Seriously – WHERE are all your applicants?

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Your applies have plummeted.  It’s not a fluke, and you’re not alone. What’s at play here? What’s happening? Well, April 2021 has landed us at the epicenter of a caustic collision of economic conditions. 

For starters, we all know (all too well) that the pandemic has devastated some industries and has injected significant growth into others. Essential business hiring grew tremendously in April of 2020, and continues today, resulting in an increasing demand for employees, to varying degrees, depending on industry and roles 

Despite being a jobseeker’s market, many jobseekers aren’t seeking. The candidate pool has been shrinking since the onset of the pandemic for a host of reasons, among them, of course, general health and safety concerns, school closures and more demands of parents at home, people have been baring downperhaps waiting for some “normalcy” to return, and savings accounts may be growing due to staying home, and staying in. Lastly, the distribution of stimulus funds has disincentivized some candidates to work. The most recent dip began March 11th, when the American Rescue Act of 2021 was signed into law, providing stimulus funds to eligible Americans.  

“Our clients have seen a significant drop in applies,” reports Peter Carr, Vice President, Client Services for Shaker. “There are more jobs than jobseekers in the marketplace right now.  We are consulting clients on how to adapt with unique and creatives strategies to combat the temporary landscape.” 

We just closed out Q1 of 2021, and metrics reveal that job site traffic and job searches are down 30-40% since January. Employers across the country are seeing a decline in both engagement and applications, making the competition for qualified candidates fiercer than ever.  Meanwhile, to boot, costs are increasing to attract this talent – with both cost per click and cost per application rising across all job types. 

Shaker’s Director of Analytics, Chris Cicmanec, researches the effect of economic indicators on our clients’ digital ecosystems and is seeing these trends manifest in programmatic campaign performance. “Comparing 2020 vs 2021,” shares Cicmanec, “we’re seeing an 85% increase in sponsored jobs for hourly roles across an array of industries. There’s been a 20% increase in clicks, but only an 8% increase in applies, resulting in a 13% higher CPA versus Q1 20. That’s what our clients are up against right now.” 

Indeed Hiring Lab just released a study where they called out: 

Job postings returned to the baseline on January 20, 2021, but that does not mean the labor market has fully recovered. Other measures of labor market health, like payroll employment and the headline unemployment rate, remain substantially worse than pre-pandemic. For employment to recover completely, job postings will have to remain above the pre-pandemic baseline for an extended time.  

We know the pandemic is the ultimate source of the economic slowdown. It may take some time for equilibrium to be restoredthough we’re focusing on strategies that will continue to drive applications. Some areas of focus where we’re seeing improved performance include: 

  • Scream your differentiation: Remind candidates why they should work for you. 
  • Cast a wide net: Utilize active and passive job seeker recruitment strategies. 
  • Recruit: Bring in the applications. 
  • Reduce friction: Review and retool your processes – make it easy for the candidates. 
  • Focus: Double down on successful strategies 
  • Test and Learn:  The marketplace has changed – has your marketing?  
  • Redefine your Target: What jobs/industries have skills that could carry over to your roles?  

 

The learnings we have made this year have been extraordinary. We have been honored to partner successfully with our clients as we’ve all navigated the unknown and have come out stronger together. 

If you’re a client reading this, know that we are here for you, and will continue to be. If you are not a client, though could use some exploratory conversation about positive outcomes, we welcome you to reach out: info@shaker.com.

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Keegan Ocepek

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