ZipRecruiter has launched a new feature to manage a problem not seen since the pre-pandemic: too many jobs, and too few candidates.

In recent weeks, the company has seen a growing number of recruiters miss out on promising candidates due to competition, the company says. 

Now, when employers are browsing applicants on ZipRecruiter, an “Act Fast!” label notifies them if candidates are being actively recruited by other employers. The label indicates that the candidate has received a signal of intent from multiple other employers in recent days, and that they’d better reach out immediately or lose their chance.

The tool, announced on Tuesday, comes out as a surfeit of job postings have appeared on the U.S. market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added 233,000 jobs in January, 468,000 in February, and 916,000 in March. Over the summer, the pace of hiring could accelerate even further if vaccination rates keep up and the economy reopens more fully.

Meanwhile, job seekers are holding back for myriad reasons, including continued lack of full-time, in-person school instruction; the dearth of working-age people who are fully vaccinated and the crisis of confidence brought on by long-term unemployment.  

Job search activity has fallen on Google and other websites, and employers are coming to us because they are receiving smaller numbers of applications than usual from all the places where they source talent (job boards, staffing agencies, associations, etc.),” ZipRecruiter labor economist Julia Pollak told the AIM Group. “Job search sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter are running nationwide advertising campaigns to attract more job seekers and satisfy growing demand for candidates among employers.”

Pollak showed some graphs that illustrate the recent flip-flop of the labor market, which she believes is temporary.

Job-seeking activity this year, as measured by Google search, is closely tracking the pandemic funk of last year even as the number of job listings has much improved.

This has three main causes, Pollak believes.

First, older Americans have been prioritized in vaccinations, with relatively few working-age people having received both shots (dark green means two shots, light green one shot).

Second, although more and more schools are reopening, nearly half remain fully or partly online. That leaves huge numbers of working parents to sort-out daycare on their own.

Third, Pollak explained, as jobless workers’ unemployment durations rise, many are losing confidence even as their prospects are now improving. It can take time for job seekers to perceive improvements in labor market conditions.

As workers get vaccinated, schools fully reopen, and demand for goods and services spur employers to recruit more aggressively, these three factors will recede, Pollak predicted. “People will start to perceive labor market opportunities as more attractive relative to keeping safe at home and relying on expanded, extended unemployment benefits.”

In the meantime, ZipRecruiter will remind employers to “act fast” to snap up the few workers on the market.

 

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