15 Interesting Recruitment Facts & Statistics

15 Interesting Recruitment Facts & Statistics

As an executive search firm, we’re sometimes dismayed by some of the negative experiences we hear about from both candidates and companies, across all sorts of roles and seniority. From hiding jobs and ghosting on feedback to the expensive mistakes – here are our 15 interesting recruitment facts & stats for 2024 (which may surprise you!).

1) Job openings continue to rise. Research by The International Labour Organisation (ILO) indicated that there were an estimated 192 million global job openings in 2023.

2) Many jobs remain hidden. An estimated 80% of available positions are never advertised, making it difficult for qualified candidates to find them.

3) The competition for open positions is intense. On average, 118 people apply for each advertised job. This overwhelming number of applications makes it challenging for hiring teams to find the best candidates and for candidates to stand out from the crowd.

4) The cost of replacing employees is staggering. The average cost of replacing a mid-level employee is over £30,000 ($37,500), and it can take up to six months to find a suitable replacement. When it comes to senior executives, the stakes are even higher with the average cost to a business of a ‘bad hire’ being £200,000 ($240,000).

5) Talent-management software often leads to unnecessary disqualifications. Many companies use talent-management software to screen resumes, on average these systems automatically reject up to 50% of applications before anyone even looks at them. Reasons for this often include missing key skills and qualifications in the CV or using jargon which cannot be interpreted by these systems.

6) CVs receive minimal attention. The average time spent looking at a CV is 5-7 seconds. A single spelling or grammar mistake can lead to an immediate rejection. Make sure you use a professional email too, as 76% of CVs are ignored if the email address is unprofessional.

7) Communication with candidates is lacking. Only 38.2% of candidates receive any information before their actual interview, other than the date and location. This lack of communication can leave candidates feeling anxious and uncertain about the process, or feeling unprepared.

8) Interviews are often rushed and ineffective. Interviews typically last 40 minutes (telephone interviews 30 minutes). Still, a 2023 survey of hiring managers found that 33% claim to know whether or not they would hire someone within just 90 seconds of meeting them. This suggests that many hiring decisions are based on gut instinct rather than a thorough evaluation of the candidate’s skills and experience – so making a good first impression is a key interview tip.

9) Feedback to unsuccessful candidates is rare and often unhelpful. Only 5.5% of unsuccessful candidates receive feedback that they find even moderately useful from employers with only 2.6% receiving “valuable feedback”. 55.9% reported that they had received no feedback at all, with just 20% stating they benefited from “general or limited” feedback. This lack of feedback can leave candidates feeling frustrated and discouraged.

10) Employer branding suffers from poor candidate experiences. A 2023 study found that 56% of candidates who had a negative hiring experience said they would not recommend the company to others. This was highlighted in research by Pepsi which estimated that out of the nearly half a million candidates they reject each year, if half of those had a negative experience and they told just three friends or family about it, this would theoretically equate to over 1 million people having a negative perception of the company.

11) Networking is still crucial. Despite the rise of online job boards and social media, networking remains one of the most effective ways to find a job. A recent study found that 70% of jobs are found through networking. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to your contacts and let them know you’re looking for a new opportunity.

12) Your online presence matters. Employers are increasingly using social media to screen candidates an estimated 91% of employers use social media during the hiring process, with 54% saying they have eliminated a candidate based on their social media feed alone. So it’s important to make sure that any online content you’ve created is appropriate and reflects your values.

13) Attitude is what loses you the job. According to research presented in Hiring For Attitude by Mark Murphy, out of 20,000 new hires which were tracked, 46% of them failed within the first 18 months. However, 89% of those cases were down to ‘attitudinal reasons’, with only 11% being due to a lack of skill.

14) Virtual interviews are on the rise. Virtual interviews are becoming increasingly common, to be more precise as of 2024 some 88% of employers conducted video interviews in the past year, so it’s important to be prepared for them. This means having a quiet place to conduct the interview, ensuring that your technology is working properly, and dressing professionally.

15) It takes time to fill a role. It takes an average of 42 days to fill an open position, with more specialist roles taking up to 65 days. So you must maximise your chances of getting it right the first time, which is increasingly hard for the more strategically significant or specialist role.

Some of these recruitment facts and statistics paint a picture of the current state of recruitment practices in general, but there are also some helpful pointers on how companies can rise above the statistics and offer a better hiring process to prospective candidates. Some organisations need to work on adopting a more thoughtful and effective approach to recruiting, to improve their candidate experience, reduce workforce turnover costs, and ultimately enhance their proposition to talent.

Chris Percival
Chris Percival
Founder & Managing Director

Chris is the Founder & Managing Director of CJPI and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership.

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