Jobvite released its 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report last month, giving talent acquisition professionals fresh insights into the labor landscape. For the fourth consecutive year, Jobvite compiled data from ten million applications and 50 million job seekers, identifying trends that can help recruiters make smart decisions about their goals and expectations. In this article, we’ll break down the report’s key takeaways and explain how to use this information to help your company make better hires.
With unemployment falling below market expectations and the economy in a growth period, there is a lot to celebrate. However, Jobvite recognizes that these gains don’t erase all recruiters’ challenges. (In fact, they are probably creating more.) By looking more closely at the labor market as well as the behaviors of talent acquisition professionals, Jobvite uncovers areas for improvement that can help recruiters compete for top talent in a tight labor market.
The report explores what it means to be in a ‘talent war’ and weighs the good news against the challenges that remain. Here’s what every talent acquisition leader needs to know about Jobvite’s latest findings.
We are now in a ‘talent war’
Jobvite recognizes that 2018 was a tipping point for recruiting. “The number of open jobs significantly exceeded the number of candidates,” Jobvite reports in the Author’s Note. This is an important observation, as it marks the shift of power from employers to job seekers. We’re well past the stage when companies can take their time considering multiple candidates with nearly identical skill sets and we have moved into a new era where employers must attract, excite, and hook top talent.
This shift is just one factor that leads Jobvite to dub the current labor market a ‘talent war.’ In the benchmark report, Jobvite identifies three other key components: an aging workforce, tough immigration policies, and the rise of automation. One-third of the workforce is comprised of Baby Boomers and, as those workers retire, employers must work fast to keep their headcount strong. As Congress prepares to review legislation around H1-B visas, Jobvite notes some employers are responding by “pausing hiring within certain populations.” With AI and automation threatening one-quarter of U.S. jobs, the rise of technology could cause competition for top talent to increase even more.
All of these factors create new challenges for recruiters. As the pool of available talent shrinks, talent acquisition professionals must rethink their sourcing strategies to find candidates who can be trained to do the job because they have the necessary potential. “If you’re willing to get creative, search for candidates beyond the resume, and invest in training, you’ll carve out a competitive edge with talent acquisition and retention,” according to Jobvite. And we’ve been aware of this trend for some time now. Earlier this year, our Director of Marketing Joe Matar interviewed Sarah Moffat, a workforce development leader, who explained Patrick Lencioni’s concept of the three most important qualities in an ideal candidate, and they all have to do with teachability. ( to learn more and then read our advice on assessing a candidate’s fit through conversations.)
Recruiters are becoming more efficient
The labor market may be changing rapidly, but recruiters are adapting just as quickly. Jovite compared the most recent data to years past and determined that “recruiters are doing more with less.” Despite the decreases in unemployment rates, time-to-fill has stayed the same since the 2018 report which means recruiters have become more efficient in attracting, connecting with, and landing ideal candidates. This may be in part due to technology like AI recruiting tools which enable recruiters to improve sourcing and recruitment marketing without adding to recruiters’ workloads. In fact, these tools typically help recruiters save time. Recruiting chatbots help, too, by reducing abandon rates and improving speed to hire by as much as 70%.
Another area where recruiters are proving more efficient is in conversion rates of offers to hires or, simply put, the proportion of candidates who accept an offer. Jobvite found that rates are increasing year over year, up 5% since 2017 and almost 15% since 2016. With the 2018 offers to hire conversion rate at 95%, Jobvite largely attributes the improvement to recruiters doing a better job giving candidates the information they want about the role and the employer.
Jobvite also found that, in comparisons of employers of different sizes, large organizations are the most efficient. “Companies with 5001+ employees need to go through fewer candidates to make a decision: on average, 21 candidates to make one hire,” the report states. This aligns with what we already know about larger employers. Since they are more likely to use AI tools to support their recruiting efforts, large organizations may also reap the most benefits.
Turning insights into action
Equipped with these insights from Jobvite’s Recruiting Benchmark Report, talent acquisition leaders are better prepared than ever to set goals and create strategies that help their organizations compete in tight talent pools. By looking beyond the celebratory headlines and delving deeper into the realities behind unemployment rates, recruiters can face the ‘talent war’ with an arsenal of tools, tactics, and techniques to attract the right candidates. Learning that recruiters overall are becoming more efficient year after year also challenges talent acquisition professionals to improve the skills they need to remain competitive and continue proving their value to their employers.
For more insights from Jobvite, check out our recap of Jobvite’s 2018 Recruiter Nation Study.
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