What Percentage of Job Opportunities Are Listed Online?

Friday, November 7th, 2008 - Uncategorized


Steve asks: What Percentage of Job Opportunities Are Listed Online? I was asked this question in a session recently in my role as the President of PerfectJob Software, “What percentage of jobs are listed on the online job boards.” I gave an answer, but wasn’t comfortable that I really knew. So I went and did a little research, and I’m actually now less sure I really know. What do you think?

In answer:
I will answer from a UK perspective, as that is the data I know best.

It is difficult to get whole of market data. You can count vacancies at online job boards and newspapers, but little data exists for internal hires outside that issued by a publicly listed company when it makes a required financial announcement.

From the 2005 Office of National Statistics triennial employment survey, there were 650,000 vacancies in a workforce of 28million, with 30million possible active posts – ie: the UK was under resourced, and resultantly wage rates were rising. This would suggest an average job turnover rate of 46 years!

A more likely level for employee job turnover is around 5years in the average job, making 6million vacancies per annum. Of those, at the time around 1million were posted online (including companies own job board), while 1.5million were in newpapers and print media: today local newspaper advertising is still equal or greater in volume than online, purely from the fact that not every company has a website. The other 3.5million could be split at around 3million internally filled vacancies; and around 500,000 are never posted – about the scale of the head hunter market.

The old recruiters theory was that about one third of vacancies were known (ie – advertisied), one third could be spotted (ie – internal); and one third were secret. This data seems to support that old adage to an extent, accepting the volume of data one has access to these days thanks to the internet.

I think as the market develops further, we will see a greater volume in online jobs boards – its cheaper and it widens the net from a geographic and skill view point. But not every vacancy will ever be online. It doesn’t need to be, when at least one of your potential successors should already be sat in your own team if you are doing – if you are doing your own job correctly.

The more interesting question for the online jobs sector is – how many employees are now online, and can be given a quiet tap on a shoulder to increase the size of the passive candidate market? I don’t think advertising of the vacancy then is the question, but finding of the talent. Any increase in employee turnover/resultant reduction in average time in job will be far more fiscally damaging to employers than the potential gains of cheaper costs of hiring.

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One Response to “What Percentage of Job Opportunities Are Listed Online?”

  1. kimrennin Says:

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