Blog News Why are my Job Advert Application Numbers Down?
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If you regularly recruit for the same jobs throughout the year and have noticed a significant reduction in application numbers recently, then you are not alone.


Hard to fill positions and recruitment for niche skills and sectors are posed with this challenge throughout the year, but recently the applicant shortage issue is being felt by recruiters across many more sectors and for roles that traditionally generate high volumes of applications.


Industry and skill sectors feeling this the most include, Hospitality, retail, warehousing and Logistics, Driving & Delivery, Care, customer support and many more


According to data provided by all the leading UK job boards and data analysis by Wavetrackr, job advertising numbers are up significantly across the online and job board networks.


In many cases new candidate registrations are down too and to compound the problem, applicants are applying for fewer jobs.


Why is this happening?

So why is this happening? Especially as we are recovering from a pandemic and unemployed numbers are significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels?


Firstly, when job advertising numbers go up, this will always adversely effect average application numbers, but when this is combined with a reduction in new candidates registering and fewer applications being made, there is a compound effect.


As the UK returns to work, individuals have less time to look for and apply for jobs. Sentiment drives behaviours too, so if more people are less motivated to find a new position, or become more selective, we can expect to see this dramatically impact application numbers.


Reed reported in their monthly summary the following statistics:

  • Over 275,000 vacancies posted on – the highest monthly figure since February 2008, before the financial crash
  • All sectors and regions saw a month-on-month increase in vacancies
  • Transport & Logistics roles soared, up 206% month-on-month
  • East Midlands saw the greatest month-on-month increase in vacancies, up 161%


Not all sectors appear to have been adversely effected though, with Legal, Administration and Sales application numbers going up significantly. However, that increase may still not have trickled through to everyone if vacancy numbers were up and those extra applications where shared out.


Data provided by Google suggests that we have topped 18 million unique job-related searches a month, but we know that there are not 18 million committed job seekers looking to move jobs at any one time. The majority of these searches are performed as a social activity and running some sort of job related search online has become an habitual behaviour. Increased unemployment and the unique set of circumstances experienced by workers in the last 12-18 months may well have driven job application numbers up, but eventually that behaviour will settle down again, and that appears to be part of the current trend.


What can you do about it?

So what can recruiters do to get application numbers back up to the levels they need to start filling jobs?


You can’t magic applications out of nowhere, but you can start to think about recruiting more strategically in order to optimise advertising performance and win your unfair share of the applicants that are still out there. You can also increase advertising budgets in order to increase and maximise visibility online, to help counter the current reduction in application numbers.


To help improve outcomes you will need to refine your talent attraction tactics and this is all about optimisation of results, at every stage of the talent acquisition process. To help, here is a useful article on how to improve quantity and quality  and another on mastering talent attraction that you might find quite useful.


How can we help?

If you don’t have the time and resources to address this yourselves, feel free to contact one of our customer success team on 01908 268368 to talk through how we can help to quickly get your application numbers and quality of applications back up and beyond pre-pandemic levels. We specialise in Talent Attraction and have access to over 5000 Online media channels and have already helped dozens of companies to quickly and effectively address this challenge.


Alternatively, book a demo of our talent acquisition platform and see how we work!

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Smart Recruit Online

June 28, 2021

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

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