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February Insights Report: Hiring Trends Looking Up

February 24, 2022
iCIMS Staff
4 min read

There’s hope on the hiring horizon. The gap between job openings and job applications decreased in January, according to the iCIMS February Insights report. 

Job openings are up 54% since January 2021. Applications are up 13% in the same time frame and increased 27 points from last month. This is progress, but there is still a significant way to go before the talent supply will meet hiring demand. Across industries, there is a disconnect between supply and demand. The number of job seekers completing applications for each open role is down from last year.  

“Overall, we expect the labor market will remain on a robust trajectory this year,” Lydia Boussour, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, told The Wall Street Journal. 

 Employers may want to look within to help solve talent challenges. Activity on internal job portals is heating up, with millennial workers making up half of applicants to open positions at their current employer. While employees are looking for new opportunities, they aren’t necessarily looking for a new employer. This is also a great indicator that companies should enhance their internal mobility and retention programs. Your most engaged talent pool is likely your workforce.    

The February Insights report taps into iCIMS proprietary platform data to provide the latest labor market activity. Read more here. 


A slow turnaround in labor market  

January is the first deviation from the story we’ve been seeing and telling over the past several months – our data shows that the gap between job openings and job applications has started to shrink. 

  Here are some notable changes in the labor market: 

  • Job openings are up 54% since January 2021, and 24 points since last month  
  • Job applications are up 13% since January 2021, and 27 points since last month  
  • Hiring activity is up 39% since January 2021, and 12 points since last month  


Industry outlook: Healthcare and retail still struggling to fill open roles 

Talent challenges are being felt across all industries. The healthcare industry has the fewest number of candidates applying, while tech positions continue to receive the most applicants per opening.  

Here’s a breakdown of labor market activity by industry: 

  • Healthcare employers receive 13 applicants per opening, a 28% decrease from January 2021 when openings received 18 applicants.  
  • Retail employers receive 18 applicants per opening, an 18% decrease from January 2021 when openings were receiving 22 applicants.  
  • Finance employers receive 20 applicants per opening, a 25% decrease from January 2021 when openings were receiving 27 applicants.  
  • Manufacturing employers receive 23 applicants per opening, a 26% decrease from January 2021 when openings were receiving 31 applicants.  
  • Tech positions receive 26 applicants per opening, a 21% decrease from January 2021 when openings received 32.5 applicants.  

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Workforce potential: Millennials embrace internal mobility  

When it comes to sticking with an existing employer, Millennial workers comprise the largest share of internal job seekers. According to the report, there were 15% more applicants to internal career portals in January 2022 compared to January 2021.  Of those job seekers, half were in the 25-44 age group. Of note, job seekers spend 30% or longer on internal job portals compared to external career sites. Those searching for external jobs skew younger, with Gen Z applicants, those ages 18-24-years-old, makeup one-third of applicants overall.  

Want to know more? Read the full February Insights report to help attract, engage, hire, and advance the talent you need now.   

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