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Recruiting costs increased sharply in 2021, according to a new report released by Appcast. The 2022 Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report showed a 43% increase in the median cost per application (CPA) and a 54% increase in cost per click (CPC) since Q4 2020.

The report, which analyzed 2021 job ad data from almost 1,200 employers in the U.S., found that the increase in costs is largely due to a disparity between the number of job openings and the labor supply. At the end of 2021, job openings outnumbered unemployed persons by 3.8 million, the largest difference in 20 years.

The cost of placing online job ads has also soared. Prior to COVID-19, this cost declined steadily, but since the start of the pandemic it has risen 14%.

Other results suggest that companies can employ a few key tactics to make the most of their recruiting budgets, including rethinking how and when their job postings are being shared. Appcast found that job seekers are increasingly searching for new positions on their mobile devices, with more than two-thirds of clicks (68%) and applications (67%) coming via mobile. As for timing, the traditional workweek remains the most popular time for jobseekers to apply for positions — application numbers peak on Monday (18%) and then taper off through Saturday before starting to rise again on Sunday.

The survey also found that less is more when it comes to job titles — ads with titles between one and three words had the highest average volume of clicks (average of 6.81 clicks per job). Including “remote work” or “work from home” correlated with a 12% increase in the apply rate and a 13% decrease in the cost per applicant. Job ads that listed one or more benefit also have higher apply rates, with the “sweet spot” being three benefits.