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Optimize Your Hiring and Onboarding Process with Mobile Learning

A mobile learning program can support HR professionals and L&D managers alike by helping them maximize the potential of the most vital business resource: human capital.

Recruiting and training new employees can be difficult for any business, and it’s more challenging today than ever before. Mobile technology is fueling new business models and workforce dynamics that are further complicating an already complex process.

Still, efficiently hiring and onboarding new talent is essential for business success. Mobile technology may have introduced new challenges, but it’s also provided new opportunities that forward-thinking businesses are beginning to capitalize on.

A well-designed mobile learning program can help you optimize your hiring and onboarding process, expand your talent pool, and improve employee retention.

Why Is Mobile Learning So Important?

Mobile learning (or “mLearning”) is a type of online learning enabled by mobile technology and intended for a mobile audience. Or, as Terry Heick’s says in his article for TeachThought:

“[Mobile learning is] a kind of learning characterized by the need and ability of the learner to be mobile.”

There are many scenarios that could dictate the “need” for mobile learning. Many high-growth businesses in the “gig economy” must hire and train on-demand service providers. Some companies are adjusting their business models and onboarding processes to accommodate an increasingly distributed workforce. Still, others are using mLearning outside of onboarding to augment customer service with performance support tools or PSTs.

The “ability” for a learner to be mobile is really all about the state of modern technology. In today’s world, almost everybody is equipped with the necessary technology to be a mobile learner.

Leverage the Mobile Takeover

Mobile device penetration has now surpassed 90% throughout most of the world, and mobile usage has skyrocketed, as well. Over the past two years, global mobile web traffic has actually exceeded desktop traffic and shows no signs of slowing down.

The rapid and widespread adoption of mobile tech has created a nearly universal infrastructure for mobile learning programs to sit on top of. The mobile takeover has also lead to changes in where and when workers prefer to learn:

Mobile device usage is now at 90% global penetration with no signs of slowing down.
  • 56% prefer learning at the point of need
  • 48% like learning on evenings and weekends
  • 30% do so at lunch or on breaks
  • 28% learn while commuting
  • Just 41% like learning at their desk

Mobile learning allows new hires to work through onboarding and training courses wherever and whenever they prefer, which is good for them and good for you.

Attract Young (Millennial) Workers

Millennial workers already make up the largest percentage of today’s workforce, and they’ll soon comprise the majority. In addition to being mobile natives (the average millennial spends nearly 4 hours per day on their phone), they have different priorities than previous generations. Today’s young workers simply care about different things.

If you’re in the business of sourcing and hiring talent, you’ll need to consider what about your company would appeal to this growing demographic of workers. Above all else, millennials care about professional development. According to Gallup:


“Millennials rank opportunities to learn and grow in a job above all other considerations.”

Mobile learning is the perfect opportunity to make training your competitive advantage. The promise of a meaningful, effective onboarding process and continued learning opportunities will make your company attractive to younger workers.

Speed Up Your Onboarding Process

It can take up to 8 months to get a new hire fully up to speed. While it’s probably impossible to calculate the exact cost of this ramp-up period, it’s definitely not cheap. Any organization would benefit from faster, more efficient onboarding. Mobile learning has the potential to seriously enhance your onboarding process.

Compliance training is one common component of many onboarding programs. In a case study on mobile learning for compliance training by Merrill Lynch, employees reportedly:

  • Spent between 45% - 80% less time in training
  • Averaged 12% higher completion rates
  • Displayed “no loss of comprehension”

Those are some incredible metrics. Not only did mobile learning help Merrill Lynch drastically reduce time spent in training, the program remained equally effective and boasted superior completion rates. Such results speak to the efficacy of a mobile learning methodology and could surely be extended to other aspects of the onboarding process.

Increase Engagement & Improve Performance

mLearning fosters both employee growth and retention.

One important hallmark of mLearning is brevity. Mobile learning courses are generally delivered over several short, spaced-out sessions, leading to better engagement and retention, as demonstrated in the Merrill Lynch study.

Walmart, as another example, saw a 91% voluntary participation rate and a 15% increase in employee knowledge after administering a microlearning course to reduce safety incidents. Microlearning, as its name implies, consists of exceptionally short learning segments, and is particularly popular in mobile learning.

Other mLearning strategies, such as point-of-need learning and performance support tools, are designed to provide real-time assistance and can be used to reduce the amount of upfront training required for a given role. When equipped with an accessible library of useful, performance-enhancing information, workers can spend less time remembering stuff and more time getting things done.

Expand Your Talent Pool

“The traditional employer-employee relationship is being replaced by the emergence of a diverse workforce ecosystem,” according to Deloitte Insights, which reports that only 42% of today’s organizations are composed primarily of salaried employees. The new workforce ecosystem is a combination of traditional employees, gig workers, freelancers, and service providers that give employers “flexibility, capabilities, and the potential for exploring different economic models in sourcing talent.”

Tapping into this ecosystem will be vital for any company hoping to stay competitive in the economy of tomorrow. The number of freelancers, or “contingent” workers, is growing fast, and many organizations are molding their business models to better take advantage of this paradigm shift. Furthermore, the emergence of telecommuting - which has grown by 115% in the past decade - means you’re no longer limited to the talent pool within your city or state.

Yet while modern workers open new doors for businesses, they also present new challenges to employers trying to onboard and train them. Many companies, especially those in the on-demand sector,  need to train a workforce that is distributed, flexible, scalable, and capable of providing excellent customer experience without any supervision. Fortunately, mobile learning allows for exactly that.

Mobile learning can make the new workforce ecosystem more accessible to your business. By making it easy to deliver high-quality, cost-effective, and scalable training to workers wherever and whenever necessary, mobile learning can drastically expand your talent pool.  

Reduce Employee Turnover

Reduce turnover with a well-structured onboarding program. Employees may be 69% more likely to remain at a company for up to three years.

Improving your hiring and onboarding process is only half the battle. Getting employees in the door and up to speed won’t matter if you can’t keep them there. A high turnover rate is one of the easiest ways to kill any business.

Sourcing and hiring new talent costs time and money, and every time you turnover an employee you’ll need to pay to replace them. A 2016 report by the Society for Human Resource Management puts the average cost-per-hire at over $4,000, and estimates that the average time to fill a position is 42 days.

The question, then, is how to reduce employee turnover?

Did you know that 40% of employees who receive poor training leave within the first year? On the other hand, new employees who attend a well-structured onboarding program may be 69% more likely to remain at a company for up to three years. Did you also know that a full ⅓ of companies spend exactly $0 on onboarding? The numbers just don’t add up.

A small investment in mobile learning can help you create an engaging and cost-effective onboarding process to reduce employee turnover, saving you a countless amount of time and money.

Cut Costs & Measure ROI

Traditionally, hiring and onboarding processes are extremely time-consuming, difficult to scale, and hard to measure. Increasing complexity in today’s workforce is only making things more complicated.

But by embracing technology, modern businesses can make their hiring and onboarding processes more efficient, ultimately lowering costs and improving the ROI of these initiatives. A mobile learning platform is one such solution.

Like all online learning, mLearning cuts out many of the costs associated with traditional corporate learning, such as sourcing trainers, travel expenses, and venue fees. An mLearning program can also scale effortlessly with your business’s needs. Plus, because it’s all digital, it’s all measurable. A good mobile LMS (learning management system) comes with baked-in analytics capabilities, making it significantly easier to calculate the ROI of your program.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from mobile learning - large companies hiring at scale or small businesses looking to reduce training costs.

Next Steps

Get started today and discover how mobile learning with Northpass can help optimize your hiring and onboarding process. Northpass integrates with your existing HR technology stack, allowing you to seamlessly connect with powerful platforms like Fountain. Fountain is used by all different size businesses to find the best hourly workers and improve their hiring process. Companies like UberEats, Safeway, Deliveroo and Lime trust Fountain to hire thousands of workers.

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