New research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds that employers accept and process applications in batches: they post vacancies and accept applications for merely nine days on average in technology-oriented sectors, and it takes 45 days on average to fill one of these job positions.
This is contrary to one's imagination that hiring is a sequential search process: employers receive an application, screen and interview the candidate, and then make an offer or wait for the next applicant.
The researchers built the new U.S. database linking 66 million applications to nearly 8 million online job postings since January 2012, and found that the vacancy posting phase is much shorter than the screening and recruitment phase in the hiring process.
The study also finds that "recruitment firms," which solicit applicants for third parties, and "staffing firms," which hire employees for lease to other firms, account for 74 percent of vacancy postings and attract 60 percent of the applications.
Many new hires don't get the job by contacting the employer directly. Instead, they get the job through labor market intermediaries, which play a huge role in the hiring process for technology-oriented jobs.
Other findings include: Job seekers prefer new job postings, with 39 percent of applications flowing to jobs posted in the past 48 hours and 54 percent flowing to ones posted in the past 96 hours; Workers apply for jobs early in the week, with applications per posting about 45 percent higher on Mondays and Tuesdays than on Fridays and four times higher than on Saturdays; Job-seeking activity slacks off during the December holidays and rebounds in the new year.
Statistics show that applications usually fall by 30 percent in December compared to October and jump by 60 percent in January.
This is one of the first large-scale studies to exploit matched data on vacancy postings and application flows to characterize the hiring process and quantify movements in labor market tightness.