James Mayes

Blog: Using WiFi for Recruitment? #rcvs #mobile

In Conference, Facebook, Mobile, Recruitment, Social Recruiting on April 18, 2012 at 10:51 am

Attended an excellent Reconverse event last week focussed on use of mobile apps, websites etc. (candidate survey results here). This post though, is a slight tangent to that session.  Much discussion of SMS, bluetooth and so on. Got my head ticking over and started me thinking about wifi hotspots. They’re more widely available than ever but still seem under-utilised.

Many free hotspots I see require the user to go through a quick splash page, clicking to agree to terms and conditions. Fair enough, you’re using a free resource.  However, that’s pretty much all they ever do. Seems like an opportunity to me.  If you can throw up a guest wifi access point in a talent-specific location (say for a skills-focussed conference or at a coffee shop near a major IT employer), the splash page can be:

  • Branded
  • Device optimised (tab, laptop, phone)
  • Location specific

When asking people to accept the terms of use for free wifi, it’d be more than possible to add a few check boxes. Opt out of job opportunity messages? Opt out of future offers? For details capture, either a single email address box, or implement Facebook Connect.  Indeed, no reason a reward mechanism couldn’t also be considered – give us your details, get 60 mins free wifi with a cloud wifi provider to use any time you like.

Seems a relatively untested area so far, but not an expensive one to explore. I’ve only come up with two real challenges so far:

  1. Splash pages can be annoying on a phone if you don’t realise you have to go sign in. Messaging around the venue can resolve that.
  2. Clearly, skills-specific locations will limit the breadth of application.

Final thought – for event organisers – why is the wifi never branded in any way? Often you’ll see “Wifi sponsored by XXX” in the programme. Why not set the password for the day to the brand name in question? If I actually have to type that company’s name to get on the Wifi, I’m far more likely to remember it!

Thoughts, comments, challenges appreciated!

  1. Absolutely agree with you and something we’re discussing with a couple of companies who want to use mobile and focus relevant content based on their location, and offline campaigns using in ‘store’ posters. Good opportunity to control the landing page as someone walks in the door. Spoke to someone yesterday who said can we get a bit more aggressive and push the message if they get notified of open wireless.

  2. I have a plan for an iPhone App that could help in these circumstances.

    Share my Personal Hotspot App

    I often find myself away from the office and needing to connect my laptop or iPad to the internet. My iPhone has a great 3G reception, and I can share it with my devices by using the “Personal Hotspot” feature.
    I also sometimes allow others to use my personal wifi hotspot, by giving them the password. This can happen in many circumstances, like the pub, a conference, meetings and with friends.
    However, wouldn’t it be cool to have an App that offered sharing of my Personal wifi Hotspot to others, in return for their contact details and accepting my virtual business card? This would clearly use my bandwidth, but could enable me to collect contact information easily from friends, relatives and say delegates at a conference.

  3. I like the idea of branding the password. Going to use that at our next event, thanks!

    However, before anyone gets smart about capturing more info on these splash pages, the basic user experience needs to be considered. For the most part, these splash pages are an abomination! Often, where they are branded (hotels are the worst for this), it’s a mess of untargeted offers. Additionally, I never know if I’m going to have to confirm my email address, whether I’m opting in for something I’m not comfortable with, or whether I’m going to be forced to keep the window open in order to keep browsing. It’s an awkward experience that I’ve rarely seen done well.

    I’m all for someone improving these for business purposes, but can they please consider the user before tacking on more checkboxes?

    Companies, take note: In exchange for free WiFi, I’m willing to give up a decent chunk of my personal data. But only if you make it easy for me!

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