If you're into broad political strokes, let's play a game. Let’s say for the sake of this game, what would be considered traditional Democratic supporters tend to have fewer resources at their disposal than traditional Republican supporters. Most of us in HR would then believe that Trump probably should have a larger mobile strategy than Hillary, given the assumption that Republicans tend to have higher incomes and therefore more access to mobile devices.
We tend to act this way in HR. We believe that if you want to attract high-tech talent you must have a mobile job strategy. Our young, educated tech-savvy workforces want to do everything via mobile. Payroll, benefits options, retirement, transfers, etc.
The reality is, we have this totally backward!
The Pew Research Center found that low-educated, low-income wage earners - your hourly employees - are more likely to use a mobile device to do everything from applying to jobs to viewing their pay stub:
Americans with relatively low levels of educational attainment tend to lean heavily on their smartphones for online access in general, and this also plays out in the ways members of this group utilize their smartphones while looking for employment. Among Americans who have used a smartphone in some part of a job search, those with higher education levels are more likely to use their phone for basic logistical activities – such as calling a potential employer on the phone or emailing someone about a job. On the other hand, smartphone job seekers who have not attended college are substantially more likely to have used their phone for more advanced tasks, such as filling out an online job application or creating a resume or cover letter.
For many low-wage earners, their only access to the internet is through their phone. That means for organizations with large numbers of hourly employees, giving them access to information via mobile devices is extremely important. This appears to be more important than for organizations who have a large white collar workforce, yet, we usually do the opposite!
Our reality is our hourly workers need access as much as every other employee we have, yet these employees probably only have one access point via their mobile phone. Your salaried employees have their desktop/laptop, their smartphone, and most likely a tablet of some sort. We spend so much time trying to build stand-alone point of entry access points for our hourly workers when all we really need is HR technology that is mobile friendly.
Here are some things to think about when rolling out HR mobile-enabled HR software to your employees:
- Make sure it's mobile optimized. The technology should be built native to mobile-sized devices – also known as built using a mobile-first strategy - and easy to use and see on a small screen.
- Test it on yourself. For everything you ask your hourly employees to do on mobile technology, try it out yourself. Too often we ask our hourly employees for more information than we need, especially when you take into account they'll be inputting this information with a mobile device.
- Develop a communication strategy around using mobile solutions. If most of your hourly employees are getting all of their communication from you via mobile (and they are!) you need to make communications that are shorter, more visually stimulating, and to the point! Additionally, make sure they’re aware that mobile self-service options exist! They can’t use what they don’t know what’s there.
- Train them on how to use the software. You’ve now tested things out yourself, so it’s time to show your employees how to use the mobile software properly and how to get the most out of their experience. It will only benefit the administrator and the employee.
Having great mobile technology for your employees can be a competitive advantage for large hourly workforces. Most organizations still struggle with believing this is the case and continue to try and communicate with their employees through dated, analog means. Hourly employees are as digital as ever and we need to catch up to them!