Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

Jobs in the New Year: Demand Outweighs Supply

A third of Brits make New Year’s resolutions, and while hitting the gym or kicking that smoking habit to the curb often top the list, the promise of applying for a new job or pursuing a new career path is top of many people’s New Year’s Resolution wish lists. But which month actually gives your candidates the best chance of success?

To put this to the test, job search platform Joblift has calculated the difference between demand and supply for jobs each month in 2017. Interestingly, Joblift’s research shows that despite many people thinking that the Christmas period sees a lull on the job market, the festive month is the second best time to apply for a position.

So many candidates, so little jobs!

The outlook for January job seekers is grim. The month saw the highest demand for positions with a number of applicants far outnumbers the quantity of job postings recorded. 8.23% of the year’s vacancies were posted in January, while 9.73% of the year’s searches from prospective employees were conducted, making it a minus 1.5% difference. February didn’t fare much better, with open positions (7.79%) lagging behind the number of online searches (9.22%) by minus 1.43 percentage points. While the numbers aren’t quite so harsh for March, with minus 0.07% in the company’s favor, April was the third worst month of the year with a negative 0.57% divide between vacancies and searches. The first four months of the year all saw job searches outnumber the vacancies posted to Joblift.

As the weather improves and the spring showers recede, the numbers flip and start to favor prospective applicants. May is the first month of the year where the vacancies outnumber those searching for jobs online, with 8.8% of the year’s listings receiving 8.28% of 2017’s job searches, making it a plus 0.52% difference.

The best applications come in the summer

Looking at all 12 months last year, the best time to apply for a new role is in June. The summer month saw the number of vacancies posted online (10.47%) outnumbering the number of users searching for vacancies (8.90%) by 1.57 percentage points. This means that June will give candidates the best selection of job vacancies while also seeing a comparatively low level of competition from other applicants. This plus 1.57% difference in favor of the applicants almost perfectly mirrors the minus 1.5% in January, making it clear that the summer months are the time to start the job search. The numbers decline in July and August but still favor job seekers, with a plus 0.4% difference for both months.

Perhaps most surprisingly, despite the assumption that December sees very little action on the job market, it was actually the second best month to submit an application in 2017. While it’s true that the Christmas month saw the lowest number of vacancies advertised (6.12%), the open positions outnumbered online searches for vacancies (5.07%) by 1.05 percentage points. Similarly, November ranked as the third best month to apply, as lower searches (7.35%) again meant that supply was 0.86 percentage points higher than demand on the UK job market (8.21%). Therefore, while you’re preparing for the Christmas period, maybe keep an eye out for new job openings!

So, there you have it! With a bit of foresight and planning, anticipating the post-holiday job search rush could put job seekers in a far more favorable landscape before the snow starts falling and champagne corks start flying. Recommend your candidates to wait until June to give their applications the best chance of success and don’t ignore the opportunity that comes with the festive season.

About the author: Lukas Erlebach is the CEO Joblift, a job platform providing candidates with the most intuitive and frictionless experience during the recruiting process.

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