TheLadders Proves Diversification Leads to More Candidates

Posted by Jessica Morales

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October 15, 2013

There might be a government shutdown going on right now but that has not prevented the Wall Street Journal to report on what would have been the unemployment rate. Averaging 7.3 percent in the United States, this rate can range from three percent in Bismarck, ND to 30 percent in Yuma, AZ. These reports are almost always focused on job seekers going through the perilous job-search process. The story that’s overlooked, however, is the talent acquisition side of the statistics. While low unemployment rates are great for the economy, the outlook for recruiters in Bismarck might not be as thrilling.

TheLadders' recent analysis, also featured in Business Insider, urges job seekers to consider relocating to a nearby area or to stay put and make a functional transition to increase their chances of landing a job. But what is the flip side of this story? Certainly this data pulled from more than 6 million job seekers on the site can be used to help recruiters creatively find talent for open positions.

Let’s begin by examining the following map, depicting the ratio of job seekers to jobs across the U.S. Green denotes areas with fewer job seekers competing for a higher number of jobs (tough odds for recruiters), and red denotes areas with higher concentrations of job seekers competing for fewer jobs.


FloridaMapLooking closely at a few locations, we can see that certain areas, such as Southern Florida, parts of Tennessee and Michigan, have higher numbers of job seekers per open position. These areas can be thought of as “employers’ markets,” where recruiters may receive an overwhelming number of applications for each position posted. Looking 200-300 miles north of the southern Florida/Miami area, it’s clear that employers in cities like Orlando and Daytona Beach do not have the luxury of a strong flow of candidates. Talent acquisition experts in these areas may want to consider searching for professionals in the Miami area and seeing if relocation is an option for qualified candidates.

In a perfect world, candidates would not only be open to relocation for recruiters’ positions, but they would ask to fund the necessary move themselves. What a world! As recruiters, you know this is rarely the case, making the previous hiring option difficult. Fortunately, there are other means for sourcing professionals creatively.

Employers in markets with fewer job seekers per open job (your Orlandos and Daytona Beaches) will be relieved to know that candidates requiring relocation are not the only option. TheLadders examined historical data from more than 60,000 recruiters on the site, exploring how often recruiters listed different job disciplines that were highly relevant to a position. The findings were that there are many “functional adjacencies” – positions where the professional’s skills are highly transferrable from one to the other.

Some examples of industries you could consider sourcing candidates from (according to recruiter data) include:

  • Sales to healthcare: Hiring B2B sales professionals for pharmaceutical sales roles
  • Education to healthcare: Hiring educational research professionals for biotech research & development roles
  • Marketing to technology: Hiring product marketing professionals for product management roles

The chart below shows the saturation of job seekers within different functions in our top hiring markets. Each market has functions with high concentrations of job seekers (shown in red) and functions with low concentrations (green). For example, if you’re hiring for healthcare professionals in Miami, you will have a limited number of candidates to choose from. Sales, however, has a high number of job seekers in the area, demonstrating a market where the first bullet above (B2B sales professionals for pharma sales) is recommended. This chart provides a guideline for where you might find the most candidates willing to make a functional change.


The next time you’re having difficulty finding the perfect professional for an open position, consider widening your search perimeters. By leveraging TheLadders’ data and keeping an open mind about transferring locations and skills, you could find quality candidates you never knew existed.

Shankar Mishra is the Vice President of Data Science and Analytics at TheLadders. When he is not working to find a simpler solution to difficult problems, he is brainstorming ways to leverage available data to tell a good story. Some of this brainstorming may very well take place on a golf course with three strangers in his foursome.