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iCIMS November Workforce Report: An unusually active Q4 labor market

November 29, 2023
4 min read

We’ve entered the final months of the year. But the 2023 job market hasn’t settled into a seasonal slowdown. Instead, it’s bucking typical trends and showing lots of activity going into the holidays.

Our November Workforce Report delves into:

    • Unusually strong Q4 markers
    • Tech industry insights
    • GenAI in the workplace

 

Q4, is that you?

Golden leaves and jack-o’-lanterns confirmed that it was indeed October last month, but the job market made it look more like January. Both job openings and hires were high, falling in line with January 2022. These markers come as a surprise, as hiring typically slows down around the holidays.

Application volume also remained robust, suffering just a slight dip month over month — normal for the time of year. Meanwhile, applicants per opening increased, continuing its overall incline to the highest it’s been in years.

Chart: Overall applicants per opening Jan 2022 - Oct 2023

Recruiters may greet this news with mixed emotions. While a robust application rate makes it easier to find good talent, it also means that recruiters face a high number of applications to review.

It’s slightly surprising that time to fill has remained consistent amid record applicant per open (APO) rates. The average time to fill in October was 39 days, or 5.5 weeks. This leaves us with an important question: How are companies keeping pace with so many applications?

Average time to fill is 39 days (Oct 2023)

One possible answer: Employers are sacrificing the candidate experience. While a quick turnaround time is an important part of wooing candidates, it’s not everything. Between high applicant rates and reduced HR teams, recruiters can’t give candidates the attention and experience they’ve come to expect.

This change isn’t just a TA problem. In our Talent Experience Report, we found that 56% of people would be less likely to be a consumer of a brand if they had a subpar candidate experience. In other words, a poor candidate experience could turn a brand loyalist into your competition’s next best customer.

 

All Gen Z wants for Christmas is a job in tech

The tech industry is receiving a lot of bad press lately, with mass layoffs making headlines right and left. But iCIMS data shows that the industry’s job market indicators are not as unhealthy as your newsfeed may make it seem.

A few highlights to consider:

  • Applicant volume in tech continues to surge. It’s up almost 70% since last year.
  • Hirings and openings are down, but only by 20% and 9% since last October, respectively.
  • Applicants per opening for tech roles was 53 in October.
  • Time to fill rates rang in at 46 days last month.

Candidates for tech jobs continued to skew younger. Seventy percent of applicants were younger than 35, and 44% were between the ages of 18 and 24.

The younger age of applicants raises a few questions: With so many entry-level candidates flooding the market, are employers left wanting more skilled workers? Could the boost in the overall applicant rate be coming from these younger workers? And could it help account for the dip in hiring?

These questions aside, it’s clear that it’s a great time to hire entry level workers. For more insights on how to take advantage of this trend, download the full November workforce report.

 

Spotted: Generative AI in the job search

It’s official — generative AI has entered the chat. Or the job search, rather. According to the iCIMS Talent Experience Report, 20% of job seekers are more open to using GenAI in the workplace than they were six months ago. And 40% of respondents expressed openness to AI in the workplace.

In this month’s workforce report, we delve into how many respondents have already used AI to write resumes and cover letters. Perhaps a few have applied to your company.

 

Want to get more details on these talent insights?

Download the full November Workforce Report here.

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About the author

Amy Byrnes

Amy brings a knack for storytelling and strategy to her role at iCIMS. A longtime journalist and marketing consultant, she is on a mission to make her content sparkle with details and clarity.

As an essayist, Amy’s writing has appeared in The Washington Post and Family Circle magazine. When not writing, you can find her going for long hikes in the woods with her goldendoodle, working in her veggie garden or researching her next travel destination – which has included spots like Hong Kong, the Greek islands and Newfoundland.

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