We would like to thank the higher education community for great run, but the decision has been made to wind down Higher Ed Careers Canada. It takes many hours to run every week and our core operations have shifted away from the site.
On July 19, 2016, the last job will be posted on the site. The site will be maintained for approximately one month as a reference and then the site will ‘go dark.’
If you have questions about the closure or interest in the site, please contact us by emailing kyle [at] higheredcareers.ca
Why mobile matters for your job listings
The landscape of how people use the web has changed. Years ago, people considered users visiting a website to be sitting in front of a large monitor with a mouse and a screen approximately 30cm from their eyes. This is no longer the reality. Consequently, it is also not reality for the people you are trying to recruit with your university careers/HR page or other job listing sites.
A recent study shows that more than the majority (55%) of Canadians own a smartphone, with Android being the predominate device type, followed by iOS. Last year, a study of American mobile internet users by Harvard Business Review indicated that 31% of mobile users access the web primarily through their mobile device. The desktop experience of the web is not something they see often.
Don't think phone versus desktop computer
It is tempting to think that those using your website are either on their phone or on their big desktop computer. Indeed, during the first wave of the mobile web, many large websites went this way, so called m dot websites (named for the web address often starting with an "m.domain name.ca"). M dot websites often featured a stripped down, design-less, and interactivity devoid experience. The mobile user was a second-class citizen. Additionally, these create many unintended headaches: two different web addresses, social media incompatibilities, and the dreaded breakpoint problem.
The breakpoint problem is when you have a on/off choice for your mobile experience. The world is much more diverse than these two categories. For example, a user on an iPad - are they a mobile user? What about an iPad mini. How about the user with the giant, so called "Phablet" phones that have screens approaching the size of an iPad. It is dizzying to think about the different combinations of devices. With m dot sites where do you draw the line? Do you risk a desktop version becoming so tiny it is unusable or a stripped down m dot site that also doesn't fit how people use their device.
Bottom line: You really want users to be able to use your site no matter what.
The rise of the responsive
Thankfully there is a solution to the problems of mobile adaptability, the use of fluid and responsive techniques. A responsive site is a single website with one URL that delivers an optimal experience no matter the type of device by removing, adding and rearranging itself depending on the situation. A fluid site uses techniques that allow the maximum area of the screen to be utilized. Because it is one website that is just very flexible, it integrates well with social media and it has a single canonical web address/URL.
How to tell if you are ready for the mobile world
Take a look at your HR page or a site you are advertising on with your device. Now, do the same with the device of your colleague, partner or friend. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it look "broken"?
- Are features and/or content missing from the phone version?
- When the page loads, does it cease to be readable beyond 30cm from my eyes?
- Do I have to zoom or scroll horizontally to make it usable?
- Does it have a different web address on the phone as it does on my desktop?
If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you may have a problem.
While you may not have an easy nor quick way to fix the platform that you use to post jobs on your institutional website, you do have an option in where you promote your listings. Higher Ed Careers Canada was built to be responsive and fluid to deliver users the most seamless experience no matter the device. If you haven't done so already, setup an account to get started promoting your job listings.