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Where is the best place to post jobs?

Before we understand the answer to this question, we need to understand a fundamental shift that has taken place in how employers can reach jobseekers.

Technology has given us a greater ability to reach people than ever before.  We have social networks, photo sharing services, meetup sites, cell phones, job boards, email… and more.  But ironically, all of this technology has made it harder to reach qualified jobseekers.

20 years ago employers could reach the majority (let's call it 80%) of active jobseekers in their city by putting a help wanted  ad in the local paper.  The key was that practically everyone looking for a job checked the paper.  There was an unstated social contract that employers would post jobs there, and jobseekers would look there, and both parties were the better for it.   

Today the local papers have been decimated and the social contract is no more.   This isn't news. Everybody knows that the local paper is no longer a viable option.  The interesting thing is that no single service has risen to replace it.   Instead  it's been replaced by a cloud of services and networks.

The answer

So the answer to our question is this.  There is no single best place to post jobs because there is no single place to reach the majority of jobseekers.  Today, the best place to post jobs is everywhere.

My partner at CareerSoft and I realized this back in 2005.  At the time we were running online hiring campaigns for over a thousand companies.  One of the difficulties that our clients had is that they would look for the one best place to post their jobs, they would reach a tiny percentage of the talent pool, then they would hire the best of whoever applied.   This single source strategy often produced poor results, so they hired us.  Our approach was the complete opposite.  We spent no time wondering what the best job board was.  Instead, we posted the job everywhere.  For an accounting job we would post on monster, craigslist, hotjobs, careerbuilder, JobsInTheMoney, and CareerBank.  All of them.  Why?  Because we knew that the single source (the local paper) had been replaced with a cloud.

A good start

So where should you post jobs today?  The short answer is to post everywhere you can, but if you can post to this list you'll be off to a good start.

1. Monster - often overlooked, monster is still the biggest job board and a good way to reach the majority of skilled jobseekers.  It's expensive but it's possible to get discounts (at the time of this writing SquareHire lets you buy monster postings for $149)

Another benefit of monster that most people don't consider is that it's an entry point into the free job board ecosystem.  A posting on monster will be picked up by Indeed, SimplyHired, and a host of other job search engines/free job boards. 

2. Craigslist - in some locations like San Francisco and Austin, craigslist is the best way to reach any jobseeker.  In most locations craigslist  is a good place to find restaurant help and skilled tradespeople, but it isn't the best place to find programmers and accountants.   Even if it's not the best fit for your location or position, the inexpensive price point means craigslist is always worth posting to.

3. Your company website - This is another one most people don't consider.  You need to have a careers page on your company website and your current jobs need to be listed there.  Remember, the cloud isn't just job boards, it's also social networks, search engines, and other services.  You need a jobs page that you can point jobseekers to.  Many SquareHire clients are surprised to find that even when they spend hundreds of dollars on job postings, a big percentage of the most qualified applicants still come in through the jobs page on their own website.    

4. Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn - which social network is the best fit depends on your business and the type of job.  Since sharing is free, do them all.  To do this right you need to have a job listing on your company website (as recommended in item 3), and all of your shares should point jobseekers to that page.

5. Local Job Boards - There are always small local job boards.  You don't want to rely on these as the only place you post your job, but they are often inexpensive, reach a niched audience, and are a great addition to your "cloud" job posting strategy .  For example, if I was hiring in Denver, CO I would post my job to BuiltInColorado.com,  EmployDenver.org, and ColoradoJobBase.com. 

 So that's the answer. Today, to reach that 80% of jobseekers you need to reach as much of the cloud as possible.  It's certainly not as convenient as the local paper or just posting to monster, but it's the reality of hiring today. 

Craigslist no longer allows image links in job postings

The Problem

You may have noticed that Craigslist has changed their site and has started filtering image links from job postings.   That means that if you paste HTML into your craigslist posting that contains any image links (or images),  craigslist will automatically delete those image links.  This change is a real problem if your posting uses an image apply link.  Postings like the one below will now have the apply button removed and leave job seekers with no way to apply. 

craigslist job posting with image apply button



The Solution

Fortunately the fix is easy.  Craigslist still allows text links so all you need to do is use a text apply link instead of the image button.   SquareHire now uses text apply links on its Craigslist job posting worksheets. It works and is available today. 

Also, just because Craigslist is removing image links doesn't mean that you can't use images on your job posting.  There is now an extra step in the posting process that allows you to enter images.  This is still a recommended practice since it makes you posting stand out in the search results as described here Craigslist Job Posting Tips: Use an image in your job posting.

Are monster job postings too expensive for small businesses?

monsterI talk to every HireFlo customer who’s willing to talk with me, and the most common question I ask is what job boards do they use as part of their hiring process?  What are the goto boards that they post every single job to?  A lot of companies tell me that they use craigslist, some use simplyhired, others prefer Indeed.  But I can count on two fingers the number of companies who have told me they use monster.

That’s crazy to me.  Things have changed a lot over the last 10 years, but monster is still the big kahuna in the job board space.  Every jobseeker knows their name, their brand is synonymous with hiring, I still hear people quoting their commercials, and the majority of jobseekers check listings on monster when they need to find a job.

A few years back I was co-founder in an outsourced online recruiting business. We basically used job boards for our clients instead of them having to do it themselves.  Part of our model was we would put job postings on every job board we could.  This made it possible for us to accurately compare job boards based on results, and monster was definitely the top performer. 

There aren’t enough HireFlo users posting on monster for me to determine if that’s still true, but I have no reason to think it would not be.  In fact, monster has made some significant value adds to their job postings over the last 6 years.  Check out this list of stuff you get when you buy a monster posting today.

  • Your job is posted on Monster's website,
  • Monster's mobile app,
  • Monster's BeKnown professional networking app on Facebook,
  • Monster's affiliate websites including Jobs.com,
  • and over 1,000 newspaper partner co-branded websites

That’s a pretty impressive list, especially the part about the 1,000 newspaper websites. 

So let’s get back to the point. If monster job postings provide significant value and reach a huge percentage of the talent pool, WHY DON’T MORE SMALL COMPANIES USE MONSTER???

Fortunately I’m in position where I can just ask them, and I do.  Why aren’t more small businesses using monster?  Here’s the answer I got from a HireFlo customer just yesterday:

“We don’t generally use Monster because of the cost/benefit ratio being really off as far as we are concerned”

I think the key issue is this.  Monster provides value, but it’s expensive, $399 for a single job posting in a single location. So in a world where you can get “good enough” results from craigslist, smaller companies opt to spend $25 or $75 on a craigslist ad and just hire the best of what they get. 

For some jobs this may make sense.  But I’m not so sure.  I think hiring great people is the most important thing you can do to affect the success of your company.  To me,  reaching as much of the talent pool as possible and hiring the best people I can is more important than a few hundred dollars (especially when compared to the money I’ll be paying for that employee’s salary each month).

The Solution

It’s a pretty simple problem.  Monster job postings provide a lot of value, they should be part of every company’s hiring process, but they’re too expensive for most small companies to use. So I have a simple solution. 

HireFlo has negotiated a deal with  monster that allows us to resell monster job postings to our customers at a discounted rate that puts monster postings in the price range of companies who might otherwise just post on craigslist.  This is a huge deal.  The terms of the agreement prevent me from even telling you what the rate is (unless you’re a HireFlo user and logged into HireFlo), but I can tell you that it’s a game changing discount that will put monster postings within reach of every business.   There are some restrictions, like you can’t be a recruiter or staffing agency, and your company must have fewer than 200 employees. In other words you have to be exactly the type of company we want as a HireFlo customer.

The new discounted postings will be available by Monday, July 23. If you have any questions you can email me at rudy@hireflo.com.  We’re going to be gathering statistics and watching the response to these postings very closely over the next few months, but there’s no doubt that at this price it would be crazy not to use monster. 

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