, online recruitment, mobile applications, mobile market, mobile business, web business models, strategic delivery, project management, product development, product launch, and business development. He recognizes the shape of the Internet in the future and cares about products supporting individuals and companies in a hybrid online world of mobile and desktop. He is a leading mobile Internet expert with the strategic and hands-on project experience to drive online business forwards into the next decade of media consumption.
  • http://www.4mat.com Gareth Jenkins

    Some very interesting stats here Dave – as a regular user of LinkedIn’s mobile tools myself (across mobile web, tablet and native apps) I’ve watched them develop with interest. Good to see their usage stats through these channels going strong!

    Having tested following many apply links from LinkedIn jobs myself, I agree fully with the potential for candidate disappointment with lack of a solid mobile apply process. LinkedIn’s own ApplyWithLinkedIn standard widget (often touted as the saviour of the mobile apply) has still not been made to render well on mobile devices. Something I’ve been bringing up with them for well over a year now.

    We’ve spent a long time at 4MAT creating our own well honed mobile apply process using LinkedIn. It’s been carefully tied into our own career site product set to create easy job alert signups and speculative application workflows as well as full job applications. http://www.4mat.com/mobile-recruitment-websites-with-apply-by-linkedin

    Our own stats on mobile usage do vary site to site currently. We’re aiming to do an up-to-date cross site audit soon so I hope we can share some further benchmark figures.

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  • http://blog.indeed.com Sarah Dover

    What I’m having a hard time distinguishing through this article is the difference between “people-searches” and “job-searches.” While 19 people-searches via mobile device seems great, it doesn’t clearly show job seekers using LinkedIn for their job-hunting properties. Any further insight?

  • Dave Martin

    I do not remember a hard figure being shared on job searches, except the overall 27% of traffic is on mobile. 27% is similar to the figure that many job boards share with me and as such I would expect nearly one in three job seekers on LI to be accessing from a smartphone or tablet.

    I have approach LI for exact figures to answer your query, but can not promise anything.

    Thanks for reading the article!

    Dave Martin

  • http://blog.indeed.com Sarah Dover

    Thanks Dave. It was a great article and I look forward to figures (hopefully!).

  • Dave Martin

    I chatted with Leela Srinivasan at LinkedIn, the only data she could share at the moment was from the CEO Jeff Weiner during the last earnings call.

    “Jobs on mobile is also gaining increasing traction. Introduced just six months ago, nearly 20% of job views and nearly 30% of job viewers now come from mobile devices”

    This was LinkedIn job seeker performance on mobile end of 2012, from insight of mobile growth so far this year in 2013, I would expect the numbers to have moved upwards.

    I hope this helps answer your question.


  • http://blog.indeed.com Sarah Dover

    Thanks for the insight Dave. I look forward to reading more of your articles!