The hiring trends nobody is talking about

As we near the end of 2021, there’s no doubt this year has been… atypical.

This year, we’ve seen a cautious job market, followed by people seeking pay rises and flexibility, a looming Great Resignation and exploding job boards with very few applicants. 

TAs and hiring managers have been asking us how to prepare for 2022 – what’s ahead in terms of hiring trends and talent movements?

After 4+ years helping people engage with incredible candidates (and save on recruitment costs in the process), we understand how the talent space moves and grooves. We also have access to over 8 million data points on the behaviours of candidates across Australia.

Tiffany, our Data Scientist, dove into our data engine to help us paint a picture of the annual hiring trends we’ve seen over the past six years. Tiff helped us understand when people are most likely to start a new job, finish up at a job, and when TAs should ramp up their sourcing efforts.

So, when do most people start a new job?

The graphs below give you a pretty clear idea of what’s on the horizon…

When do people usually start a new job?

First up, we looked at historic data to see when (aka which month of the year) people are most likely to start a new job.

Overwhelmingly, people are most likely to start a new job in January. In fact, people are 52% more likely to start a new job in January, compared to other months of the year.

Working backwards, it would make sense why TAs are run off their feet in November and December.

Graph 1 Explanation 

This graph shows the distribution of people starting a new job for each month of the year – looking at data from January 2015 to December 2020. As you can see, January is by far the most common time to start a new job. The second most common time to start a new job is in July.

Graph 2 Explanation 

This graph shows the peaks and troughs of people starting a new job – from January 2015 to August 2021. It’s clear there is a huge jump in new jobs each January, as well as a little bump in July. You will also notice that volumes started to drop in 2019 and again in 2020 (pandemic) and again in 2021. The 2021 data (up until August ‘21) indicates that we, as a society, have not been starting new jobs at the same rate as 2015-2018 levels. A recent Linkedin report has shown a slight uptick in movement in October 2021.

Graph 3 Explanation

This graph shows you the same data as graph #2, just laid out differently. You can see that the 2020 line is much lower than the 2015-2019 lines, meaning that there were less people starting new jobs in 2020. That’s no surprise because the pandemic made everyone very cautious and with people losing their jobs, it doesn’t create an atmosphere of safety for changing jobs. Plus there were less jobs available.

While 2021 has been notorious for being a tough talent market (aka it’s really hard to find people to hire), it’s likely that the pandemic is still creating a cautious atmosphere for employees. The unemployment rate has consistently sat around 5% through 2020 and 2021 (reaching 7.4% in June 2020), but peoples’ movement into new jobs hasn’t bounced back to pre-covid levels.

So, when are people most likely to leave their job?

The data says December. There is on average a 27% boost in ‘leavings’ (resignations, redundancies and terminations) in December, compared to the annual averages. It appears that people hang in there until the end of the year before submitting their resignation before the Christmas break. This might be due to pay rises or promotions not coming through as hoped (aka “they aren’t offering me a pay increase, I’m going elsewhere”). Or it could simply be a new year, new me sentiment – people may have been cultivating a new direction for their life across the year and then December is the time to take action. 

Graph 4 Explanation

This graph shows the distribution of people leaving a new job for each month of the year – looking at data from January 2015 to December 2020. As you can see, December is by far the most common time to leave a job. The second most common time to leave a job is in June.

Graph 5 Explanation

Here you can see a spike each December where people are rushing to put in their resignation. There is also a little bump in June each year. These trends marry up nicely with the start date trends. 

Graph 6 Explanation

Here, we can see that in the years 2015 – 2019, there was an increase in people leaving their jobs in June and in December. However, in 2020, we can see there was a little kick up in March at the start of the pandemic, followed by a drop in May (people were likely hanging onto the jobs they had). 

The 2021 line shows that until August, people leaving their jobs was at an all-time low.

What about the Great Resignation? 

The US saw a lot of movement of talent when lock-downs lifted and employees were expected to come back into the office. Employees were used to WFH and having some freedom in their day, which triggered a wave of people flocking to jobs that offered flexibility.

Our data shows lower volumes of movement through 2019, 2020 and 2021 (data up to August ‘21) however there were consistent trends each year: December remains the most popular month for leaving a company and January is the most popular month for starting a new job (across data from Jan 2015 – Aug 2021).

Want to get ahead of the curve?

Traditionally, November happens to be the month when most companies are winding down their hiring efforts. In the context of the graphs above, this is opposite of what you should be doing. If you ramp up your hiring efforts in November, you’ll have less competition in-market and a tonne of people looking for a new job.

We’ve had a few discussions with savvy TAs who have been laying down the foundations this month. They have already started to ramp up their sourcing and engage with potential hires, ready for the holiday boom.

If you need help sourcing and engaging with quality candidates, hit us up.

Book a demo here.

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