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iCIMS Insights May Workforce Report: The summer market is shaping up

May 23, 2024
5 min read
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As spring gives way to summer, employers are preparing for more seasonal changes in the job market. Despite predictions of a slow-down, it appears that hiring activity is on the rise. Employers preparing to woo more candidates — whether internally or externally — need to strategize their employee value proposition to scoop up the best talent available.

Our May Workforce Report covers:

  • The rise in hiring activity
  • Gen Zers’ high expectations
  • CHROs’ intent on internal mobility


Confident employers, quiet job seekers

May 2024: Platform indicators

The headlines may be forecasting a slowdown in hiring, but iCIMS data showed an uptick in openings and hires this month. Job openings rose 6% and applications rose 3% since January 2023. Hires, meanwhile, ticked up by 1%.

The iCIMS platform saw more job openings posted in April than in the last 18 months. Employers are demonstrating a renewed confidence, as hires have increased to the same level as the start of 2023.

Job seekers did not demonstrate the same boldness. While applications were up year over year, applications fell in April. This decline furthers the pattern we’ve seen developing since January. While the beginning of the year saw intense applicant activity, the numbers have consistently diminished over the winter and spring months.

The drop in applications may come down to simple supply and demand. As the number of open roles continues to expand, job seekers may not feel the same pressure to keep up the volume of their applications to land a role.

What does that mean for employers? With more open roles across the market, employers need to make sure their job posts, career sites and application materials capture job seekers’ attention.


Keeping up with the Gen Zers

May 2024: Applicants by age

As employers consider how to make their hiring materials more alluring, they need to remember their audience. The applicant pool is dominated by younger candidates. In fact, 44% of the applicant pool in April was made up of people between 18 and 24 years old.

This means that the bulk of applicants were born after 1999. They don’t remember 9/11. They never knew a world without Spongebob Squarepants. And to them, oldies music includes the Backstreet Boys.

It’s mind-boggling to think that newcomer employees will consider the 90s ancient history. But employers will need to account for the realities of adding a new generation to the workforce and calibrate their employee value proposition to meet Gen Z’s expectations.

For instance, almost 50% of entry-level talent (aged 21 to 24) agree that professional development opportunities are the most attractive element companies can offer. Gen Z candidates are also intent on cultivating strong work-life balance, and research shows they’re willing to job hop until they find a company that enables a balanced lifestyle.

For more insights into today’s multi-generational workforce, download the May Workforce Report.


Internal mobility takes top priority

May 2024: Internal applications and hires

CHROs are split on whether they intend to increase or decrease their recruitment of external candidates. Forty-two percent plan to hire more external candidates in 2024 than 2023. And 41.5% plan to hire less.

Regardless of specific hiring plans, internal mobility —  the movement of employees within an organization — is a priority for 86% of CHROs. In fact, iCIMS data shows that internal applications and hires were up 18% and 11% respectively from April 2023.

Internal hiring is such a priority among CHROs that 37% reported they would invest in new tech to support it. HR can use applicant tracking tools to keep track of employees’ skills and interests. A database of such information helps HR and hiring managers know who may be interested in specific internal roles and opportunities.

Employees seem to be just as interested in internal mobility as employers — 77% said they were open to finding new jobs with their current employers. Of those, a third would be open to a new role only with their current company.


Want to learn more valuable talent insights?

Download the full May Workforce Report.


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About the author

Rhea Moss

Rhea Moss is director of customer experience and data insights at iCIMS. She oversees the iCIMS Insights program, which aggregates and anonymizes the billions of data points iCIMS’ software processes per year and transforms them into actionable insights to help drive business and hiring strategies. Previously, Rhea was head of products at prescriptive data, and served as product and program managers at MongoDB and Thomson Reuters.

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