When Do Most People Look For A New Job?

At this time of year, we often pour over statistics for the first half of the year. Tools like Google Analytics have are now well established and provide a valuable, long-term view of performance.

We thought we’d share some comparisons in the behavior of job seekers today and back in 2007.

When do people job hunt?

Back in 2007 the convention had been established that people tended to look for work at the start of the week. This was always counter-intuitive to people new to the recruitment industry who presumed people would want to look for work online in the free time over the weekend. On the contrary, it seemed that people would come into work on a Monday or Tuesday, remember all the things they disliked about their work, see the respite of the weekend in the far distance and therefore be motivated to find a new role. As you can see in the graph below from 2007, Tuesday and Monday are the most popular times for people to visit our website and view vacancies.

Fast forward ten years and the statistics are remarkably similar. The shape of these graphs is almost identical with a small increase in popularity for Wednesdays on our site.

The other misconception I still see from those outside our industry is that people will job seek and apply for roles in their own time. In fact, back in 2007 the reverse was true. As you can see from the chart below, peak time for job seeking was in the period between mid morning and mid afternoon, and rather than peaking at lunchtime (personal time), activity actually drops off, presumably as people focus on eating and socialising.

There is a very strong similarity in behavior ten years later. We have seen a small rise in activity later in the day, perhaps due to the rise in mobile devices like tablets (offering users a casual way to browse) and the switch from chronological to relevance based job listings which has reduced the need for recruiters to all post at the same time.

So the answer to the question? Mid-morning on a Tuesday seems to be the most popular time for people to take action. And despite the rise of mobile devices, the emergence of apps and aggregators and the change in the state of the economy, it seems like people are still most motivated to find their next role while they are undertaking (and suffering) in their current one!