Ask any job search expert and they’ll tell you there are better times than others during the year, or season, or even a given day to search for jobs. However, there are far fewer certainties when it comes to the best times to hire. While general hiring trends exist — don’t try to hire around the holidays, or peak hiring occurs in early Spring and late Fall — those generally follow the trends of budgeting, financial quarters, holidays, and when job seekers are most active. Monster’s senior contributing writer, John Rossheim, breaks down the trends of annual hiring cycles into four quarters. Rossheim concluded that January, February, September, and October are the best months for hiring.
So, what about netting more quality candidates? Or choosing to hire against the grain, in order to stand above the noise? At least for hiring on mobile, we at Switch App discovered some of the ideal times to hire qualified and in-demand candidates. Using a combination of proprietary data from our own mobile hiring app and the mobile hiring space in general, we determined that some times of day, month, and year take precedent over others when it comes to posting jobs and reviewing candidates.
Determining the Best Times to Hire
Even over a decade ago Dr. John Sullivan noted how much damage can be done from leaving an application unanswered for more than five days. Recruiters were losing out on quality top-notch candidates, and spending more time and money in the process. If you want to reduce time-to-hire, you want to time your hiring around when more job seekers are browsing for jobs and applying on the platform. This may seem counterintuitive — wouldn’t you want to hire when there are fewer candidates to sift through? The benefit of mobile hiring is that, because of the job-matching algorithms, mobile platforms allow for smaller talent pools than a job board and more relevant candidates.
Since the process happens so much faster than is typical of Internet job boards, hiring managers can post a job in the same period that the highest number of job seekers are using the app. Your post will have an immediate talent pool for your review, and the job will go directly in front of job seekers with related skills, there’s no need to post a job in anticipation of activity spikes — although feel free to do that if you want.
End of Month
Over the course of 2015, we recorded a significant spike in unique user applications — which come in the form of right swipes — in the final week of the month. The spike was more noticeable in January, June, and September, which makes sense considering those months’ placement in the calendar, but each of the 12 months had at least a rise in job applications during the final week than each of the three or four prior weeks.
End of the Year
While there were dips in user activity during the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, the weeks in between the two festive occasions resulted in some of our highest application rates. This is perhaps due to candidates getting their New Year’s resolutions started early, but it can also be attributed to the way that mobile-friendly job hunting has a lower barrier to entry than traditional job boards. When in the past many would switch off their searches until the end of the year, mobile job seekers can continue browsing and applying easily and from anywhere. Our smartphones have become a means of distracting ourselves and integrated deeply into our daily routines. Studies now show that Americans spend on average 4.7 hours a day on their smartphones.
Add to the convenience the fact that many, including staffing giant Robert Half International, are going against the presiding narrative to argue the holiday season might actually be the best for job seekers, and it’s no wonder the end of the year shows an uptick in mobile applications.
End of Day
On a daily basis, we found that the very best time to post jobs, source candidates and interact with applicants on mobile came in the evenings. While users toggle onto our app and apply or pass on jobs at all times of day, the heaviest involvement takes place once the stress of the workday is behind them. In numerous conversations with job seekers and employers as well as data on when chats are opened and conducted, we discovered that the most sustained time spent on mobile was happening beyond the normal 9-5 schedule.
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Since many of our users are passive job seekers who are currently employed, this makes sense. Despite the mobile nature of Switch and other job search apps like it, job seekers prefer to focus on the job search outside of the office, away from supervisors and colleagues.
From our research we found that certain times are better for mobile sourcing and hiring than others. These optimal brief periods coincide with times when more users are logging in to access the app, searching for positions, applying for jobs, and interacting with recruiters and employers. However, the very nature of mobile is one of convenience and accessibility, meaning that in many ways mobile is immune to the traditional peaks and valleys of hiring. Job seekers could be swiping through jobs on the subway, while they’re waiting for their morning coffee, or when they’re out for lunch. Christmas morning can be just as popular a time for searches as a Monday afternoon in January, early morning or late at night the same as midday, and so on. Mobile levels the playing field for job seekers and employers, particularly when it comes to timing.