17 essential HR industry stats for recruiters to bookmark and keep

Daniel Paylor
Published on 31st January 2018
3 min read

How many people in your organization have been looking at jobs this January?

January always traditionally heralds a flurry of activity in the jobs market. People come back from the festive break revived and will begin looking in earnest for a new role if they’re not currently happy where they are.

Even those who are content at work are not immune to the ‘new year new start’ mindset, and may look to see what is on offer elsewhere.

Today, we’re in a culture of employee mobility, especially among millennials – meaning the retention of high-performing talent is more vital than ever. With the war for talent still very much in play, organizations need to get ahead of the game and be ready for the January job seekers.

Whether your company has vacancies to fill or not right now, becoming a genuine People Company and an employer of choice will put you in a strong position to attract the top talent. It will also remind your current employees why you’re a great place to work.

If you want some extra inspiration or need a few reasons to convince your co-workers that now is the time to get ahead on the recruitment front, here are 17 recruitment statistics to inspire HR and People leaders to get a front foot on the jobs landscape this year.

Feel free to bookmark, use, save or email to yourself. You never know when they may be handy.

The state of employment in 2019

1. 54% of CEOs plan to increase their headcount in 2018 – up from 52% in 2017. (Source: ‘PWC 21st annual CEO Survey).

2. Employment is projected to increase in the US by 11.5 million over the 2016-26 decade, an increase from 156 million to 168 million. This represents annual growth of 0.7%, up from 0.5% annual growth during the previous decade. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Employment Projections: 2016-26’).

3. The UK reported 1.38 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), between August and October 2018, 20,000 more than for May to July 2018, but 49,000 fewer than for a year earlier. (Source: The Office for National Statistics, ‘UK labour market bulletin: December 2018’).


4. Engagement levels amongst global employees matched all-time highs in 2017, however, 73% of employees are still not considered “highly engaged”. Beneath the net two percentage point increase, approximately 14% of people became engaged and 12% became disengaged during the year. (Source: Aon, ‘2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement’).

5. Analyzing over 234,000 exit interviews revealed the top five reasons employees said they left their jobs: career development (21%), work-life balance (13%), manager behavior (11%), compensation and benefits (9%), and wellbeing (9%). (Source: Work Institute, ‘2018 Employee Retention Report’).

6. 4.2 years – the median number of years that employees have been with their current employer as of January 2018, unchanged from the median in January 2016. Generally, median employee tenure is higher among older workers – ages 55 to 64 had 10.1 years, while ages 25 to 34 had 2.8 years. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Biennial Employee Tenure Summary’).

The importance of great workforce experiences

7. 92% of employees said positive workforce experiences mattered the most to them, closely followed by flexible and remote working (81%), while being valued and recognized came in as the third most important aspect of employment (66%). (Source: Sage People, ‘Why your workforce isn’t working’).

8. 55% of senior management believe their company is a People Company– an organization which truly values their people and put them before everything else for success – whilst only 29% of current employees perceive their employer as a People Company. (Source: Sage People, ‘Becoming a People Company – the way to unlock fast track growth’).

9. Less than 50% of organizations have embraced People Company traits: just 39% say they are focused on designing great workforce experiences for staff, 36% monitor employee engagement regularly, and 37% have seamlessly integrated recruitment and on-boarding experience. (Source: Sage People, ‘Becoming a People Company – the way to unlock fast track growth’).

Upskilling and progressing

10. 74% of 10,000 employees surveyed by PwC are ready to learn a new skill or completely retrain to keep themselves employable. They see it as their personal responsibility – and not employers – to keep their skills updated. (Source: PwC, ‘Workforce of the future: the competing forces shaping 2030’).

11. 43% of millennials and 61 of Gen Zers globally say they plan to leave their companies within two years. Last year also saw a decline in the number of millennials that believe businesses behave ethically (48% vs 65% in 2017), and who felt business leaders are committed to helping improve society (47% vs 62% in 2017). (Source: Deloitte, The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018’).

12. Technology (70%), business services (67%) communications (60%) and hospitality and leisure (59%) are amongst the sectors with the highest demand for new recruits. (Source: PwC, ‘PWC 21st annual CEO Survey).

13. For every 100 men promoted to a managerial position, just 79 women are promoted. If companies continue to hire and promote at this rate, the number of women in management will increase by just 1% point over the next 10 years. But if companies start hiring and promoting women and men at equal rates, we should get close to parity in management – 48% women versus 52% men – over the same ten years. (Source: LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, ‘Women in the Workplace’).

Recruitment trends

14. Water utility firm Anglian Water beat Google, Salesforce and SAP in the Glassdoor rankings of Best Places to Work in the UK for 2019. Google, which headed the UK list for 2018, drops to number 13 this year. (Source: Glassdoor, ‘50 Best Places to Work 2019’).

15. 79% of job seekers use social media in their job search. This figure increases to 86% for younger job seekers who are in the first 10 years of their career. (Source: Recruitics, ‘How job seekers and recruiters use social media for recruitment’).

16. 67% of job seekers use Facebook; 45% use Twitter, 40% use LinkedIn, 31% use Instagram, 25% use Pinterest, and 17% use Snapchat. (Source: Recruitics, ‘How job seekers and recruiters use social media for recruitment’).

17. Top trends shaping the future of hiring and recruitment in 2019 include recruitment marketing, inbound hiring, employer branding, candidate experience and talent pools. (Source: TalentLyft, ‘15 New Recruiting Trends You Should Implement in 2019’).

Want to get ahead in the war for talent and attract the best in today’s competitive job market? Download our research report from 500+ HR and People leaders to get their top tips.


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