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Quality returns to jobs market as applicants get selective

The economic downturn across Scotland was characterised by rising unemployment followed by sharp rises in the number of applications received by employers for every vacant post.

However, the latest research carried out by s1jobs shows the number of applicants per role in the Charities sector is returning to the levels seen before the recession.

In tandem with the return to more manageable application levels, job seekers are being more selective and only applying for the roles that match their skill sets.

This is welcome news to employers who commonly had to face sifting through large volumes of applicants – with a large majority unsuitable – for each vacant position.

It also comes as latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (for February to April 2014 quarter) showed unemployment in Scotland fell by 7000 – underlining the need for employers to ensure they are putting in place smart measures to secure the best candidates.

s1jobs, which carried out the research for the first time, studied the average number of applications per vacancy each month.  

s1jobs is Scotland’s No 1 recruitment platform, attracting more than 600,000 users every month and is used by more than 2,000 companies, including Scotland’s top five Plcs.

Gavin Mochan, Head of Sales at s1jobs, says this is not only good news for the economy, but also hugely beneficial to applicants and employers - who have both faced their own challenges in recent years.

He said, “This is another strong, positive indicator of the continued resurgence of the Scottish economy.

“The financial crises and the recession inevitably led to higher unemployment, which in turn resulted in a huge increase in the number of people looking for work.

“For applicants this meant they could be competing with dozens of other candidates, while the recruiting companies found themselves inundated and the whole process took so much longer.

“Our figures suggest that although the average number of applicants is still high, the number has returned to more manageable levels, which we believe is great news for all concerned.

“We still have the same amount of traffic coming to the site, but there’s been a very definite change in the market with people being more selective on what they apply for, which in turn means employers will receive a better quality of candidate who is more suited to the role.

“That in turn means that the job market is showing signs of reverting back to being candidate-driven, meaning that companies will have to work harder for quality applicants and should be investing in their employer brand and candidate attraction strategies.”

Mochan added, “It’s clearly still a tough marketplace for applicants at the moment, but these figures suggest some very optimistic signs for the future and in more specific and higher skilled sectors there are some very good opportunities for those with the right skill set.

“It also shows the value of jobseekers using all available means, such as downloading CVs or using tablets and mobile devices, to keep plugged into the jobs market.”

Last month the company announced a strategic partnership with QA Apprenticeships to advertise approximately 150 apprentice roles on the s1jobs.com website between June-September – the first time high volumes of apprentice positions have been posted.

s1 also operates websites in the property (s1homes), entertainment listings (s1play) and automotive (s1cars) markets.   

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