Recruitment Trends Report Shows Candidate Shortage Continues

As the number of Jobs available continues to rise, applications fall indicating that the candidate-short market doesn’t appear to be abating.

The latest Recruitment Trends Reports for November revealed that jobs rose by 17% but applications decreased by -7% from October to November, a trend that we don’t usually see in the last couple of months of the year.

Businesses not slowing hiring

As we enter what would normally be a period when the recruitment market enters a lull with jobs available falling, businesses are not showing any signs of slowing down. Instead, job posts leapt to 16% over the 2021 average in November.

What makes this trend so remarkable is that it’s happening at a time of economic uncertainty and political instability. Usually at times like this we see businesses acting with caution, slowing or even freezing hiring. But this is a recession like no other, with unemployment at a near-50-year low and businesses still clamouring for available candidates.

Applications in decline (again)

The continued jobs push is likely due to labour shortages which remain as the year wanes. Applications fell to 39% above the 2021 average – still a long way over the incredibly low numbers we were seeing last year but a drop nonetheless. Many expected to see a rise in applications with the cost of living crisis bringing some who had dropped out of the jobs market back into employment but that doesn’t appear to have happened yet. We might see these numbers pick up in a month or two when the ‘new year, new job’ mentality kicks in and people think about changing jobs or getting back into work.

For now, though, the rise in jobs and fall in applications has reduced the average number of applications per job from 16 in October to 13 in November. Of course, some industries are bucking the trend. The retail and wholesale sector, that often sees a rise in applications at this time of year, received an average of 20 applications per job, the second highest of all industries, proving that candidates are responding to festive season job drives.

IT and internet continues to dominate the jobs market

The IT and the internet sector was yet again the most active industry in November both in terms of jobs posted and applications received, taking the top spot for over half the year. IT received more than double the number of applications of admin and secretarial, which was the next highest sector for applications, followed by education. Both Education and Manufacturing make the top five for jobs and applications, indicating that candidates are responding to the decent number of jobs available.

Health and nursing continues to struggle

However, for health and nursing, they continue to struggle to attract candidates. Although this sector is continually in the top five for jobs posted, they are never in the top five for applications received, and regularly receives the lowest average number of applications per job of all industries. In November, health and nursing received an average of just three applications per job – 10 under the overall average and the lowest recorded this month. We know health and nursing is struggling to attract candidates. This historical labour shortage that goes back decades, is unlikely to change.

What will the New Year bring

These figures certainly make for interesting reading as we come to the end of 2022. The drop in applications may simply be a result of candidates taking a break from their job search in the run up to Christmas, ready to continue in the new year. However, it could be that people are staying put in their jobs for job security during these uncertain times.

We’ll be watching to see what happens in the New Year, which is normally a really busy time for recruitment. In this market where the job seeker has the advantage it could make more sense for anyone thinking of a new job next year to start their job searching now.

For hirers struggling to find talent, get in touch, we can help you attract suitable applicants and have lots of hiring advice on how to tap into the passive candidate pool of talent. We’re providing free recruitment audits to our clients to help them improve the success of their recruitment activity. BOOK YOUR RECRUITMENT AUDIT NOW.

Visit our job search pages and career advice if you are considering your next career move. You’ll find lots of useful advice to make sure you are well prepared.