Standing out in a sea of applicants could be made simpler with data science to light the way.
A recent survey from SmartRecruiters, a hiring platform used by General Mills, AOL, and NAPA Auto Parts, among others, examined data gathered from more than 270,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada that reveals the best times to apply for a job and get hired.
Turns out that Tuesday scores big on three fronts:
- Most jobs are posted on Tuesdays (followed closely by Monday and Wednesday)
- Most people apply for jobs on Tuesdays (18.41% beating out Monday and Wednesday)
- Most hires are made on Tuesdays and Thursdays (21.39% vs. 20% on Thursday)
SmartRecruiters CEO and founder Jerome Ternynck speculates that Mondays can be difficult for hiring managers because they’re trying to get caught up after the weekend. “It’s a busy day that tends to get away from people before they have a chance to extend offers,” he says. By Tuesday they can focus on extending job offers.
“As far as Thursdays go,” Ternynck posits, “I find that employers are eager to make offers before the weekend starts, and people are thinking more about weekend plans.” Additionally, a Thursday offer gives a candidate a weekend away from their job or other activities to properly evaluate the offer and make an informed decision, he adds.
SmartRecruiters found that the best time to look for new job postings is late morning and during the afternoon slump. The biggest concentration of job postings appeared at 11 a.m., and the second most popular time by a fraction is 4 p.m.
Ternynck believes the reasoning is similar to what is behind the most popular hiring days. By 11 a.m. most hiring managers are caught up and can post jobs, yet they can still catch the group of candidates that might be searching during their lunch break. “Similarly, by 4 p.m. they can focus on postings and are trying to make sure they get listings posted in time for potential candidates to see at the top of the list when they get home and are online looking for jobs,” he says.
Of course, timing is important and it varies by industry. According to the survey, across five different industries, less than a quarter of candidates submit their application on the first day of posting, but nearly 60% apply within the first week.
How quickly applicants pushed their resume to a potential employer breaks down this way:
- Service Industry: 28.39% applied on the first day the job was posted.
- Education: 16.71% applied on the first day the job was posted.
- Medical and Health Care: 17.69% applied on the first day the job was posted.
- Staffing and HR: 26.11% applied on the first day the job was posted.
- High Tech: 23.59% applied on the first day the job was posted.
Ternynck recommends that applicants do research ahead of time. Research the company, not just that specific job, he adds, by looking at what potential connections you have to the business, Ternynck advises. LinkedIn and other sites can help you be prepared to know what to ask your network for, he says. Connections can be leveraged to gain insight into the company, the culture, specific leaders that you’ll potentially work with, and more importantly, to be your evangelist. “As opportunities open up, you can not only know exactly what you want, but you can also utilize your network to advance yourself,” he suggests.
The bottom line, according to Jason Buss, SmartRecruiters recruiting innovation officer, is this: “Candidates actively searching for job opportunities and applying for jobs when they first open will have a greater chance of getting noticed and getting in on the first wave of interviews.”