One of SmartSearch’s long history of industry “firsts” was the Mobile Access ability to tap into the database back in the day when we all had flip-phones and dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
When I joined SmartSearch in 2001, shortly after the launch of our web-based application. The Mobile Access was launched in 2003, written prior to commercially available mobile development tools in an ancient programming language carved on stone tablets called WAP, and edited in NotePad. It was a quite a novel idea at that time, and only our most tech-savvy clients were interested in accessing SmartSearch from their newfangled Blackberry devices.
As a remote worker, it was super convenient for me to log in and retrieve a phone number, email or physical address when I was on the go (yes, we use our own system for Sales/CRM). The Mobile Access was mostly used by account managers and recruiters in the field at our larger installations. It cost extra to set up, as well as an additional monthly usage fee.
The technology quickly advanced as phones got smarter. By 2009, we had written a new mobile version of SmartSearch using dot-net. This made it a lot easier to enable Mobile Access to SmartSearch, so we did away with the additional cost. Our clients that had been paying extra for Mobile Access got a happy surprise on their invoices as the additional cost evaporated. All SmartSearch users with the latest “smartphones” could now access the SmartSearch database for free.
It wasn’t long before we launched our first Mobile App in 2012 to offer expanded functionality including click-and-dial, click-and-email, and access to the Call List. As text messaging picked up steam, both SmartSearch and the Mobile App added outbound SMS capability.
Meanwhile, job seekers were also going mobile and employers were looking for ways to better manage and engage the Mobile and Dispersed Workforce.
SmartSearch kept pace with this hot trend by optimizing the career center for mobile candidates, including mobile-friendly responsive design, text alerts when jobs of interest are posted, and enable job seekers to “apply with” an existing online profile such as LinkedIn, Monster, or Indeed.
In 2015, SmartSearch partnered with ZipWhip to incorporate two-way text messaging for recruiting and CRM and made the basic service available at no additional cost. This upgrade to our texting capability was a direct result of working with our clients on continuous product improvement.
“Our entire team has been thrilled with the integration of Zipwhip,” said Travis Medley, President, Simply Biotech, a forward-thinking SmartSearch client that participated in the beta-testing of the two-way texting functionality. “Candidates are responding more quickly and we are receiving multiple phone calls from candidates who otherwise would not have texted back. The integration of this tool with SmartSearch is going to yield placements – and our team loves that.”
We continued to lead the way in mobile technology and helping our clients use it more effectively by hosting a Smart Practices webinar on how Texting and Mobile Create Hiring Excellence. Guest speaker Meghan M. Biro, CEO of TalentCulture, presented practical tips on how recruiters can use texting to enhance the candidate experience.
Our CEO, Doug Coull, also published an article on the TalentCulture site to help employers make A Case for Texting and Mobile Recruiting.
The full SmartSearch solution works well on an iPad and most hand-held devices, while the App and mobile site functions more like a “SmartSearch Lite” version on smartphones. This makes my job easier every time I go to a conference or spend a day out of the office visiting clients.
I’m excited about the latest upgrades to SmartSearch mobile capabilities; the Mobile App has added a link for mapping a location, and upgraded the Notes area, along with other updates that make it easier than ever to take SmartSearch with me wherever I go.
SmartSearch’s ongoing development and incorporation of mobile technology is a perfect example of our commitment to continuous product improvement — and delivering innovative solutions to keep our clients ahead of the curve.