Recent statistics from the Labor Department show a record number of job openings by U.S. employers. The reported 5,400,000 current jobs are the most since they started tracking them in 2000. Combined with two other recent studies, this explains why positions are taking longer to fill not only in the U.S., but also worldwide. This is particularly true for R&D, engineering, scientific, technical, IT and manufacturing positions that our technical recruiting firm specializes in. As a result, many companies have reported substantial decreases in productivity due to key positions being unfilled for longer periods of time.
Stephen Davis, an economist at the University of Chicago, reported recently that jobs are staying open 27.3 days. This is nearly double the 15.3 days it took companies to fill jobs in mid-2009! Furthermore, his research demonstrates that this increase is wide spread across many industries, regions and various sized companies!
Many R&D recruiters, engineering recruiters, scientific recruiters, technical recruiters, IT recruiters and manufacturing recruiters we have polled over the past six months confirm Dr. Davis’ findings. They have found that due to simple “supply and demand” there are more jobs and fewer candidates. For example, several industries, such as tech and financial services currently have about 2% unemployment rates.
A second report released on Thursday, June 18th by Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at career-research firm Glassdoor, found that the average interview process in the U.S. took 22.9 days in 2014 due to an exponential increase in background investigations currently done by employers. That is up from just 12.6 days in 2010.
Screenings and background checks in particular have grown to 42% of all U.S. job candidates. That is up from just 25% in 2010. For example, 23% of all job candidates in 2014 received some sort of skills evaluation compared with only 16% five years ago. Furthermore, 23% of received a drug test last year versus only 13% in 2010.
What can an employer do to combat this longer hiring process?
Many of the executive recruiters that we polled suggested that hiring companies should adopt a process of “less is more.” Often when employers hire an engineering recruitment agency or a technical recruitment agency or IT jobs recruiter or executive search firm they falsely believe that the more management recruiters that they have working on their jobs, the faster they will fill their positions. Unfortunately, when you have a limited sampling frame of key technical talent for a given opening (e.g. nanotechnology or AI scientists) and you have multitudes of executive recruiting firms trying to recruit the same, small pool of talent, this will often alienate an otherwise eager scientist willing to make a jobs change.
Instead, especially with current job market conditions, 87% of those same executive recruitment firms we polled suggested it is much better to retain only one executive recruitment firm that you trust. This will lead to them providing you a lot more service, effort and perseverance in meeting your needs. This can go a long way towards more thoroughness, quality and efficiency with jobs staying vacant longer.
What are your findings?