Careers24's 2017 job market stats show candidates are highly selective about job applications

One of South Africa's leading online recruitment sites, Careers24, has released their review of recruitment and jobseeker statistics for 2017 this week. It showed that the number of vacancies applied for were the same, if not slightly lower than 2016. This could be an indication of the current economy, highlighting that there was little growth in the business sector or, more importantly, that there is uncertainty in the market and jobseekers are being more selective about the companies they want to work for.
In total, over 680,000 searches were made on Careers24 during 2017 compared to a little more than 550,000 in 2016. However, the total amount of applications made went down from more than 650,000 in 2016 to just under 560,000, showing that candidates are thinking carefully about which companies they would like to work for.

Despite the static application numbers, 2017 was still very active for first-time jobseekers who surged into the market with well over 100,000 candidates searching for opportunities.

“We’ve also noticed that the amount of people currently employed and seeking other opportunities outweighed the number of people currently unemployed and actively looking for work,” said Shaun Clarke, Brand Manager of Careers24. Of the 300,000 candidates reviewed, 160,000 were employed while 140,000 were unemployed.

The number of jobs posted in various job sectors in 2017 remained similar or was slightly lower than the number of jobs posted in 2016. This could be an indication of the current economy, showing that the lack of growth in the economy is forcing businesses to only hire new candidates selectively.

The top 10 sectors with the most jobs posted during 2017 were:

SectorMonthly Avg.

The top five sectors for job posts during 2017 are similar to those of 2016, which were as follows:

SectorMonthly Avg.

In 2017, over 500,000 new candidates registered on Careers24 and more than half of these new jobseekers registered on a mobile device. “The trend toward more and more traffic being generated through mobile devices has been long predicted, but 2017 was the first year where we’ve consistently seen general mobile traffic make up as much as 70% of all traffic on Careers24,” said Clarke.

“The last quarter of the year generally sees a decline in activity in the recruitment market. Most people are planning for their holidays and some of the lucky ones are sitting tight, waiting for their bonus cheque. January is a time for new resolutions so we are currently seeing activity increase sharply,” added Clarke.

“We’ve also noticed an increased interest in researching a company thoroughly before applying to work there. On our Company Showcase pages, companies have the opportunity to tell candidates about their corporate culture, graduate programmes and the like,” Clarke said.

In 2016 these Company Showcase pages were viewed 466,000 times. In 2017, this shot up significantly to just under 1.4 million views - a clear indication of candidates wanting to make more informed decisions.

So, when is the best time to look for a new job? According to Careers24’s statistics, most candidates searched for a new job on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, respectively. On one particular Monday in January 2017, more than 28,000 job searches were conducted. Interestingly, the most popular days for job searches changed during the last quarter of 2017, with some of the more popular days being Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Recruiters tend to be a bit more predictable. The most jobs were posted on Mondays in 2016 and 2017. The next best days to look for a new job are Wednesday and Thursday. The most jobs posted in a single day in 2017, was a Thursday in June, totaling just under 7,500 new jobs.

The data is based on usage patterns of both recruiters sourcing candidates and candidates who applied for positions on the platform.

Visit Careers24 at or follow @Careers24Jobs on Twitter and like the Careers24 Facebook page,

16 Jan 2018 12:28