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The UK’s 6 most competitive industries for job seekers

May 14, 2019 3:36 pm by
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Our talent acquisition software is used worldwide and last year processed almost 6.5 million job applications. We’ve analysed the data produced by our award-winning applicant tracking system (ATS) to explore the challenges faced by employers and job seekers, and highlight the most competitive industries.

Jobs in demand

With clients including the BBC, KFC, Church of England and Sodexo using TribePad ATS to recruit at scale, we are in a unique position to gather telling insights into what’s happening in the current job market.

What we saw emerge in 2018 was a tough environment on both sides of the recruitment coin.  

Dean Sadler, CEO at TribePad said: “New applicants face large competition before they’ve even reached the interview process, while employers can be overwhelmed by the high number of applications for each role.”

“This therefore makes it difficult for employers to identify the best talent, at the speed required, so they’ll often settle for good-enough, rather than the best, which can have knock-on effects to a businesses performance.”

Our data certainly seems to show that conditions are challenging and that some industries are seeing a mismatch in the demand and supply of quality candidates.

Most competitive industries

Though our analysis showed strong competition across the board, we found some industries were more competitive than others in 2018.

Our top four all saw 50+ applications on average per job, with Logistics, the most competitive industry of all, receiving a huge 79 applications for every role posted. In total, 167,463 job listings were processes by our ATS, with an average of 39 applications for every job listed.

Here is the list of most competitive industries according to our data:

  1. Logistics – 79 applications on average
  2. Hospitality – 67 applications on average
  3. Tech, telecoms and media – 53 applications on average
  4. Automotive – 50 applications on average
  5. Legal – 38 applications on average
  6. Retail – 38 applications on average

In practical terms, having to manage and respond to that number of applications can be a drain on a company’s time and resources. Using a quality ATS can help reduce that churn significantly through filtering features like ‘killer questions’ and high-level insights and reporting. For candidates, it’s a case of making sure that they respond to the competition and find ways to make their application stand out.

Overwhelmed by applications

When we went over our data in 2018, we saw that some of the most popular jobs led to recruiters being completely overwhelmed by the number of applications they received.

For example, a journalism trainee scheme received 8,955 applications, while a Christmas retail associate role received 3,935 applications. We also found a business development manager role at a logistics company that 1,282 applicants applied for, as well as service role in a hospitality company that received 1,211 applications.

Dean Sadler has some thoughts on how employers can prevent the problem of being overwhelmed:

“Employers have to ensure they have recruitment solutions that can cope, that can utilise technology to help manage and vet applications during busy periods, at scale. Because in a competitive business environment, it’s important you have the best staff for the job.”

Building a large team that’s full of fantastic people is difficult when dealing with so many applications, but it can be done. We’ve seen companies embrace new technology and transform their recruitment processes for the better.

Give TribePad ATS a try

We designed our ATS for companies who need to work at scale. It integrates with all the popular recruitment software you’re already using and can give you an advantage when you’re working in a competitive market.

Give us a call on +44(0)114 3122 110 and one of our friendly, knowledgeable team will be more than happy to answer your questions and get you started.

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