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iCIMS July Insights Report: Ghost in the Hiring Machine

July 27, 2022
iCIMS Staff
5 min read

Like thermostats across the country this month, the talent market remains on fire, despite reports of lay-offs and predictions of slowdowns.  

Job seekers continue to hold the power and evolve their behavior, keeping employers on their toes. Two in five reported they ghosted an employer because of a poor experience during the hiring process.  

They also seem to be shifting their interests in where they want to work. Q2 2022 brought the first notable decline in eight quarters of the percentage of job seekers applying to a job in a different state than where they reside – perhaps marking hesitation in relocating or waning interest in full-time remote work.  

As we head into the second half of the year and the back-to-school and holiday hiring seasons, this month’s report highlights what’s happening in retail hiring. Similar to the overall talent market, there has been a significant uptick in retail job application activity since the start of Q2 2022. This trend may continue as two in five people who say they are looking for a seasonal or permanent part-time job through the end of this year plan to turn to roles with retail companies. 

Download the full July Insights report to help attract, engage, hire, and advance the talent you need now.   


The state of the market

Job seekers are making moves – iCIMS data shows a significant uptick in job applications in Q2 2022, with activity up 20% since the start of the year. Job openings are up 12%, and hires are also up 23% since the start of this year.  

While this news regarding talent shortages is promising, it may also indicate that the Great Resignation is still going strong.  In fact, 30% of Americans reported they are looking or plan to look for a full-time job with a higher salary in the second half of 2022. 


Where are job seekers looking for employment?

In the last several years, job seekers have indicated an increased appetite for flexibility, but the tides may be shifting in terms of where they want to work.   

In Q2 2022, out-of-state applications (job seekers applying for jobs in a different state than where they reside) made up 20% of all applications. This is a nearly three-point decrease from Q1 2022 and the first noteworthy decline in two years.   

It may reflect the current economy/housing market or perhaps a waning interest in full-time remote work. While 70% of job seekers would like their job to accommodate some remote work, 90% indicate they would go into the office, which is in line with what we found in our iCIMS Class of COVID-19 report.  


Hot or not: Where are job seekers applying now?

Application activity is ramping up, but there is a significant disparity in applicant volume dependent on the occupation type.  

Media and communications jobs receive nearly 40 applications per opening (APO). While most competitive in terms of volume, these jobs receive 22% fewer applications than last year.  

Perhaps a reflection of pandemic impacts – teachers and healthcare workers receive the fewest applications per opening. Teaching positions (for preschool, elementary, middle, secondary, and special education) are considerably less competitive now, receiving only 10 applications per opening, a 24% decrease from last year.  


Why are candidates ghosting employers?

In a talent market where job seekers have the upper hand, many employers are experiencing increased levels of ghosting – otherwise known as candidates (or even new hires) who stop responding.  

Nearly 40% (two in five) of job seekers ghosted an employer within the last 18 months because of a poor experience - either they learned something they didn’t like about the organization, they had a bad interview experience, or a potential employer was too slow in communicating. Meanwhile, only 10% ghosted because of another offer – meaning it may be more about you (the employer) than them (the competition).  

It is critical to keep candidates engaged from the first touchpoint throughout the employee experience to avoid losing them during the hiring and onboarding processes. 


How can employers streamline hiring with more applicants?

The average time to fill a retail position is 38 days, or just over five weeks, as of June 2022.  

While this is a 5% decrease month-over-month, it is on the higher end of timelines so far this year. As many HR and talent teams operate with limited resources, retail employers’ hiring processes may become more strained as applicants increase.  

To help ensure the hiring experience is in line with job seeker expectations, employers should ensure their application process is mobile friendly. Nearly 30% of people looking for a seasonal or permanent part-time job prefer to apply using a mobile device, while only 15% want to use a laptop or desktop computer. 


The state of the retail talent market

Similar to the overall talent market, iCIMS data indicates a significant uptick in job application activity for retail positions since the start of Q2 2022.  Applications are up 15% since the start of the year and 31% since April 2022. 

This trend may continue into the second half of 2022, as nearly 40% of people who plan to look for a seasonal or permanent part-time job to supplement their income through the end of this year are turning to roles with retail companies. 

Read the full July Insights report, which includes how the labor shortage affects summer travel plans and where we’re doing our back-to-school shopping. 

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