Breaking: Job Openings Climb to an All-Time High

By Clea Badion February 12, 2019 at 9:00am

Job openings reached 7.3 million in December. That’s the highest level since the government started keeping track in 2000. 

Here is a summary of key data from the just-released Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Job openings: 7.3 million
  • People hired: 5.9 million
  • People who left their jobs (total): 5.5 million
  • People who left their jobs (voluntarily quit): 3.5 million
  • People who left their jobs (layoff or involuntary reason): 1.7 million
  • People who left their jobs (retirement or other reason): 366,000 

The high rate of people voluntarily leaving their jobs means many workers are confident in their career prospects. And they have reason to feel that way. There remains less than one available candidate per open job in the U.S. right now! As such, hiring managers need to do everything they possibly can to compete for top talent. 

How to make your job listing stand out        

With millions of open jobs and intense competition for the best candidates, creating a strong job description is essential. Here are some tips to help your openings attract attention:

  • Give a specific job title. You want to be very clear about what the job is, whether it’s a financial analyst or web developer position. Using more creative titles like computer ninja can be confusing to candidates. 
  • Convey enthusiasm. If you’re bored writing the description, applicants will be bored reading it – and they likely won’t be eager to apply for the job. Make the job description as compelling as possible while still being accurate. 
  • List qualifications. Include specifics about the education level, knowledge, skills, work experience and training required for the job. Avoid adding qualifications that you’d like applicants to have but that aren’t necessary to do the job. If you’ll accept on-the-job experience in lieu of formal education for some job requirements, mention that. 
  • Highlight your competitive compensation. Not every employer lists a salary range in a job description. No matter what you do, research salaries in your market to make sure you’re meeting – or beating – market rates when you do discuss salary. If you don’t give a salary range in the job description, be sure to mention that you’re offering a competitive salary and highlight the benefits and perks that go along with the job. 

Finally, make sure you’re honest in your job description. Be accurate about the job duties, hours and pace of work. Even if you need to fill a role yesterday, you don’t want to make a hiring mistake that will cost you more time and money in the long run. 

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