Online jobseekers facing greater competition for roles

Online jobseekers are facing the highest level of competition for vacancies in almost two years, according to research released today.

Recruitment website totaljobs.com has recorded application figures for vacancies posted on the site, and found that during the third quarter of 2010 jobs on the site received an average of 18 applications.

The website has gathered “supply and demand” job data for the past 22 months, and releases quarterly “Totaljobs Barometer” reports based on the findings. This is the highest average application rate recorded during that time.

Data is broken down into sectors and regions, highlighting significant differences both in the numbers of jobs posted and the numbers of applications they receive.

In some sectors, the average number of applications per job was far higher than the average of 18. In the secretarial/PAs/administration sector, for example, vacancies receive an average of 40 applications. Customer services and retail/wholesale are the next most competitive sectors, with 31 and 25 applications per vacancy respectively.

Regionally, there were also differences in the average number of applications per vacancy. The South-East is the most competitive region with an average of 28 applications per job; closely followed by London with 20.

Jobseekers in Northern Ireland face the least competition with an average of eight applications per job, while jobs in the South-West and East Anglia receive an average of nine applications.

The third quarter of 2010 report does point to signs of recovery in the jobs market, and found a 1% year-on-year increase in the total number of vacancies posted on the site. However, this was offset by a 15% increase in the total number of applications.

John Salt, totaljobs.com director, said: “Although this month’s ONS figures show the number of unemployed remains fairly stagnant, jobseekers are becoming more desperate and as a result are applying for more jobs – thus driving up the competition – and perhaps applying to sectors they might not usually have applied to in the past.”

More information is available at the Totaljobs Barometer site.

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