Are You Recruiting for the Hardest-to-Fill Certifications?

The 50 most commonly required certifications are advertised in 30% of all job ads. Wanted Analytics analyzed the hiring difficulty for 50 of the certifications, licenses, or other requirements that appear in job ads and listed the ones that score the highest on our Hiring Scale, based on our recruiting metrics. The Hiring Scale score ranges from 1 to 99, with 99 indicating difficult-to-fill. Are you hiring for one of these hard-to-fill certifications?

Hardest-to-Recruit Certifications and Clearances

Certifications and Clearances Volume Hiring Scale Score
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) 7,087 80
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) 9,337 79
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) 6,104 76
Project Management Professional (PMP) 14,458 72
Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS SCI) 38,488 67
Physical Therapist Certification 20,070 64
State Insurance License 16,238 64
FINRA / NASD Series 6 10,158 62
Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) 6,649 58
Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) 9,081 57

Four of the certifications listed above are advertised in IT job listings, 3 are related to healthcare, 2 are in sales, and the remaining certification is required in transportation and warehousing. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) scores the highest on our Hiring Scale, an 80, meaning this certification is likely to the hardest-to-fill.

Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS SCI), although not a certification, was the most frequently advertised job requirement of the ones listed. Certified Registered Nurse (RN) and Commercial Driver's License (CDL) were the most commonly required certifications in all job ads. Although these certifications weren't the highest scoring, they are still likely to be somewhat challenging to recruit scoring a 43 and 54, respectively.

Recruiters filling positions that require one of these hard-to-fill certifications or clearances may want to look for talent in cities that have low scores on our Hiring Scale, meaning that recruiting conditions are likely to be less difficult. For example, Oxford (CA) and Youngstown (OH) both score in the 20's on our Hiring Scale for Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification and have candidate supplies that exceed local demand. These would be suitable locations for Recruiters to place job ads in and from which to relocate talent.

Candidate Locations for CCNA Certification

Candidate Locations for CCNA CertificationSOURCE: WANTED Analytics

We also examined the average posting periods for commonly required certifications to see which appeared online for the longest amount of time. Job listings that advertise the following certifications are posted online for the highest number of days.

Certifications and Clearances with the Longest Average Posting Periods

  • Board Eligible (BE) - 73 Days
  • Family Physician / Internal Medicine (FP/IM) - 73 Days
  • Family Medicine - 73 Days
  • Board Certified (BC) - 77 Days

Each of these certifications commonly appear in Healthcare Practitioner job ads. According to our Hiring Scale, they're considered moderately difficult-to-fill, scoring in the mid 40's. Board Certification job ads are posted online for the longest amount of time. If it is taking Recruiters a long time to build a talent pipeline of candidates that are Board Certified, then New Haven (CT) would be a favorable location for posting your job. In this metro area, job ads requiring this certification remain online for an average of 47 days, which is about 4.5 weeks shorter than the average length of time Board Certified job ads are listed online.

Hiring Demand, Hiring Difficulty, and Average Posting Period for Board Certified Candidates

Hiring Demand, Hiring Difficulty and Average Posting Period for Board Certified
How do you change your hiring strategy when you're recruiting for a hard-to-fill certification?

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Comment by Matt Charney on January 14, 2014 at 11:18am

Just a plug - if you're not familiar with Wanted Analytics, their Insights blog is one of my few 'must reads' - they've got tons of great data on hiring & job market trends that are not only insightful and spot on, but also useful in market & competitive intelligence. Check it out:

I'm not familiar with their paid product, but they've been doing big things with big data for years now. Appreciate the share - and this endorsement is in no ways official, but just a shout out to a really cool tool.



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