New US Data: Demand for Recruiters Still Outweighs Available Talent

New US Data: Demand for Recruiters Still Outweighs Available Talent

The struggle to fill the talent pipeline has continued ever since the global pandemic struck!

As if that weren’t enough, we now are struggling to fill the roles of those team members that can help us recruit needed talent.

New data from Textkernel’s Jobfeed, the labor market data resource for HR and recruiters, shows that the United States is in dire need of people with these skill sets. In fact, as of Q3 in 2021, direct employers had a 123% increase in recruiter job listings over a three-year period; staffing or recruitment agencies saw a 131% increase in recruiter positions over the same period.

Staffing Agencies and Direct Employers Alike

As of November 2021, there were more than 206,000 corporate recruiter positions available. The greatest concentrations were in the professional, scientific, and technical services industries, with nearly 38,000 jobs listed, or 18% of the total. Not surprisingly, transportation and warehousing recruitment positions were next in line, with almost 21,000 openings, or 10% of the total number of listings.

The top three corporations with the most recruiter positions open were:

Staffing and recruitment agencies also illuminated the tight market by listing more than 171,000 recruiter roles as open as of November 2021. The three agencies with the greatest number of vacancies for recruiters were:

Stately Insights

By the numbers, it’s clear that the states with the greatest populations have the greatest number of openings. But these are also the states with the greatest concentration of workers in the top markets: professional/scientific/technical and transportation/warehousing.

Figure 3: Recruiter Demand Per State

California led the country with the most recruiter job listings, at 26,800. Of those, 16,630 were direct employers and 10,150 were for agency roles.  

Texas and New York were next in line, with 21,200 and 19,800 total recruiter openings respectively. 

Direct employers in Texas had 12,800 recruiter roles posted; New York had 12,700. Agencies in Texas listed 8430 talent agents and New York agencies listed 7100.

Skills in Demand

As recruiters know, keywords are key to identifying the perfect match for a role. It’s no wonder then that the word recruitment was used 55% of the time as skills required in the job description for direct employment roles. Human Resources, on the other hand, was used only 23% of the time, indicating that perhaps corporate hiring might be happy to poach from those with agency experience. 

A similar percentage was seen in the percentages of word choice by agencies, with recruitment used 52% of the time, and Human Resources used only 18% of the time. Certain skills, such as sales and customer service, lend themselves more to agency recruiters than to corporate recruiters.  

Strong communication skills remain the most sought-after traits for recruiters. The following top ten soft skills are required by those hiring:

Skill Direct EmployersAgency
Strategic Thinking23%15%
Attention to Detail18%15%

As we compare skills required by recruiting firms versus direct employers, strategic thinking appears to be a skill that seems to be much more important for recruiters at direct employers. This differential is also seen in demand for leadership skills and organizational commitment. 

High Demand, Across the Board

Demand for recruiters is happening at scale, across industries, and around the world, according to LinkedIn. In fact, job postings for recruiters on LinkedIn have steadily increased since the beginning of the year and have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. 

Because the pace is fast and the demand is high, corporations and agencies alike are increasingly looking for experienced talent. There is little time to get those with less expertise up to speed, as there are so many jobs to be filled.LinkedIn states that before COVID only one-third of recruiters were coming from other recruiting roles; since COVID, that share has jumped to 59%. 

Whether the recruiter specializes in hospitality, where there were 5,456 recruiter positions open in the US, or in technology/professional services, where there were 37,828 recruiter roles to be filled, it’s obvious that recruiters are in the catbird seat just as candidates are in any field.

High Demand, Across the Ocean

Textkernel has also gathered and analyzed data about the increased need for recruiters in the UK. The increase in available positions, as a year-over-year percentage, was even greater than that of the US but disproportionately higher for agency recruiters. Corporate/direct hire saw a 309% increase in recruiter position postings between 2019 and 2021; Agency listings increased by 513% in the same period.

Location no longer is the driver. Whether the organization is in the US or the UK, in Massachusetts or Manchester, Textkernel will be watching and reporting on trends in the industry.

Recruiting Recruiters: Looking Forward

There is currently no indication that the tight labor market will loosen up significantly in 2022. Certain economic pressures, such as from the expected rise in interest rates, may dampen some growth, yet job expansion will be offset by continued baby boomer retirement, upskilling needs, and global competition.

Staffing firms and direct employers alike will be using the restricted pool of applicants more intensively. Applicants that have applied for one specific job, for example, could also be matched on other open jobs at the same organization. Some large corporations and staffing agencies find that the numbers alone require greater process automation. 

Remote workers may help the savvy company fill its open positions. But equally important will be the need to focus more on retaining existing staff and identifying internal candidates more frequently. Additionally, greater attention will need to be paid to those who have been recruited, assuring their commitment with pre-onboarding and regular communication.

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