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Where to post job ads — and five reasons to pay

Christine Del Castillo
Christine Del Castillo

Former Community Manager at Workable specialized in employee experience, talent brands and our event series, Workable Ideas.

The point of creating a job listing is to get it seen, which comes down to where you post job ads and what job boards you use. Free job boards are tempting to use but only worth your while if they’re frequented by candidates qualified for your opening and relevant for your location.

Paid job advertising has a price tag because it has more to offer like increased visibility, a pool of qualified candidates, advanced targeting and results tracking. It’s not a “one size fits all” scenario. There’s flat fees but also pay-per-click campaigns, where you choose how much to spend and use parameters to pinpoint the perfect audience for your ad. If you’re thinking about investing in a paid job ad, here’s a range of scenarios where it is likely to be your best bet.

Pay for job ads when you are hiring for specialized or senior roles

Let’s face it, some roles are more challenging to hire for. Whether it’s engineers, developers, or senior executives, your options are often to purchase job ads or pay a recruiter (or both). Meet these tough-to-find prospects where they hang out. This often means niche job boards, especially those like Stack Overflow where technologists spend time and share job opportunities even when they’re not actively looking. You’ll end up with higher quality applicants that justify the price tag.

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Pay for job ads when competing for local talent

Targeting your audience on local job boards makes sense if you’re based in an area where there’s high competition for candidates. For this strategy, try popular city or state boards, or set up a campaign that targets candidates in your target cities or states. Some boards, such as Monster, even enable you to reach local jobseekers on Facebook and Twitter. This can really help because half of all jobseekers use social media in their job search.

Pay when you’re doing ongoing hiring

Over time, free job listings fall down the rankings of job boards and are replaced by newer free listings in the top spots. Reposting the ad on the same board won’t keep it at the top of the page. If you’re hiring for the same position for a prolonged period of time, use a paid ad to keep it ranked high on job search listings.

Pay when you have urgent hiring deadlines

If you need great candidates, quickly, there are paid job ads for that too. Posting jobs on bigger boards like LinkedIn and Indeed are great for reach. Some boards have ads specifically designed for a quick boost, such as ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter enables you to post to ten different job boards at once, including an email alert that goes out to 25m jobseekers. Very handy if you need a new team member in the office right away.

Pay regularly in order to control your costs

It may seem counter-intuitive but paying more can actually save you money. Instead of “post and pray” at a flat fee, you can get more for what you pay for with a pay-per-click campaign. On boards like SimplyHired, you set the bid and only pay when candidates click on your listing. Similar to Google AdWords, you use keywords such as your job title to attract high quality leads. Typically, PPC campaigns track your results. This is a great way to see what’s working and to determine how much to spend on future listings.

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