Monster 2019 year-end hiring report

The end of the year often serves as a time for reflection. Did your workforce grow this past year? Were you able to secure candidates who were the right fit for your company? Did you encounter any challenges in recruiting top talent?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) most recent jobs report, the labor market has expanded by an average of 167,000 jobs each month in 2019 so far, compared to the average monthly gain of 223,000 jobs in 2018. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has hovered around a 50-year-low between 3.5% and 3.7% for much of this past year. Looking ahead, the BLS expects employment to grow at an annual rate of 0.5% from 2018 to 2028, which is slower than the annual growth rate of 0.8% from a decade prior.

With 2019 coming to an end, we’re looking back at a year’s worth of Monster data, covering everything from the top job searches to the most active times of day for job seekers. In other words, we’re giving you the full run-down of who your job seekers are, what they’re searching for, and how you can best engage with them in 2020.

This data will be crucial as the labor market continues to tighten and finding top talent becomes even more challenging to employers, recruiters, and hiring managers. In delivering on Monster’s commitment to helping job seekers and employers see each other better and find better matches, we’ve compiled our first annual hiring report. Take a look:

Top Job Keywords Searched by Job Seekers

Confidence in the labor market is high from a job seeker’s perspective. In fact, confidence is so high that the labor market is drawing workers off of the sidelines. According to BLS data, workforce participation has been steadily increasing, hitting a five-year high of 62.3% this October. This jibes with findings reported earlier this year in Monster’s State of the Candidate survey, which revealed that one-third of Americans plans to find a new job soon.

With an influx of people searching for work, it’s important for recruiters to stand out and get in front of the right candidates. Similar to search engine optimization (SEO), which is a tactic used to get in front of potential customers online by targeting keywords that rank high in the search engine results pages, recruiters will want to focus on what you might call “job seeker optimization.” By tailoring job titles and job ad descriptions to the top keywords that job seekers are typing into the search bar on Monster, recruiters will have a better chance of getting in front of the right candidates.

Here are the top keywords that job seekers searched for on Monster in 2019:

  1. Administrative assistant
  2. UPS package handler part time entry level warehouse support
  3. Customer service
  4. Receptionist
  5. Part time
  6. Accounting
  7. Human resources
  8. Warehouse
  9. Sales
  10. Manager

Top Industries Searched by Job Seekers

This year, the BLS released projections for the fastest-growing industries, with health care and social assistance (1.6%), private educational services (1.2%), and construction (1.1%) projected to grow the most from 2018-2028.

On Monster, we’re already seeing people looking for jobs within a couple of those industries. Here are the top industries searched for on Monster in 2019:

  1. Biotechnology/pharmaceuticals
  2. Consumer packaged goods manufacturing
  3. Management consulting services
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Business services
  6. Construction – residential and commercial/office
  7. Computer/IT services
  8. Computer hardware
  9. Internet services
  10. Broadcasting, music, and film

On the other hand, though, the BLS also projects that employment in retail trade, wholesale trade, utilities, and manufacturing will decline in the next decade.

Top Locations Searched by Job Seekers

Job seekers are on the move—specifically, to Silicon Valley. While Monster’s resume database shows that the top cities where job seekers are based are in Houston, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio, it appears that many may be looking to relocate.

Here are the top cities where people searched for work in 2019:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Houston, TX
  3. New York, NY
  4. Atlanta, GA
  5. Dallas, TX
  6. Los Angeles, CA
  7. Chicago, IL
  8. Philadelphia, PA
  9. San Antonio, TX
  10. Boston, MA

Top Companies Searched by Job Seekers

Some job seekers just know that they want to work for certain companies. So, rather than searching for a specific job title, they’ll search for that company on Monster.

Here are the top companies that job seekers were most interested in working at in 2019:

  1. UPS
  2. Honeywell
  3. Advantage Solutions
  4. PepsiCo
  5. US Silica
  6. Mercy Health
  7. Johnson Controls
  8. Pfizer
  9. Walgreens
  10. DMAX

To get on this list next year, consider your brand reputation. When people hear about the work your company is doing and the way you treat your employees (and even your customers), they may be more inclined to apply to jobs by directly searching for your company by name on Monster. You can better engage candidates with your brand by creating a free company profile on Monster that includes company reviews, ratings, descriptions, and messaging to help you stand out from your competitors.

The Rise of Mobile Job Search

You can order dinner from the touch of a button on your smartphone. Get a ride downtown with a simple pin drop. Find a date for Friday night with a quick swipe to the right. So, why would today’s digital-first job seeker not also expect to find their next gig in the same fashion?

Job search is increasingly being conducted on-the-go. On Monster, we noticed a significant shift in the number of job seekers and job searches on mobile apps. In 2019, 49% of job searches were conducted on mobile, compared to 51% of job searches on desktops. Compared with 2018, job seekers viewed over 12% more jobs ads via our mobile app. There was also a 24% year-over-year increase in seekers applying to jobs mobilly.

As mobile apps have risen in popularity across many industries in recent years, such as food service and transportation, it only makes sense that talent acquisition would follow suit. This increase can likely be attributed to Monster’s “swipe-to-apply” (think Tinder, but for jobs) and mobile resume features, which makes it easier (and dare we say, more fun) for candidates to apply to jobs.

Reach Talent on Social Media

Along with mobile apps, social media is another way recruiters are connecting with job seekers. On average, Monster data shows that job ads that include social media distribution receive 114% more views than traditional job ads. In addition, we see 71% more candidates apply to these social media job postings, compare to jobs posted with no social media strategy.

For greater visibility, recruiters should consider targeting candidates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As a strong labor market continues to pull more people into the workforce, social recruiting can help you quickly and easily find those “under-the-radar” candidates who may or may not be actively looking for a job, but are a perfect fit for your open position.

When Are Job Seekers Most Active?

 The right moment, the right time. It’s important for recruiters to understand when to connect with prospective candidates. When is the best time of year to find candidates? What day of the week should you post a job ad? Knowing when job seekers are most active can help you attract more candidates to your company and choose from a larger pool of qualified talent. Use the Monster data below to help you strategize your hiring plan of attack in 2020.

Most Popular Month for Job Searches

The start of the new year is the most popular time for job searches, with the most job searches conducted on Monster in January, probably as a result of New Year’s resolutions. That’s not to say candidates aren’t searching throughout the year, but there’s a definite surge in January.

Most Popular Day of the Week for Job Searches

The middle of the week is a popular time for job searching. Monster data shows that the majority of job searches are conducted on Wednesdays, so recruiters may want to schedule job postings accordingly.

Most Active Time of Day for Job Searches

How are your prospective candidates spending their lunch breaks? Searching for jobs on Monster! Our data shows that job seekers are most active during lunch time between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

If you have a job ad you want to get out, our data suggests it’s best to post it by morning, so job seekers can apply during lunch. With jobs top-of-mind during this time, this data also suggests that the 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. window may be the best time to engage with candidates via our SearchMonster candidate engagement tool.

 Find Top Talent in 2020

The data compiled in Monster’s first annual hiring report above will be crucial as you map out your hiring strategy for 2020. Need help driving job growth at your organization? For more than two decades, Monster has been helping businesses large and small connect and hire the very best talent, wherever they are. We can help you advertise with highly targeted job ads to reach the right people and get more qualified responses. In addition, you’ll also get access to our resume database of millions of qualified candidates in virtually every industry and job market. Start connecting with job seekers today.