By Dave Haygarth June 23, 2015
Of course there is, there’s an app for everything. But should there be?
Should recruiters develop their own mobile app?
We build websites for a living; we've built apps in the past and no doubt will build them in the future. We get asked about building ‘something a bit like the website, but downloaded from the Apple store’. We can, but it’s worth asking whether an App really is the answer.There’s an element of ‘me too!’ about some client requests — they feel they ought to have an app in their digital strategy, but aren't quite sure why. Everyone has an app, right? They must be good. Some probing teases out at least a couple of reasons:use on mobiles
use away from an internet connection.Let’s take those two in turn…All our recent websites are built to work very, very well on a smartphone or tablet. We’re not one to slavishly follow trends, preferring a more measured view — if it doesn't tick the boxes for usefulness, longevity and great user experience, we're out. But responsive design is one movement that will not go away. It won. Responsive design means a single site that works well on a mobile and desktop.Who really is away from an internet connection for long these days? And if it’s a killer consideration, your app starts to need all sorts of local storage intelligence building in that starts to make it quite top heavy. In recruitment the core functionality is about communications — applying for jobs, registering with an agency, sharing social links – no getting away from the need for a connection there.So yes, you can build an app for the recruiting process, but it might well look a lot like a website …so why not build a really, really good website that focuses on a superb user experience?Which brings us to our next stumbling block - why maintain two things when you can maintain one?You still feel an app might have some value? Are you also happy to double your development costs? Are you happy for the functionality to be frozen in time, or are you willing to embrace the development costs of adding new features in both your website and your app?We'd say you absolutely need a website, what’s in doubt is whether you need an app as well. Just a few of these reasons should be compelling enough:Immediacy – your website is always on, no downloads
Compatibility across devices — no fiddling with Android, Apple & Windows versions
Findability – your users’ first port of call is search, not the App Store. Google doesn't care about your app
Upgradability – update quickly and once only. Build your website with a good CMS and you can do much of this yourself, without going back to the developers. Try that with an app ...and then watch your users have to upgrade
Sharing – everyone shares links via email, text, Facebook & twitter. An app simply doesn't work like that – you won't get any incoming app traffic from email marketing, etc.
Open web – the web is open to all, not a closed Apple ecosystem (Windows, Android, etc) where your app could be pulled on a whim
Lifespan – no danger of your website being deleted when users are short of space! Techcrunch found the average life of an app depressingly short: by 30 days, less than 5 percent are using the app
Reach – your website has broader reach than an appPerhaps the most important point is effort — time and cost! A website is likely to be easier and cheaper to develop.We'd like to convince you that well designed website is an app in your pocket, that doesn't cost more for a slightly hamstrung feature set. If you're a global brand or one of the big job boards, an app might be right for you, but for the majority of recruiters and SMEs, a website is the better choice.Get in touch to find out more.