New Report on Recruitment Data: Another Difficult Year for Hiring but Reduced Recruiting Costs Offer Some Relief

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Appcast unveils its 2023 “Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report,” revealing research and critical insights to improve recruiting performance in today’s challenging labor market

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Appcast, the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services, today unveiled the findings of its seventh annual “Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report.” The report examines 2022 job ad data from nearly 1,200 employers in the U.S. The report findings are based on an analysis of over 255 million job ad clicks and 12 million applies.

A Few Silver Linings Amid a Tumultuous Labor Market
The report includes a macroeconomic analysis of the labor market and key recruitment metrics, and shows that while recruiting remains difficult, acquiring new applications and candidates was more cost-effective in 2022. Several positive outcomes outlined by Appcast include:

  • In 2022, motivated by higher wages, increased benefits and remote work opportunities, the labor force expanded by 2.5 million workers.
  • Cost-per-application (CPA), an important recruiting benchmark, declined in 2022. In December 2022, employers paid $25.14 per application, down nearly 22% from the same period in the previous year.
  • The average cost-per-click (CPC) for a job ad ended its skyrocketing trajectory and leveled off in 2022. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the median CPC averaged $1.07, compared to $1.10 in the same period in 2021.

Candidate Drop-off Has Decreased
In the report, one of the key metrics Appcast analyzes, through various lenses, is apply rates. Apply rate is the number of people who actually complete a job application after having clicked on a job, represented as a percentage. Its inverse is the candidate drop-off rate. Overall, the median apply rate increased to 4.34%, from 4.05% the previous year, which – while welcome news – means that almost 96 % (95.66%) still do not finish their online job applications. This metric varies by job function and geography but can also be influenced by the actions of the employer and the candidate experience they provide during the early stages of the recruiting process.

Rising Above Recruiting Challenges
The 2023 Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report also offers insightful strategies, based on Appcast’s wealth of recruitment data, to stay ahead in the labor market, such as:

  • Catch the eye of more potential candidates with short job titles and concise job descriptions.
  • It pays to be transparent: job ads without pay information in the job title cost employers on average $2.30 cost-per-click (CPC), while job ads that included pay information in the job title resulted in a lower CPC, just $1.49.
  • Pay attention to the device habits of your job seeking audience and – especially for job functions with the heaviest volumes of mobile applications – develop a mobile application process that is just as efficient and friction-free as it would be on a desktop computer.
  • Timing is everything: Tuesday and Wednesday are the new frontrunners for the highest volume of job applications. In the past, this was Monday.

Appcast’s full report takes an in-depth look at recruiting best practices and provides additional insight on optimizing job ad performance by factors that include timing, geography, specific industry, job ad content and more. The report also includes cost-per-hire (CPH) data across a variety of sources and key job functions. A key metric for assessing recruitment advertising performance, CPH data empowers organizations to optimize recruitment marketing efforts to get more qualified candidates faster and cost effectively. The CPH data analyzed by Appcast revealed that no single candidate source performed best for open positions across all industries, which emphasizes the need for employers to diversify recruitment marketing sources to achieve hiring outcomes in the most efficient and effective manner.

“There are glimmers of hope, especially when looking at decreased recruiting costs, but 2023 will be another year of uphill struggles for recruiters working to attract and retain employees in this highly-competitive labor market,” said Heather Salerno, chief marketing officer at Appcast. “While recruiting professionals may feel discouraged, it is our aim that they will be empowered by our data and insights and better equipped to build a recruiting strategy that is tailored to the challenges of the current hiring landscape.”

To download the 2023 “Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report,” click here.

Appcast analyzed pay-for-performance recruitment ads across every major job function. Duration-based postings and slots were not included. Only recruitment ads purchased on a performance basis – cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-application (CPA) – were factored into this study. Mobile data includes iPads and other tablets. All data in the report is sourced from Appcast’s proprietary database and analyzed by its team of data experts.

About Appcast
Appcast is the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services. With advanced technology, unmatched market data and a team of the industry’s best recruitment marketers, Appcast’s technology and services manage job advertising annually on behalf of more than 1,500 clients. Headquartered in Lebanon, N.H. with offices in Boston, Mass. and New Brunswick, Canada, Appcast is a subsidiary of StepStone, a leading digital recruitment platform that connects companies with the right talent and helps people find the right job. To learn more, visit and follow on Twitter @appcast_io.

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Elizabeth Buccianti
Gabriel Marketing Group (for Appcast)
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