The most recent numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there are roughly 11.2 million jobs available in the United States right now. The number of open positions has gone down since spring of 2022, which saw a peak of 11.6 million jobs, but it is still higher than it was this time last year. 

The BLS also reported that there were 6 million people receiving unemployment as of August of 2022. Combine that with the record number of employed Americans who are looking to switch jobs, it’s safe to say that there are a lot of people currently looking for work—and there are also a lot of jobs out there to pick from. 

But how long do these job seekers actually ‘stay on the market’ so to speak? The timeframe might be shorter than you think. With so many open positions, hiring managers are having to come up with creative ways to both find and hold onto talented workers before they are snatched up by another company. 

You need to stand out, and we can help. 

But first, let’s break down some of these numbers and see how long you really have before your top-tier applicants accept an offer from someone else. 

How Long is the Average Job Seeker Is on the Market in 2022?

There are two types of job seekers — those who are unemployed and consistently looking for work, and those who are hoping to find something better and move on from their current jobs. It can be difficult to find accurate numbers for the latter half, but we’ve found enough to paint a somewhat clear picture of the labor market landscape as it stands today. 

While the number of people quitting their jobs has decreased since the spring, when it was estimated that 44% percent of workers were looking for new positions, there are still plenty of employed people hoping to move on to bigger and better things. The most recent findings out of Pew Research Center show that roughly 1 in 5 workers (22%) “say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months.” 

If we apply that to the estimated 158 million people currently employed in the US, we’re looking at adding potentially another 30 million talented people to the list of those calling themselves “job seekers”. 

But the methods used and time allotted to searching for new jobs vary depending on whether or not someone is employed or unemployed, so let’s dig a little deeper.  

Unemployed Job Seekers 

As of July of 2022, the BLS found “that the median duration of unemployment at that time [of reporting] was 8.5 weeks, while 36.9% of workers were unemployed for less than 5 weeks, 31.7% were unemployed for over 15 weeks…” 

8.5 weeks might sound like enough time. As a hiring manager, that gives you more than two months to find these people and start recruiting them. However, that time period looks a lot shorter when you consider just how long the recruitment process can take. More on that later. 

Employed Job Seekers 

Employed job seekers tend to be ‘on the market’ for longer. This is most likely due to the fact that they currently have a steady source of income, and are therefore able to take their time and be picky. 

Experts at LinkedIn last year evaluated the job market, and made these estimates in regards to job seekers who currently have employment: 

  • For those looking to move to a higher position at their current place of work, the process is estimated to take anywhere from 1-3 years. 
  • For those looking for a position that is similar to the one they currently hold, but at a different company, they can expect to find the right fit in 3-6 months. 
  • Finally, for the job seekers hoping not only to move to a new company, but also move into a higher-level position, that shift can, on average, take 6-18 months. 

Did you know that women apply to 20% fewer jobs than men? And did you know that white applicants receive roughly 36% more callbacks than black applicants with identical resumes and the same professional qualifications? 

If you’re wondering what you can do to eliminate bias in your own hiring processes, IsoTalent can help. Our applicant tracking system, IsoConnect, gives you access to our professional pipeline, and provides you with talent pools that focus more on ‘culture add’ rather than ‘culture fit’.

The Hiring Process and How to Make it Better

After reading some of these numbers, you might be thinking, what’s the rush? Those job seekers who are on the market for the shortest amount of time are still open to offers for more than a month, right? And the average job seeker is looking for at least two months. That’s plenty of time. 

Except, it’s not. The average time to hire in the US is 41 days (which is more than eight work weeks). So, unless you found your perfect candidate on the very first day of their job search, it is likely that any applicant you might be looking to hire is also being recruited by at least one other company.

The competition for talented workers is in full swing, and considering that the average corporate job opening is likely to receive around 250 applications, it’s more important than ever for hiring managers to know how to find the right candidates, and properly recruit them before someone else does. 

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. 

Three Easy Steps to Stand Out as a Recruiter 

1. Have a more efficient recruitment process

What does having a more efficient recruitment process look like? Well, you can start by having a clearly written job posting, responding to applicants in a timely manner, and extending an offer the moment you decide to hire someone. 

This might sound a little overwhelming, especially if you have more than 200 applications to sift through, and that’s why we recommend hiring managers make use of an applicant tracking system. Having access to an ATS can ensure that your job postings reach the right talent pools, and these systems also help you keep track of your applicants and stay organized throughout the recruiting process. 

2. Streamline the interview process

Many job seekers these days complain about encountering unnecessarily hurdles throughout the interview process. It can be a major turn-off, and surveys have found that when candidates have a negative experience during an interview, they will often turn down any future offer from that company. 

One of the best ways to streamline your interview process is to leave it to the professionals. We’re not saying you have to hand over the reins completely, but it might be worth looking into the services of a professional recruitment firm before putting a talented candidate through what might be their third interview with your company alone. 

Unlike some other ATS options, IsoConnect can link you directly with recruitment professionals if you decide you do want to outsource. And if you’d rather conduct the interviews yourself, IsoConnect can help you track those interviews and keep the ball rolling, therefore getting rid of some of those pesky, tedious hurdles. 

3. Be personable 

Last, but certainly not least, it pays to be personable. Give the candidates a reason to remember you by forming a personal connection with them. What’s the most effective way to do this? It’s actually quite simple—demonstrate to the applicant that you respect them. Don’t jerk them around, don’t keep them waiting, and don’t make them jump through arbitrary hoops before extending an offer.