- The median cost per job posting rose 43% in 2021, up to more than $28 per posting, according to an analysis of data from some 1,200 U.S. employers by job ad software firm Appcast. Median apply rates increased by only 3%, however.
- An abundance of choice for applicants played a part in the trend, Appcast said, but so did other factors that prevented or discouraged workers from taking a job, such as caregiving responsibilities. Out of 24 job functions analyzed by the company, the food service industry saw the largest decline in application rates, followed by customer services, healthcare and HR.
- Mobile devices accounted for more than 68% of clicks on ads and 67% of applications last year, continuing an upward trend going back to 2019. The timeframe between 2020 and 2021 marked a 13.8% decrease in desktop apply rates. "While the predominantly desk-driven technology and legal jobs ranked lowest for percentage of mobile applications, these job functions still saw significant increases in mobile applies," Appcast said in a statement.
Employers have not telegraphed an end to their talent searches, with Robert Half reporting in January that 65% of employers planned to add new, permanent jobs during the first half of 2022. Retention may be up too, with analysts noting that employers have kept seasonal hires on board in recent months.
"Truly, 2021 was one of the most challenging years for recruiters in recent history," Appcast said in its report. "A perfect storm of fierce competition for talent and a pandemic-induced lull in labor supply made recruiting a lot more expensive."
The firm's findings about mobile device use for job applications may not come as a surprise, given last year's edition of the Appcast report found that mobile applications surpassed those submitted via desktop and made up 61% of total applications. Workers also are familiar with technology-driven processes at work; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published data earlier this month showing that more than one-third of private-sector employers increased telework for some or all of their workers since the pandemic began.
Aside from increased recruiting investment, most HR professionals are focused on upskilling and multiskilling their workforces over the next three years, according to a recent Willis Towers Watson survey.
In the drive to compete for limited candidates, employers may need to make job applications succinct as well as accessible. Recent survey results from hiring software firm Greenhouse found that more than 70% of job seekers and workers would not respond to job applications that took longer than 15 minutes to complete. Most respondents in the same survey also expected turnaround times of one week or less.