Madgex Benchmarking Report

Tell me if this conversation sounds familiar: “Our job board is not flexible. Our brand is not being represented and our target job seekers are not being reached. We lack usability, our conversion rates are subpar, I can’t track anything of value. I can’t even share a great article to potential applicants.”

Don’t worry I wasn’t eavesdropping on your last call, I just happen to know the space a bit more than the average joe, maybe too much. Anyhow, one of our partners recently released their 2017 Job Board Industry Benchmarking report, which if I am being honest is one of the most impactful reports this year and one of the first-ever purely data driven job board industry bench-marking reports.

The report contains information beneficial to two parties: job board owners and recruiters. The total data set looked at over 220 million job views (of 23 million+ jobs posted) and over 2 billion — yes, billion — job alert emails sent.

With such a sizeable dataset, you can use the averages and benchmarks to begin confidently assessing your own performance as a job board manager. Do any of your numbers need to drastically change in the next 12 months? You can use this report to compare key metrics to the rest of the industry and understand how your job board is performing in relation to the competition.

Recruiters should pay attention to where applicants are coming from and the  important behavioural signs they are displaying,  such as the increasing multi-screen approach – identify in one location, apply in another – that is becoming more and more common. The report will also help you understand the metrics that make up a top performing job board. This knowledge will only help you choose a job board that is most likely to bring you the best source of candidates.


First, a note on conversions: this report focuses on conversion numbers because traffic volume and number of views can vary significantly depending on the type of job board – from large-scale generalist job boards with millions of sessions a month, to niche sites focused on providing jobs for a very defined, and relatively small, audience. It’s important to understand the differences between the two types of job board – especially for recruiters – as they can deliver very different types of candidate.

Comparing total unique users or total job views is less helpful than examining the conversion statistics to see how job boards are turning those visitors into candidates and delivering results for their advertisers. Those conversion averages are the key metrics against which we can judge performance across the job board market.

The average ratio of applications to job views  is 12.8%, which is a growth of 1.3% YoY.

The average number of job views per application was 35, although some sites within the data set had as few as two views  per application.

The average number of applications per vacancy (APV) was 6. – One top performer had an APV of over 70, but it’s important to remember the difference between generalist and niche job boards here; a niche job board is far more likely to have a much lower APV than a generalist board.

Application split  by channel:

If your specific numbers are different than this, remember that the above represents averages, as do all the numbers before that. But if you operate a job board and your numbers are drastically different in any category (a high APV or most applicants coming from paid search, for example), it’s helpful to think about why that might be and if it’s worth adjusting your marketing focus.

Similarly, consider the application rate by channel:

You might get a lot of traffic from one traffic source, such as direct visitors, where the application rate is low but a small proportion of traffic from referrals where the application rate is higher. This knowledge can help you decide where to focus your attention when developing traffic channels for your job board.

Job seekers are increasingly using job boards to research jobs but then applying directly with the employer — external applications (where the candidate is redirected to an external site) now make up 56% of the market, with online applications constituting 43%. Online declined 4% in the past year, while external rose 4%.

This trend shift has shifted other numbers too: for example, the average session duration per visit is now 2.5 minutes, which is 17 seconds down from last year. The number of pages viewed per session is 3.5, which is also a decrease (of 14%) from 2016.

On average, 9% of resumes on a job board are hidden from recruiters.

The Email Benchmarks

The average percentage of traffic from job alert emails (we analyzed over 2 billion) that converted to an application was 13%.  Overall, jobs via email accounted for 15% of overall applications — but the top performer in that data set received 46% of their applications from job alert emails.


The average percentages of visitors becoming applicants by device looked like this:

Mobile has increased, but this still suggests mobile functionality in job applications can be improved — or it might indicate the job is viewed on mobile first, then ultimately applied to on desktop. That could also speak to poor mobile UX in the hiring space, however.


A common meme/trope of business in recent years has been “In (name of some deity) we trust, but all others must bring data.” If your organization truly is becoming more analytically-focused (often the case), then understanding benchmark trends around job board usage by candidates is essential. The numbers above can give you a good understanding of where you need to be relative to specific role, and what numbers you should be trying to improve. If you have specific questions about the report or potential conclusions relative to your job spec, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

More about Madgex

As a talent acquisition professional, you’re attempting to attract top talent, maintain interest in the position and ensure that the company is being represented and marketed in the best way possible.  It can be very challenging to get exactly right. Luckily, Madgex can help you in all the areas discussed in this article.  Click here to download your own copy of the report for a full overview of all the stats available and head over to Madgex to see how their products can help you.


Alexis Gingerella

Alexis is a contributing writer to RecruitingDaily and got her start in the industry with RD. She provides virtual assistant work and administrative support for many of the teams projects.