The global labor market remains in flux. In the US, the economy continues to see over 10 million job openings. Indeed is reporting that the number of active job seekers remains largely in the cellar.
US vacancies are at their second-highest on record, and 49% above their pre-pandemic level. There were 0.8 people per job opening in August. In addition, the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) in its most recent release showed 51% of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill in September, a record high reading for the third straight month.
Indeed Key Findings
Interestingly, the percentage of job seekers urgently seeking work vs the percent in a non-urgent search has also decreased. The percentage of the population defined as "passively seeking" has risen.
Job Boards Seeing Traffic, But Lower Application Numbers
Speaking to Stephen O'Donnell of the UK-based NORA Awards, Morgan Loeb - founder and CEO of diversity job-board Vercida - said that the site was seeing great traffic, but low applicant numbers. He went on to explain that this trend was being seen by other job boards as well, reflecting a largely passive audience which remains hesitant to pull the trigger on applying for positions.
“A lot of what people are seeing are low-paying jobs with unpredictable or not-worker-friendly scheduling practices, that don’t come with benefits, don’t come with long-term stability,” according to Shelly Steward, director of the Future of Work Initiative at the Aspen Institute. “And those are not the types of jobs that any worker is eager to take on.”
A survey of workers actively searching for a job on FlexJobs, a jobs website that focuses on remote and flexible work, found that about half of job seekers said they were not finding the right jobs to apply for. Some 46 percent of respondents said they were only finding jobs that are low-paying, while 41 percent said there weren’t enough openings in their preferred profession.
Time-to-Fill Numbers at Historic Highs
A ratio of 1 means open jobs are filled within a month on average. A higher ratio means it takes longer.
With the number of open roles stubbornly high, job seeker urgency dropping, and the looming potential of yet-another winter Covid surge, employers should plan for continued struggles to hire.
Key to this will be a continued focus on the candidate experience, well thought-out processes which expedite the apply process (one TA leader told RNN that her CRM forced applicants to make nine clicks before they could even begin to apply, which is a killer), and continued investments in talent acquisition operations. A willingness to be flexible towards remote and/ or hybrid arrangements continues to be a deal-maker/ breaker for many applicants, as is a focus on DEI. Companies who pay lip-service to any of that will pay the price when it comes to competing in the talent war - a war which talent has clearly won.
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