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How COVID-19 Has Affected the Recruitment Industry | Job Posting Trends

With a dramatic shift in job posting trends across various industries, many job seekers have struggled to find relevant career opportunities as COVID-19, put a halt on hiring initiatives.

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There are several options job seekers have when searching for a new job, their first job, or for a career advancement opportunity. Options range from massive job board providers like Indeed, ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn, to smaller, niche job boards like the ones Web Scribble powers for professional and trade associations. But as many can guess, the outbreak of COVID-19 has made quite the impact on job posting trends across all job boards and career centers.

With a dramatic shift in job posting trends across various industries, many job seekers have struggled to find relevant career opportunities as COVID-19, put a halt on hiring initiatives. Let’s take a look at job posting trends from 2018 to today.

New Job Posting Trends Comparison 

Indeed is the largest job board in the world and has recently released data every month about new job posting trends. Going back to 2018, new job postings (jobs posted on indeed for 7 days or less) from February 1st to June 19th were at a peak point compared to 2019 and 2020. As February 1st of 2019 came around, new job postings were still high, but lower than that of 2018.

new job postings on Indeed

However, as 2020 began, new job postings exceeded that of 2018 from February 1st to early March, but once COVID-19 hit and the U.S. economy began to shut down, new job postings took a huge hit and dropped to all time lows. 

Want to learn more about COVID-19’s effects on the recruitment industry? Download the replay of our webinar here - The Impact of COVID-19 on the Recruitment Industry: Current Analysis and Future Opportunities.

April was the toughest month with a reduction in new job postings reaching almost at 50%. As we made our way into May, new job postings saw a slight uptick and then a short downturn. 

However, we started to see new job postings pick back up again in early June as the economy began to re-open and businesses started to resume hiring. Year over year on June 19th, we are down just 9% and Indeed is seeing a rapid recovery - almost back up to their previous levels. 

Now, let’s take a look at total job posting trends.

Total Job Posting Trends Comparison

Again, going back to 2018, similar trends are seen as 2018 led in total number of job postings compared to 2019 and 2020.

total job postings on Indeed

2020 started off around the same levels as 2019, but again, when COVID-19 hit, 2020 saw a steep decline in total job postings as March ended and April began. Beginning of May was an all time low for total job postings, but as time went on and June came about, total job postings have seen a steady increase. With that said however, total job posting volume hasn’t quite caught up with previous levels. 2020 is down almost 30% compared to 2019 levels on June 19th. 

So what do job posting trends look like from an industry perspective? Let’s take a closer look.

Affected Industries 

Indeed has also released data on which industries were affected and which industries were affected disproportionately. Unfortunately, the Hospitality and Tourism industry was affected greatly by COVID-19 with the largest percent change in posting trends at -57.9% compared to 2019. 

industries affected by COVID-19

Other industries that saw larger than average declines were Arts and Entertainment (-56.0%), Banking and Finance (-49.2%), and Childcare (-44.7%). 

Since many of our customers are in the Healthcare industry, let's take a look at the effects of COVID-19 on different healthcare roles.

If you look at healthcare as a whole and bundle in all the different sub-specialties and professions, compared to year over year reports of decreases in job openings, it looks like it has only dropped a little - like single digits - but when narrowed down to location or job specialties, the number of decreasing job openings vary immensely. 

Travel nurses have seen the biggest drop in the number of job openings with a decrease at 97% due to travel limitations and restrictions, with radiology and dental assistant following at 47% and 42%, respectively. Due to hospitals shutting down all non-COVID or non-essential/elective procedures, many hospitals had to furlough or lay off employees, which ultimately affects the number of open jobs for fields like physical therapy and audiology. Fields that were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are specialties like dentistry and optometry where their business unfortunately had to shut down for an extended period of time.  

Conversely, intensive care nurse positions have seen a dramatic increase in the number of open jobs at 195%, followed by hospitalists at a 151% increase and certified nursing assistant at an 88% increase.

Overall, COVID-19 made a huge impact on job postings across larger job boards like Indeed, but as more industries and businesses re-open, we can expect job posting trends to continue upwards.  

Be on the lookout for another post about economists predictions of the U.S. economy recovery time and what you can expect to happen in the future.