Job Searches Spike Monday After New Year’s Day But Employers Lag

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Job postings grow gradually in January, but much of the rise comes after an early January spike in job searches.

Getting a new job is a common New Year’s resolution. As a result, job search ramps up quickly in early January. The first or second Monday after New Year’s Day typically registers the highest number of job searches on Indeed in the entire year.

By comparison, employers and recruiters are slow to react. True, the number of job postings grows in January. Yet that growth tends to be gradual in contrast with the rapid build-up in search. Job postings typically reach their January peak at the very end of the month, meaning some employers and recruiters miss part of the early January search activity. The pattern is similar for jobs posted directly by employers or through recruitment firms.

Why do some employers and recruiters wait so long to post jobs in the new year? Perhaps they think early jobseekers aren’t serious about their resolution to find a new job and they wait for more determined candidates. But the evidence doesn’t support this skepticism. Jobseekers appear to search with similar intensity throughout January. Later in the month, people click on jobs that appear in their Indeed search results and apply to them at roughly the same rate as in the first full week of January.

Maybe the delays are simply caused by the time it takes recruiters to get budgets for new positions approved and prepare job descriptions. While it’s fairly easy for a jobseeker to start looking for a new position — all it takes is launching an Internet browser or a mobile app — recruiters need several weeks to get their hiring activity off the ground.

Thinking ahead to the January spike in job search, it may be worth preparing the new year’s recruitment campaigns before the old year is out. All those people making resolutions to find new jobs start the new year with a flurry of search activity. Even in the relatively slow period between Christmas and the New Year, more than one million job searches are carried out on Indeed most days. Employers and recruiters might consider making their own resolutions —  post jobs early to get the attention of those quick-off-the-block jobseekers.

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