Upon looking at the clients that I monitor through our blogging and social media program, I saw a pretty significant trend in a decrease in website traffic during the second half of 2015, and especially in the final months of the calendar year. After that analysis, I wanted to do some more research to see if that trend was present across all of our clients. It turns out that it was taking place across the board. 

So why is it happening? There are two main reasons for this decrease in traffic. I’ll dive into each of them and also provide some ideas for taking advantage of the expected first-quarter bump.

Staffing Website Traffic Naturally Drops in the Fourth Quarter

Different industries have unique trends for when they see bumps and dips in their website traffic. For example, the retail industry sees a huge increase in website traffic during the final weeks of the calendar year, due to holiday shopping, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday, etc. 

However in the staffing industry, website traffic will decrease in the fourth quarter – especially in November and even more in December. Why?

Fewer people are looking for jobs at the end of the year and fewer companies are hiring in those final months. I’m guessing you have seen it recently in your job orders and applications received, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that fewer people have been going to your staffing website.

In 2014, fourth quarter website traffic was down 10.2 percent compared to the third quarter.
In 2015, fourth quarter website traffic was down 15.9 percent compared to the third quarter.

In both years, we saw a pretty big drop from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, but why did it drop more in 2015?

Decrease in Job Candidates Overall

The second reason for the drop in website traffic to end 2015 is a product of the job environment we are experiencing. Fewer qualified job candidates are looking for jobs (I don’t need to tell you that!) 

Simply put, there are just fewer people actively going to job websites and staffing websites looking for a new job. Granted, there will always be passive job candidates, but more traffic comes from active job candidates.

In 2014, website traffic dropped 15.6 percent when comparing December to June.
In 2015, website traffic dropped 26.1 percent when comparing December to June.

Let’s take it a step further and compare 2014 and 2015:

Quarter 1: Up 8.1 percent in 2015 Q1 vs. 2014 Q1
Quarter 2: Down 9.5 percent in 2015 Q2 vs. 2014 Q2

Quarter 3: Down 18.7 percent in 2015 Q3 vs. 2014 Q3
Quarter 4: Down 23.1 percent in 2015 Q4 vs. 2014 Q4

How Do I Get My Website Traffic Back?

Everyone should see a natural bump in the start of 2016 (comparing January 2015 to December 2014, traffic increased 37.7 percent). People met with their family and friends during the holidays. Someone talked them into being unhappy with their job, and now they want to search for a new job.

That comes with New Year’s resolutions as people see the start of the year as a natural time to try something new and looking for a new job is one of those areas that sees renewed emphasis.

If you want to be proactive, take advantage of this renewed emphasis and market your company to the candidates looking for jobs. Align your business goals and marketing goals to come up with the right plan for your staffing company.

It could come in the short term through online advertising, PPC or remarketing. It can come in the longer term through a comprehensive content marketing plan of blogging, e-mail newsletters and social media marketing. It may even be with a new website that screams user engagement.

Only relying on job candidates to find you may work, but looking at the website traffic from the final months of 2015, I’m guessing that wasn’t highly successful. We’re working on some products here at the Haley Marketing Group to help with those challenges for staffing companies and those should be available real soon.

Think about what your staffing firm can do to find its target audience. Don’t sit back and wait for the job candidates to find you. After the first few weeks of 2016, they won’t stick to their resolutions. Remember how packed the treadmills at the gym are now and how empty they’ll be by February.

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