2015 Employment Trends: 3 Data Points Every Recruiter Needs to See

2015 Employment Trends: 3 Data Points Every Recruiter Needs to See

Mike Roberts

human resources recruitmentIt’s easy for recruiters to get lost in the everyday grind of attracting and engaging new candidates—a job that virtually never ends. But it’s also important to take a step back every now and again to look at the big picture of what’s happening in the business world and the broader economy. Because, after all, shifts in either of these factors have been known to drastically impact the lives of talent acquisition professionals.

To make sure you’re up to date on the latest employment trends and news, we’ve compiled a list of three data points that tell the story of recruiting so far in 2015. And if they’re any indicator of what’s to come, recruiters are bound to have a busy second half of the year ahead of them.

1. U.S. Job Openings Jumped to a 15-Year High in April 2015

Despite what seemed like a weakening economy in early 2015, on Tuesday, June 9, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the total number of open jobs rose to 5.4 million in April, up 5.2%. This is the highest number of openings in 15 years. And experts say it indicates employers are anticipating a stronger customer demand in the second half of the year.

The unemployment rate rose in May from 5.4% to 5.5%, but at the same time the government said companies added 280,000 jobs last month. The past has shown that these indicators of a strengthening and expanding economy are typically analogous with unemployed workers feeling encouraged to begin their search again.

2. 11% More People Quit Their Jobs in April 2015 Versus April 2014

The number of people quitting fell from 2.77 million to 2.67 million in the month of April 2015. However, compared to a year earlier, there were 11% more quits in the month. Many experts tend to think that people quitting their jobs is a good indicator of economic growth. The rationale is that people are willing to undertake the risk of leaving their current position because they think they’ll be able to find a better, higher paying opportunity.

According to Josh Boak, an Associated Press Economics Writer, “More quitting and more total hires can help push up wage gains.” He said this is typically because people “quit when they have a new job lined up, usually for higher pay. And when firms move to fill more open jobs, particularly as the unemployment rate declines, they typically have to offer more pay to attract workers.”

3. Time-to-Fill Reached a 15-Year High in February 2015

The national average time-to-fill was just under 27 days in February, the highest it’s been since Dice Holdings started tracking it fifteen years ago. In some industries such as health services and financial services it was well over 40 days. Although the number improved slightly in Dice Holdings’ most recent report, they’re still troubling given the reports of growth in both the number of jobs and number of openings.

Making Talent Acquisition Your Competitive Advantage

The figures above give some cause for concern—but also excitement—in the recruiting community.

The concern comes from the fact that there seems to be growth in the number of jobs, but employers have yet to bring time-to-fill down to a moderate level. If it remains high, at some point vacancies could start to impact business performance. If that happens enough, that could impact broader economic performance.

The excitement comes from employers’ perception that customer demand will continue to rise and that people feel comfortable enough to leave their current job. That latter does not typically happen in a down economy, because workers are more likely to hold onto what they have. Recruiters in the market for talent can take that as a good sign.

All that said, there’s a business case to be built for making talent acquisition your company’s competitive advantage. With recent reports indicating that the careers site is emerging as the top source for applicants—well above job boards, referrals, and outsourced recruiters—this is a good place to start. The internet’s not going anywhere, and having the ability to convert job seekers could separate you from the pack.

Interested in learning more about what it takes to build a modern candidate experience? Check out our new“9-Point Checklist for Building a Next-Generation Candidate Experience.”

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