A job search can seem to take forever. The pandemic has definitely changed the job search landscape over the past few years. Here is what you need to know about how long the typical hiring process is lasting in 2022 and some steps to make it faster.

The Stats

To understand how long your search will take, it is important to first understand the basic stats. The trends right now are shifting so quickly that some of the traditional data isn't giving the total picture. However, the data is still helpful to give an indication of what is to come. Here are some important numbers to know:

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the average job search was five months in 2019. Discounting the height of the pandemic, the numbers appear to be shifting back to this "normal."
  • 1.5 Million more Americans retired than expected in 2021. Employment has actually declined in 2021 for workers who were 55 or older at the start of the pandemic.  
  • 2M additional workers ages 16 - 24 at the start of the pandemic have entered the workforce according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • 47 million people voluntarily left their jobs in 2021. The stats are showing that the Great Resignation continued strong through 2021.
  • 4 interviews. That's the minimum number of interviews that most companies are reporting in the hiring process. It can be shorter or longer, but for the most part, this is still the average minimum. This process typically includes a phone screen with a recruiter, a hiring manager phone screen, a longer video interview with the hiring manager, and a colleague or senior leader interview.

Factors to Consider

Every job search is different and no one has a crystal ball to definitely tell you how long your job search will be. And, for some, looking for a new job can be its own full-time job. There are many other factors that can come into play when determining how long your job search may be. Factors that can impact the length of a job search include:

  • Education. Many companies and jobs require a certain level of education to consider candidates for their positions. This is ingrained in their culture and it can be expected at every level of their operations. So, if you fall below the education expectations for your desired career or company, then your job search will take longer.
  • Experience. The level of experience can be a factor in someone's job search. It could be that you are under or way overqualified for the desired job/company. This disparity in experience can impact the length of your job search.
  • Compensation Requirements. Money matters. The more you make, the longer your job search can be. And, if you are already making at the top of your industry, it can be hard to find equivalent compensation. This can result in the job search taking longer than expected.
  • Industry. Making an industry shift out of a declining area can also create its own challenges as many of your colleagues will be trying to do the same. The same is true if you are trying to stay in that industry as there are likely fewer jobs. Thus, the industry of interest and how it is faring economically can also impact the length of your job search.

There are also a number of ways that you can speed up your job search. Here are the strategies that are proven to reduce the time it will take for you to look for a new job:

Network

Building and leveraging your professional network is essential to your job search. Having a strong network will make it easier for you to get the guidance and introductions that you need to land in the new job. In fact, 88% of employers rate employee referrals as the top source for generating quality candidates.  And, this typically cuts the time for employers to fill the job by 25%. And, the number of employers filling jobs through job postings rather than a referral program or other source has been reduced in half in the past four years. So, the value of your network matters more than ever.

Improve Your Resume

Everyone has to submit their resume at some point in the job search process. This is true if you are applying online or through an employee/network referral. Going through the HR process means that your resume will go through the applicant tracking systems (ATS). On average, over 70% of candidates are automatically rejected as unqualified for the job they apply to by the ATS.

Why? Because the ATS are all driven by keywords and these programs are scanning the resumes for keywords. They also have limited ability to read and interpret documents with heavy formatting or graphics. So, the only way to get through these resume bots to be seen by a real person is to build an ATS optimized resume. If you need help building a polished, ATS-compliant resume, our professional resume writers may be just the right solution.

Apply to Jobs (a Lot)

Employers report that about 11% of jobs are still filled by finding candidates through job boards. This means that the job board isn't the only place where people find jobs, but it is still a place. And, with so many people looking for jobs right now, the current talent market is still pretty competitive. So, not only will you need to apply to jobs, but you will need to apply to more jobs than most people think. So, put yourself out there and start applying!

If you are looking to make a change faster, consider a keyword strategy rather than a pure job title approach to your job search. This will enable you to cast a wider net in your search. It will also enable you to better understand what types of jobs are out there right now that could be a good fit. Need help building a keyword strategy? Schedule a free consultation with our career coaches.  

Expand Your Geography

The huge shift to remote and hybrid work arrangements has made it easier for employers to hire candidates in new markets. Use this shift to your advantage to find a broader range of companies and positions to apply to in your current search. Looking at companies beyond those right in your town is key to finding the right types of jobs for yourself and will enable you to reduce the time it takes to find a new job.

Some of these remote or hybrid jobs will require travel or living in a particular state/time zone. Make sure to read the job descriptions carefully to ensure that you match these requirements. If you meet those requirements, make sure to include that information on your resume and cover letter to get through the ATS filters

Strengthen Your Online Brand

Employers are looking at your LinkedIn and other social media profiles in the hiring process. This is true even if you aren't applying to the job through social media. And, recruiters are using their technology to find candidates for their jobs or to validate people for the role.

To maximize your visibility, make sure that you have a strong, professional online presence. This is key to showing up as qualified for jobs. Committing to a strong online presence will also enable you to find more jobs and connections. So, take the time to invest in building a complete, polished online presence. Need help making the most of your online profile? Our professional profile writers can help you optimize your profile for your job search.

Be Creative

The best way to speed up your job search is to be open-minded. Put yourself out there as much as you can without jeopardizing any current job. You never know what will come from each effort that you make in the process, but you have to take action to make your job search happen. Being casual in your search is great, if you aren't in a hurry. But, if you want to see what is out there, you will need to commit the time to your search to make it happen. 2022 is already showing a lot of movement in the job market. Take advantage of the opportunity and start exploring the options.

To do this effectively, commit to a set amount of time that you can spend on your job search each day. This could be 10 minutes or multiple hours. Whatever it is, make sure that you stick with it. And, have a strategy in how you will use that time so that you can make the most of it. Need help building the best strategy for your job search? Schedule a free consultation with our career coaches that have helped unstick countless job seekers in the pandemic.

Ask for Help

Finally, make sure to ask for help in your job search. This could be as simple as asking someone in your network for the employee referral link or an introduction.  You could also decide to work with recruiters and staffing firms. These organizations are working on filling jobs for their employer clients, but they can be a great resource for candidates when you have the right background for their open jobs. And, every recruiting and staffing firm works with different employer clients. So, make sure to cast a wide net when working with recruiting and staffing firms.

Whatever help you may need, make sure to ask for it. There is no reason to be stuck spending months without a response to your applications. In that case, it could be your resume or your strategy in your job search or a combination of things. So, take the time to reach out for some help and make the most of your efforts to land somewhere new today.


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