Why are postings on job boards down 40%? Because the candidate market is back in equilibrium. Welcome to the recruiting industry when the last economic meltdown is 8 years in the past.
I’ve been in the recruitment industry since 2004. When I was hired at my first agency, it had been 3 years since the “dot-com” bubble burst. I would hear crazy stories from the people who had been working as recruiters leading up to the bubble. They would tell me how desperate companies were to find technical people, in some cases companies would hire people without a single interview!
But then the tech bubble burst and most people were either unemployed, underemployed or felt insecure in their job. Same story after the 2008 crash. Recruiters could post a job or message candidates on LinkedIn and it was easy to find good candidates because most people were motivated to look at new jobs.
To put it in context, in late 2006 my firm was seeing an average hiring period of 14 days for a good developer. That’s from posting their resume to an online resume database like Monster to getting an offer. In 2009, companies could leave job postings up for months and still hire some of the original applicants.
Well, it’s 2016 and it has been 8 years since the crash. The candidate market is back in equilibrium. People are not interested in reading 40 messages per week from recruiters because they are content. And they are certainly not going to surf job boards, because they’re too busy surfing vacation websites. Then add the increase in demand for highly skilled labor, because the economy has grown, and there is just no rational way that online job boards can fulfill every company’s hiring needs.
When people stop getting results, they try something else.
If you started your recruiting career after 2008, this is what recruiting in a healthy economy looks like and it’s scary. Job boards cannot fill all your orders. LinkedIn yields fewer candidates and you have to work harder for them. Good candidates get new jobs more quickly, so speed really matters. Finally, you have to be offering something more than just “a job”.
So what’s next? In my opinion, any solution that suggests ways to more actively message people who are not searching for a new job is going to fail because that’s just more of the same stuff that isn’t working.
I think what’s next is what all companies do to develop customers; marketing. We in the Talent Acquisition business will have to accept that the majority of our target candidates are not prepared to switch jobs currently and we need to start thinking about ways to market to them for when they do decide to switch jobs down the road. This is a shift towards building a long-run candidate funnel to complement the short-run candidate funnel in order to reduce costs, improve candidate quality and eventually shorten search times.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.