Jobvite Talent Market Insights: Differences in Fall Applications by Industry

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Dec 29, 2020) – Research by Jobvite finds that while 2020 fall application volume was down 2.4% compared to 2019 levels, this was driven by lower job postings that vary by industry. “The Covid impact on talent and recruiting was a mixed bag. At a macro level, job seeking activity is high and only slightly off the 2019 pace. However, at the micro level there exist pockets of strength and weakness within talent acquisition and recruiting. We continue to see strength in the healthcare and manufacturing spaces while the leisure and hospitality sector remains weak.” said Jobvite’s Chief Data Scientist Morgan Llewellyn, PhD.

Did fewer applicants translate to less competition for job seekers? Not exactly. Fall 2020 job seekers were chasing fewer jobs. The BLS reported that total job openings in the U.S. were down 8.7% in September relative to 2019.1 However, there were multiple bright spots as some industries posted significantly more jobs in 2020 relative to 2019. Not surprisingly, the demand for healthcare generated by Covid-19 translated into higher job posting activity in the healthcare industry, especially nursing. Within manufacturing, particular strength was seen among demand for automotive manufacturing and mechanical engineers while weakness remained within aerospace and banking.

The impact of these fall 2020 macro-economic trends on recruiting is that many recruiters saw greater application volumes. One key metric in talent acquisition, applications per job posting, was up approximately 10% in the fall compared to 2019. Furthermore, this key metric was generally up regardless of whether the industry was posting more, or fewer, jobs during the fall of 2020.2

Within the hard-hit sector of healthcare, there are indications that availability of critical nursing professionals is tightening. While demand for nurses remains high as expressed through job postings, there has been an erosion in the number of applicants per job starting in the late summer and continuing through the fall. “These trends indicate that recruiters are facing even greater competition for nursing talent relative to what they were experiencing just a few months ago,” says Llewellyn.

According to the Jobvite 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey, applicant quality has become a top consideration for assessing applicant pool health. Using interviews and offers as a proxy for quality, applicant quality was as good or slightly better relative to 2019. The likelihood of a recruiter interviewing an applicant was approximately the same during the fall of 2020 compared to 2019. The likelihood of making an offer, conditional on an interview, was up about 10% in the fall of 2020 relative to 2019.

“The fall of 2020 was generally more recruiter friendly as applications per job were up and offers as a percentage of interviews increased. While job posting activity was broadly lower, there were pockets of strength in posting activity among the healthcare and manufacturing sectors.” said Morgan Llewellyn, PhD.

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