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Don’t waste your online recruiting budget: Ask right questions to choose best job sites

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Replacing employees is costly enough without frittering away your recruiting dollars on advertising that either (1) doesn’t reach the desired candidates, or (2) results in bad hires.

Too many employers take a shotgun approach to advertising, placing ads on several sites without obtaining data to help make the right choice. 

The most-visited job search boards are Monster, CareerBuilder and Yahoo HotJobs. But don’t overlook the hundreds of niche sites that target specific professions. Niche sites list fewer openings and have smaller résumé databases, but they also have less competition and a more qualified user base.

To get the best value for your ad dollars, ask job-board sales reps these questions:

  • Which job category should the ad be listed in? How many unique visitors click on that category each month? What’s the category’s average number of page views per visitor? How do the numbers compare with other categories … and with the site’s competitors?
  • How many applicants, on average, do employers receive per want-ad for the entire site and the jobs listed in that category? How do the numbers compare to those of competitors?
  • About what percentage of visitors also view other job sites? If “cross visitation” between two sites is limited and they both target desired candidates, then consider advertising on both. If there is significant cross visitation, then consider advertising on the site that best reaches the desired candidate pool.
  • Does the site have partnerships with niche boards that target the type of candidates you seek? For example, partners affiliated with include and, which specializes in media careers.
  • Does the site distribute openings to other job sites, including those that aggregate jobs from several sources?

If you deal with local newspapers, ask whether they price online and classified print ads together, separately or provide both options. Online ads usually cost less and are listed for a longer time period.

When asking questions, remember that jobs sites are highly competitive and contract with web site measurement firms to closely track performance data.

Online resource: Find links to the top 100 niche job boards at

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