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Your Hiring Pulse report for July 2024

Despite economic challenges, companies maintain streamlined recruitment, while job seekers continue to face increased competition with higher candidates per hire ratios.

Alexandros Pantelakis
Alexandros Pantelakis

HR content specialist at Workable, delivering in-depth, data-driven articles to offer insights into industry and tech trends.

Hiring Pulse

Our previous edition highlighted a tightening job market, with fewer available openings and more candidates vying for each position than usual. Economic factors like layoffs are driving more extensive job searches, increasing competition. 

In this edition of Hiring Pulse, we will explore these topics in depth, providing insights into the market dynamics observed throughout June.

Let’s begin.

How we’re looking at data

We’ve adopted two methodologies in how we look at the Hiring Pulse dataset. For Time to Fill and Candidates per Hire, we’re measuring each month using the average of 2019, the last “normal” year, as a baseline index of 100.

For job openings, we’re taking a different route – simply, the average number of job postings per company. This gives us the opportunity to gauge overall recruitment activity and whether that’s going up or down.

Want a more detailed methodology? Jump to the end and check it out.

As always, we look at the worldwide trends for three common SMB hiring metrics:

Time to Fill (TTF)

Total Job Openings (JO)

Candidates per Hire (CPH)

Let’s start analyzing!

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1. Time to Fill

For this report, Workable defines “Time to Fill” as the number of days from when a new job is opened to when that job opening is filled. It’s important to understand that definition: jobs that are still open as of the end of June are not included in this graph as they don’t yet have an “end date”. Only the jobs that are filled are included here.

Quick clarification: the data in this chart shows the trendline against the 2019 average as an index of 100, not the actual number of days in TTF.

Let’s have a look at the monthly TTF trend through to the end of June against the average of 2019, based on jobs that have been filled:

While June 2024 maintains a prominent place with 84.2, which is higher than some previous months, it still reflects an ongoing trend of relative efficiency in hiring processes compared to earlier years.

Across the dataset, a discernible pattern emerges with mid-year months often showcasing lower time indices compared to earlier and later months. This trend suggests a potential seasonal influence or strategic adjustments in hiring practices during these periods. 

2. Total Job Openings

Total job openings represent the total number of job openings activated across the entire Workable network.

As stated above, we’re displaying this as an average of job postings per company in the network. And because this is not contingent on job opened/filled dates like TTF and Candidates per Hire, we can simply look at the raw job open numbers up to the end of June.

As usual, examining the four company size categories – 1-50, 51-200, 200+, and the overall average – reveals interesting insights.

Small Businesses (1-50 FTEs): From June 2023 to June 2024, there’s a slight decrease from 6.5 to 6.1 job openings. While still robust, this decrease might indicate a stabilization or a slight cooling off in hiring intentions compared to the previous year.

Medium Businesses (51-200 FTEs): June 2024 shows a consistent trend with 6.2 job openings, maintaining a stable demand for new hires compared to June 2023 (5.6), suggesting sustained growth or replacement hiring within this sector.

Enterprises (200+ FTEs): There’s a noticeable decline in job openings from June 2023 (17.1) to June 2024 (15.3) among large enterprises. This reduction might reflect a strategic adjustment in hiring plans or a shift in focus towards optimizing existing workforce structures rather than aggressive expansion.

You might be curious about how all of this compares to previous years, especially since we’ve covered it in the last couple of our editions.

Note: this is calculated a little differently. For the sake of direct comparison, we’re using January of each year as our baseline index of 100.

As we move into 2024, we appear to be returning to typical patterns, and the decrease you’ve noted is likely due to seasonal fluctuations.

Let’s move on to our next metric: Candidate per Hire

3. Candidates per Hire

Workable defines the number of candidates per hire (CPH) as, succinctly, the number of applicants for a job up to the point of that job being filled. Again, remember, this is a trendline using the 2019 CPH average as a baseline of 100, not the actual number of candidates per hire.

Let’s look at what’s going on here through June:

Can you recall our previous edition? We’ll say that again. Candidates are actively seeking new opportunities and this summer isn’t an exception.

April and May showed a stable increase, with 175.2 candidates per hire and now we see a small decrease to 171 candidates per job. 

Since we’re conducting year-over-year comparisons in this report, let’s apply that to CPH as well.

Up until now we thought that this year deviates from the trend of previous year, but look at the graph. The spike in June 2023 was really huge. Although the percentage of increase is different between then and now, we see that the final number is pretty much stable.

More specifically, June 2024 saw a slight decrease to 171.0 candidates per hire from the previous year’s peak. This indicates some stabilization after the sharp rise in 2023, but the number remains significantly higher than the years prior to 2023.

This could suggest a continued high level of competition in the job market.

Companies may still be facing challenges in finding the right fit for roles, requiring more extensive candidate pools.

What’s going on here?

The Hiring Pulse report for July 2024 reveals a job market marked by efficiency and strategic adjustments. 

Companies are filling positions relatively quickly. This trend of lower TTF indices during mid-year months suggests that businesses may be employing seasonal hiring strategies or making adjustments to streamline their recruitment processes. 

Despite economic challenges and layoffs, companies have managed to maintain an efficient hiring process, potentially leveraging technological advancements and refined recruitment strategies.

Small businesses have seen a slight decrease in job openings, indicating a potential stabilization or cooling off in hiring intentions. Medium-sized businesses maintain stable hiring demand, reflecting sustained growth or replacement hiring. 

However, large enterprises show a significant decline in job openings, suggesting a strategic shift towards optimizing their existing workforce rather than aggressive expansion. 

Coupled with a high number of candidates per hire, which remains significantly above pre-2023 levels, the data indicates a highly competitive job market. Companies are likely facing challenges in finding the right candidates, requiring them to sift through larger pools of applicants.

See you next month!

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Thoughts, comments, disagreements? Send them to [email protected], with “Hiring Pulse” in the subject heading. We’ll share the best feedback in an upcoming report. Watch for our next Hiring Pulse in July!

The Hiring Pulse: Methodology

Because one of the three metrics (Job Openings) is different from the other two metrics (Time to Fill and Candidates per Hire), we’re adopting two very distinct methodologies.

To bring the best insights to small and medium (and enterprise-level) businesses worldwide, here’s what we’re doing with the Job Openings metric: we’re taking the number of job openings in a given month and dividing that by the number of active companies in our dataset, and posting that as an average. For example, if July 2022 shows the average Job Openings per company as 7.7, that simply means each company posted an average of 7.7 jobs that month.

For the Time to Fill and Candidates per Hire metrics, we’re comparing a specific month’s trend against the full average of 2019, and we show the result using that 2019 average as a baseline index of 100. For example, if July 2022 shows an average Time to Fill of 30 days for all jobs, and the monthly average for all of 2019 is 28, we present the result for July 2022 as 107.1 – in other words, 7.1% higher than the average of 2019.

And we chose 2019 as the baseline because, frankly, that’s the last normal year before the pandemic started to present challenges to data analysis among other things.

The majority of the data is sourced from businesses across the Workable network, making it a powerful resource for SMBs when planning their own hiring strategy.

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