13% of Job Postings Are Still Open After 60 Days: Here’s What to Do About It

job openings

Top recruiters and talent professionals of today are becoming more and more proactive. Instead of filling vacancies once they’re open, they anticipate where the business is headed and actively attract best-fit candidates before there is an explicit need.

But even the best planning is subject to forces beyond our control. In today’s labour market, candidates have many options, and this is leading to longer wait times for even the best recruiters.

As shown in the Indeed Hiring Lab’s latest research into the global hiring market, 13% of jobs in the UK remain open for more than two months. When it comes to picking a career in 2016 it’s a jobseeker’s market, and ultimately, that’s a good thing.

An improved economy gives jobseekers more options

UK employers may be waiting a long time, but they are not alone in facing delays when it comes to finding talent. In the US, more than a quarter of jobs are open for more than 60 days and in Germany, it’s one-fifth. According to the 2015 ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage Survey, 38% of employers around the globe report that they have difficulty filling jobs.

So should we all be looking with envy at Russia, where it takes an average of 2 days to fill a position? Or China, where you can fill those open slots in a single day?

Probably not. While fast turnarounds on a job posting sound nice, they are also an indicator of an economy in trouble. By contrast, if jobs are lying unclaimed for longer periods, then that means the economy is doing better. When the unemployment rate declines and people feel that they don’t have to accept the first job they are offered in order to survive, then they take their time to find the right job.

So it’s a talent-driven economy—but employers can reduce those wait times if they are prepared to adapt. As Sandy Gould, Yahoo SVP, explains, “I think the number one lesson is in every market and in every situation, with every person or community, you’re going to be able to decode what matters most to them. What actually creates the most value for people? As cliché as that might sound, that’s actually the secret sauce.”

Understanding what candidates want

How can employers identify what is truly attractive to candidates in a competitive economy? Of course, salary, rewarding work and a solid benefits package still act as incentives—and culture plays an increasingly important role, too. But flexibility also matters a great deal to today’s jobseeker.

Interest in remote jobs increase by 85% over the last two years. Over half of the top 50 keywords associated with searches for flexible work are related to high-skill jobs, several of which are in areas that are difficult to fill—such as tech or healthcare. Get those incentives right and you may be able to reduce the wait time and attract the talent you need.

The improved economy has other benefits for the patient employer. More people taking the time to find exactly the right job for them means that recruiters will be able to post jobs that attract people who they can be sure want this opportunity over another. Meanwhile, employees who are unhappy or unsuited to their current role are more likely to look elsewhere and leave for a job where they are a better fit.

For more valuable employer insights, download the latest report from the Indeed Hiring Lab: Labor Market Outlook 2016: Uncovering the Causes of Global Jobs Mismatch.

New insights on the Global Economy.