iCIMS Insights: Full-time jobs in retail sector are in high demand

Employer and candidate activity remained strong in March, with slight upticks in applications and openings, and the slow and steady growth indicates signs of optimism on both sides of the hiring coin, according to the iCIMS Insights April 2024 Workforce Report, released Thursday.

The new report also provides a look into the retail sector. Based on data from thousands of organizations that receive more than 200 million applications and hire more than 5.5 million people annually, the iCIMS Insights program helps business and HR leaders better understand workforce trends to drive competitive advantage.

Key insights on the talent market:

  • Following the ups and downs of last year’s candidate and employer activity — swinging from extreme highs to extreme lows — March behavior was relatively even keeled;
  • Applications (up 3%) and job openings (up 2%) came in slightly above January 2023 levels, while hires sank 7% below;
  • Applications per opening across industries continued to climb over the last 12 months, landing at an overall APO of 30, a jump from 24 at this time last year. Tech-related jobs continue to be in demand, with APO up 45% year over year. Manufacturing saw a solid 31% growth in APO and healthcare had a 26% bump.

Meanwhile, key insights in the retail sector include:

  • Job openings in retail remained flat for the second month in a row, but are 12% below January 2023 levels. However, retail employers aren’t hesitating to hire — hires jumped 10% from last month;
  • Full-time jobs in retail are in demand. APO for those roles spiked to 39, a 50% jump year over year in March. Part-time jobs in retail are receiving only 20 applications per opening, on average;
  • Retail employers are seeing more candidates for open roles in the West (39) and Northeast (34), compared with the South (28) and Midwest (20);
  • Transportation roles in retail are hot, with a 45% jump in applications in one year.

The iCIMS data also showed that sales roles in retail are not so hot right now, as there are fewer applications than this time last year.

“The labor market seems to have found its groove this year, with smaller changes in the peaks and valleys of hiring, job openings and applications,” Rhea Moss, global head of workforce and customer insights at iCIMS, said. “Still, talent acquisition teams need very different hiring strategies to fill open roles across the business and around the globe. Our analysis of iCIMS data gives employers the insights they need to make smarter hiring decisions and achieve better outcomes for their businesses.”