WaveTrackR’s Recruitment Trends: October 2021 report saw jobs drop for the first time since April but also saw applications rise, narrowing what had been a widening gap between jobs and available candidates. Are we looking at the beginning of the end of the candidate short market?
Applications have increased for the second consecutive month, this time by 14% from the previous month. Following a summer characterised by candidate shortages, this is certainly good news.
Meanwhile, jobs have decreased for the first time since April, leading to the average application per job to rise to 9.4 – 2.4 applications per job above September.
In October, most jobs were posted on a Thursday, yet the highest percentage of applications were made on a Monday.
Job posting and applications per month
Jobs have been steadily increasing month on month since May, reaching a huge 400% over the 2020 monthly average in September. Finally, in October they began to decrease, falling to 346% above the 2020 monthly average – still an undeniably high figure and above August’s numbers but it seems jobs may be beginning to plateau.
Concurrently, applications have increased yet again, following the first rise in 5 months in September. Increasing from 116% above the 2020 monthly average in September to 147% above that average in October, applications this month were the highest they’ve been all year.
Could this be the market stabilising after a torrid spring/summer which saw jobs soar and applications decline?
Job posting and applications by week
In the weekly data, we can see the huge dip jobs took in the first full week of October, nearly halving over just a few days.
The figures then climbed over the following two weeks before a more gentle dip in the final week of the month. Applications followed the same trajectory but with less dramatic dips.
What happened in that first week of October? Both jobs and applications had reached the highest levels of the year the week before that so perhaps it was simply a pause following a soaring peak.
Industries with most jobs and applications in October 2021
Many of the industries posting high numbers of jobs and/or receiving high levels of applications remain unchanged from September.
IT & Internet and Education continue to post jobs and receive applications at similar rates.
Health & Nursing and Public Sector are posting high numbers of jobs but not receiving the volume of applications needed to successfully fill all roles.
Engineering remains top for applications received but without the jobs to place that number of candidates in.
Manufacturing, too, continues to receive large numbers of applications but doesn’t make it into the top 5 for jobs.
After appearing in the applications top 5 in September, Secretarial, PAs & Admin finds itself there again in October but this time with a boost to jobs, closing the gap between jobs and applications.
Average application per job by industry in October 2021
Financial services industries prove popular again this month, with Finance, Banking and Insurance all receiving high numbers of applications per job – the former two receiving the two highest figures.
Unsurprisingly given it found itself in the top 5 for applications but was absent from the top 5 for jobs, Engineering also received amongst the highest numbers of applications per job.
Electronics is back in this category too, perhaps as a result of the supply chain issues hitting the industry on a global scale.
Public Sector and Health & Nursing, two of the industries posting amongst the highest percentages of jobs, received the two lowest numbers of applications per job (just 2 each).
Catering & Hospitality, once highly in demand, is now experiencing low numbers of applications per job. The industry has been hit hard by a combination of EU workers leaving and workers not returning since jobs have picked up again following the pandemic.
Human Resources and Legal also find themselves with low numbers of applications per job – just 4 each.
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