OnboardIQ On-Demand Jobs Report

The OnboardIQ On-Demand Jobs Report is an analysis of hiring trends for on-demand companies in the United States, including data on job applications, hires, and time to hire. We have analyzed a cohort of OnboardIQ’s on-demand clients that together have processed nearly 250,000 applicants and hired more than 27,000 people in 2016. OnboardIQ works with businesses in many industries, though this report focuses on a select group of our on-demand clients.

Download the full report to see more on our findings and methodology.


Our October report shows a healthy and growing on-demand sector with massive increases in hires throughout 2016. On-demand companies are also becoming more efficient at hiring, with the time it takes to hire people decreasing throughout the year. However, growth may be slowing for the industry compared to 2015.

Total Applications
Total Hires

In 2016, total monthly applications decreased 14%, while hires increased 101%.

Average Hire Rate

On-demand companies hired an average of 11.2% of applicants.

Time to Hire

On-demand companies also saw a 48% decrease in time to hire.

Interesting Findings

  • From September to October, applications decreased 1%, while hires increased 4%. The same period in 2015 saw tremendous growth in both applications (22%) and hires (20%).
  • The average time to hire for on-demand companies in October was 12 days.
  • The hire rate spiked in June and August, to 12.9% and 12.2% respectively.
  • Throughout 2016, on-demand companies headquartered in Silicon Valley saw applications decline by 31%, but hires increase by a whopping 272%.
  • Silicon Valley companies were more selective in hiring, however, hiring only 7.4% of applicants.

Massive Growth in Hiring

While total applications decreased throughout the year, total hires more than doubled. The need to hire workers to fuel the industry is growing fast, perhaps due to increased competition for talent between on-demand firms. The decrease in applications is due to exceptionally high applications in January, which were 21% higher than the 2016 average.

“The rate of new applicants seems steady to us, but what has changed is what we assume is the selectivity of applicants. Perhaps this has to do with people applying to lots of gig-economy opportunities and feeling out the process. Hiring automation has allowed us to streamline the onboarding flow and thus reduce churn."

Mark Schindler Driver Experience Manager at OrderUp

Faster Hiring Time

Our on-demand clients also saw a 48% decrease in time to hire throughout the year, averaging 19 days in September and just 12 days in October. For comparison, time to hire in October 2015 was 25 days. As on-demand firms grow, they invest in recruiters and technology that help reduce hiring time.

"I believe that our time from application to hire has decreased as our attention to building out a true hiring engine has increased. At the core of this hiring engine is OnboardIQ."

Chad La Tourette Head of Market Development at Tapingo

Hire Rate in 2016

The hire rate fluctuated between 10.1% and 12.9% throughout the year, and was at its highest in June and August. High hire rates in recent months may suggest that firms are sourcing more qualified candidates, becoming more effective at hiring, or competing for applicants.

Hiring Growth in October

In October 2016, on-demand companies hired applicants faster than at any point in the year, likely gearing up for the holiday season. On-demand companies hired a greater percentage of applicants; the hire rate increased from 11.4% in September to 11.8% in October. Also, from September to October, applications decreased 1% while hires grew 4%. From September to October in 2015, however, applications actually grew 22% and hires grew 20%.

Our Take

Overall, our data points to healthy growth in the on-demand sector. Not only are on-demand use cases growing steadily, but the need to hire workers to fuel the industry is also growing fast. Monthly hires have more than doubled throughout 2016.

Continued growth for on-demand companies in October seems to reinforce the positive economic outlook portrayed in the most recent Labor Department jobs report (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

On-demand companies are also becoming more efficient at hiring. Time to hire has decreased drastically, and companies are hiring a larger percentage of applicants. This is likely due to increased use of hiring automation tools, as well as more mature on-demand business models.

Yet, should the pool of applicants not grow fast enough to fuel the pressing hiring needs of on-demand companies, we may see increased competition for talent and perhaps higher turnover. We saw a small decline in applications throughout 2016 along with high hire rates in recent months, as well as much faster hiring as the year progressed.

Hiring growth for on-demand companies may also be slowing. In 2015, on-demand companies saw tremendous month-over-month growth in both applications (22%) and hires (20%) between September and October. This is compared to a 1% decrease in applications and a 4% increase in hires from September to October 2016. This is still blazingly fast growth, but on-demand firms may have reached a new phase in their growth curves.

Generally, on-demand companies continue to hire and scale, while becoming increasingly efficient at it. In September and October, we saw on-demand companies hire much faster than earlier in the year and hire a larger percentage of applicants, likely gearing up for the holiday season.

Finally, we looked at the health of on-demand firms headquartered in Silicon Valley. With a hire rate much lower than that of our other clients (hiring only 7.4% of applicants), a slightly lower time to hire, and a similar increase in hires throughout the year, Silicon Valley companies seem to be getting much more efficient at hiring than other companies. This is perhaps due to increased use of technology, more mature business models, later stage funding, and more tech-savvy customers.

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Mark Meadows
Propllr for OnboardIQ