Two Major Job-Seeker Shifts Happening and What You Need to Know Now

By Susan Vitale, Chief Marketing Officer, iCIMS

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Finding the right talent continues to be an urgent issue for companies. As the economy continues to improve, businesses are experiencing intense competition in the job market. Yet, when it comes to the critical work of talent acquisition, many companies fail to focus their full attention on this urgent need.

In iCIMS' recently published U.S. Hiring Trends report, which was compiled using iCIMS' customer base data from 2014 and Q1 2015 across approximately 2,700 customers, we reviewed job creation and demand trends within the United States across all industries, geographies and company sizes.

We discovered there is a notable gap between talent demand (defined as the number of available positions) and talent availability (defined as the quantity of applications). Additionally, we looked at passive candidates -- people who are interested in your brand but not yet ready to apply for a new job -- and found there are key trends in certain industries, geographic locations and company sizes. The following presents these findings, and what companies can do to address today's new trends in talent acquisition.

Discrepancies in Available Jobs vs. Available Talent

Whether you're an organization seeking top talent or a candidate searching for your next career, a little data goes a long way in predicting how difficult it may be to find the right talent or find that perfect job. Afer analyzing many data points around the concentration of available jobs in the U.S, we found multiple trends tied to available jobs vs. available talent by industry, geography, and company size.

* The pharmaceutical and construction industries need candidates. The pharmaceutical and construction industries have the most notable gap between talent demand and talent availability. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry has more than twice as many positions available than applicants. By comparison, the hospitality and energy industries report the largest surplus of candidates for available positions.

* Looking for work? Head south or westward! The South has the highest demand for talent with the lowest number of applicants entering the hiring pipeline for open positions compared to all other regions. However, when company size is controlled, the West has the highest demand for talent.

* The competition is stiff -- regardless of company size. All companies, regardless of size, have more applicants entering the hiring pipeline than the number of open positions.

Candidates are Open to Passive Career Searches

According to a 2015 iCIMS survey, 64 percent of job seekers said they would consider joining a talent pool to receive company updates. In 2015, we examined candidates by industry that have expressed passive job interest and are registered in talent pools. We then tracked passive interest in jobs to how many people eventually became applicants for specific jobs, examining the ratio of passive job interest to job applicants within companies.

* Retail and healthcare are prime for passive. More than half of all passive candidates -- people who are interested in your brand but not yet ready to apply for a new job -- are interested in companies within the retail and healthcare industries.

* Passive candidates convert quickly in the Midwest. The Northeast region has the highest concentration of passive candidates interested in jobs. However, the Midwest region has the highest rate of converting passive candidates to active applicants.

* If you build talent pools, the candidates will join. All companies, regardless of size, have more applicants entering talent pools than the number of open positions.

While it's understood that events sometimes beyond our control will affect the ebb and flow of how competitive a certain market is, talent acquisition teams now have the tools they need to take control -- regardless of the economic conditions or trends. 

As today's data shows, it's a competitive market -- but the talent is out there and ready to be found. Cutting-edge organizations are adopting recruitment marketing automation tools, and those that don't are missing a major opportunity to connect with candidates who can turn into tomorrow's top performers. By connecting with passive candidates, organizations are more likely to convert them to active candidates or new hires when the time is right.

As these changes continue to impact the way job seekers search for the right role and employers approach talent acquisition, iCIMS will continue to analyze the data and provide insights into the hiring landscape on a quarterly basis. To learn more about the recent trends happening in our industry stop by the iCIMS booth (#2343) at Human Resource Executive®'s 18th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition, held Oct. 18–21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Oct 2, 2015
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