Online job boards are typically the best place to advertise a job and find qualified job seekers. However, not all job sites are created equal — this article will review the five best online job boards options and prices to post a job online and find qualified candidates.
Best Job Board for Small Business: Indeed
We recommend Indeed as the best job board for most small businesses since they connect you with the most qualified candidates for the lowest price. Indeed is also the job board of choice when we recruit at Fit Small Business. Click here to get started with a free $50 ad credit.
5 Best Job Posting Sites Compared Side-by-Side
|Number of Jobs & Resumes (in millions)|
80M job seeker profiles*
|Lowest Price to Post a Job|
|Price to Advertise a Job|
|Price to Search Resumes & Contact Job Seekers|
*Snagajob doesn’t count resumes, but counts how many job seeker profiles they have. They note that entry-level candidates for jobs like babysitter, dishwasher, or part-time housekeeper don’t require a resume.
Best Overall Job Board for Small Businesses: Indeed
Indeed is the world’s largest job board. With over 200 million job seekers on Indeed, they can connect you with more qualified candidates faster and for a lower price than other job boards. In fact, we at Fit Small Business use Indeed to source candidates for open positions and have found some great hires this way.
Indeed is our top pick because they have more website traffic and more resumes than other sites, and you can post an unlimited number of jobs for free. They also have free features like job title trends and and a salary tool, and they offer company reviews that can help promote your employer brand. Compared to other sites, Indeed offers the most features for the best value.
Looking to get started on Indeed? Maximize your potential with a little help from one of our HR pros. Our free webinar will teach you best practices for posting a job online, how to find the right candidates, and how to screen your applicants for basic skills. Click here for more information:
How Indeed Works
There are typically three ways employers use Indeed (and most job boards for that matter):
- Employers register and post jobs to find the best applicants (free on Indeed).
- Employers pay to advertise jobs (Indeed calls this ‘sponsoring’ a job).
- Employers browse a database of resumes to find passive candidates and contact them, inviting them to apply.
All five of the websites we review provide these same features.
Only Indeed, however, allows employees to write reviews much like Glassdoor, which makes it a popular and trusted resource for applicants who are researching companies. Positive employee reviews are important and may encourage more candidates to apply for your job. Ladders and Monster do not have an employer review feature.
Like the other sites, Indeed has a mobile app, available for IOS and Android, which can be used by both job seekers and employers. It increases the chance that job candidates will view your job and apply right away. The mobile app also lets employers track job postings and applications no matter where you are.
Indeed also has strong tools for managing applicants, like pre-filtering applicants who don’t meet your education or experience requirements, filtering by location, and sorting by most recently updated resumes.
From your control panel, you can view all of your past and present job posts. Clicking each brings up the list of candidates who applied. You can view their resumes and cover letters, write them a message to set up a phone interview, or send a pre-written rejection letter.
Another thing we like about Indeed are the built-in features that let you update the status of each candidate who applies (“phone screened,” “interviewed,” “offer made,” etc.) to keep things organized, similar to an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Other job boards allow you to export data to an ATS or do some simple filtering but with Indeed, it’s robust, built in, and saves you from having to purchase a separate system.
For more on Indeed’s options, read how to maximize your job post on Indeed.
Cost to Post a Job on Indeed
You can post unlimited jobs on Indeed for free, but if you want your job to stay at the top of the search results, you can sponsor the job post, which is Indeed’s version of advertising. You get to set your own budget and will pay somewhere between $0.25 to $1.50 each time your job ad is clicked on (similar to advertising a business or product on Google).
The price per click varies depending on the competitiveness of your market and the type of job. However, you only have to pay for the length of time your job is posted. So if your position is filled and you stop sponsoring it after after 3 days, you’d only pay for 3 days of advertising. Most of the other sites charge for advertising one or more months at a time.
Cost to View a Resume on Indeed
It’s completely free to browse through Indeed’s huge resume database. However, if you find a job seeker resume and want to contact that person or download their full resume with contact information, you’ll need to purchase a subscription that starts at $100 a month for the standard package. That package lets you contact up to 30 candidates each month. And Indeed will credit you for each candidate that responds, meaning that you can reuse that credit to contact another person.
(Prior to January 2018, Indeed used to charge only $1 per resume contact, and it remains free until March 2018 if you’re a sponsored employer.)
In comparison, Ladders offers a free resume search, but has only about 5% as many resumes for you to look through. The other three sites, like Indeed, require you to sign up and pay a subscription or upcharge before you can view or download any resumes from their job board.
Indeed Customer Support
What Indeed is Missing
Indeed covers a wide range of job types, from clerical jobs to skilled management positions. What they don’t cover as well as some of the other sites, however, are the two extremes: minimum wage jobs on one end and senior-level positions with highly-specialized skills on the other.
For hourly, low-paying jobs, Monster or Snagajob may be a better option than Indeed since Monster has a 14-day posting option geared towards just those job seekers, and Snagajob was developed specifically for hourly job seekers. You could also try Craigslist. For the opposite — high-level senior roles — Ladders is a better choice as they require jobs posted to have salaries of $40,000 or more. You can also consider LinkedIn for an executive search.
In addition, Indeed doesn’t let you post commission-only or freelancer jobs, but neither do CareerBuilder or Ladders. You’d need a specialized freelancer job site if you’re looking to find a freelancer.
Best Job Board for Jobs that Pay Over $40K: Ladders
Ladders is free to employers just like Indeed, but it is the only one of the job boards reviewed here that focuses on highly skilled/educated workers. They require all jobs posted on the site to offer an annual salary of at least $40k, and they have a good selection of jobs in the $100K+ annual salary range. It can be difficult to find the right person for management and executive positions, particularly if you don’t have the budget to pay for a recruiter. So, Ladders is a great budget-friendly option for filling higher paying positions.
How Ladders Works
Applicants register for a profile, and pay to search for jobs. That keeps Ladders free to employers. It’s an interesting and different model. Like Indeed, Ladders will match resumes to your open job roles. They also provide customer support to help you increase traffic to your job posting.
Job seekers can add on additional services like customized open-jobs emails and exposure to companies recruiting on Ladders.
From an employer standpoint, it’s great. You get to post jobs, view resumes and contact highly motivated candidates, all for free, unlike the sites below that charge for these options. Here’s an example of what job seekers see when they search for jobs on Ladders.
Cost to Post a Job on Ladders
If you are in the market to hire a candidate with a $40K+ annual salary, you can post the job for free on Ladders. To advertise the job, you would need to use Ladders Recruiter, which costs about $6.25 a day per job. That’s a lot less expensive than paying 20-30% to a staffing agency or recruiter, which is often one of the only other options for executive recruiting.
Cost To View a Resume on Ladders
Ladders has a resume bank of about 10 Million resumes, and it is free for you to search through and contact job seekers based on their resume. There are no limits on how many people you can contact. That’s a plus because the job seeker has paid for membership to Ladders, and is therefore more likely to be serious about entertaining new job options. Since job seekers on Ladders pay to be on the site, they will probably also return your message.
Ladders Customer Support
Ladders has the best customer support of the sites we reviewed. You can get help by phone 1-866-800-4640, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or live chat 9am to 5pm M-F EST. They also have online help available if you want to look up information after hours or on your own.
What Ladders is Missing
Ladders has only about 10 Million resumes as compared to Indeed, which has 200 Million resumes, and if you’re not in a major urban area, there may be few candidates available locally. Ladders is just not as big or as popular as Indeed or other large job search sites like Monster and CareerBuilder. Another downside is that Ladders has strong requirements on what you can and cannot post. Ladders won’t allow:
- Jobs under $40K
- Commission-only jobs
- Financial advisor positions
- Contract roles under 12 months
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a higher-end employee, why not take a look to see if there’s anyone that fits your job opening on Ladders?
Best Job Board for Pre-Screening Candidates: Monster
Posting a job and viewing resumes on Monster is similar to the other sites. When you post a job online, most job boards allow you to specify pre-screening questions that will prevent candidates who don’t fit your requirements from applying. They allow you to save time by automatically screening out people who aren’t a good fit.
In comparison to the yes/no screening questions that Indeed and Ladders allow, with Monster you can ask specific, open-ended pre-screening questions. For example, you could ask job-specific questions such as, “what other POS systems have you used besides Square POS?” or “list 2 kinds of wine that you could offer to a dinner guest who chose duck for his entree?” Indeed and Ladders don’t allow that level of pre-screening.
How Monster Works
While Monster, like Ladders, is a smaller job board site as compared to Indeed, it does have extra advertising tools that make it attractive to some employers. For one, you can write more detailed job listings with photos that help promote your company brand. The site also summarizes the job for candidates using the Job Summary column illustrated on the left-hand side of the screen capture below.
Like Snagajob, Monster tends to focus on hourly workers rather than highly-educated professionals. It’s great for businesses trying to compete with other similar businesses to fill hotel, food service, healthcare, and retail jobs. Posting a job is similar on Monster as it is on the other job posting sites.
Like Indeed, Monster also provides an auto-reply feature so you can let candidates know that you’ve received their application. Like Indeed and CareerBuilder, you can view resumes, though there’s a limit to the number. Monster also has some applicant tracking features like Indeed.
Cost to Post a Job on Monster
The cheapest way to get started on Monster is by posting one hourly job for 14 days at $119. You could also choose a value plan such as $249/month for 3 job slots or $399 for 5 job slots to get additional features such as being able to contact job posters via email.
The $119 option limits you to choosing 1 from about 300 job titles. Also, some of the advanced tools, like screening questionnaires and auto-reply, are not available in the entry level ‘skilled and hourly’ job category at this price point.
Larger businesses can obtain discounts by posting more jobs, or adding additional services such as applicant tracking or resume searches. Nonetheless for small businesses needing to hire just a few employees, Monster’s advertising and job posting services cost way more than Indeed, Ladders and other sites.
Cost to View a Resume on Monster
Monster offers several different resume search packages that cost extra — from $375 for 7 days to $475 and up per month. Even at $475 per month, you can only search resumes for one job! So compared to Indeed at $100 per month or Ladders with its free resume search, it is costly to search resumes on Monster.
Monster Customer Support
You can reach Monster customer support by phone 1-800-MONSTER (1-800-666-7837), live chat or email M-F 8:30am-6:00pm EST.
What Monster is Missing
We feel the biggest downside of Monster is the hefty price tag. Monster’s resume database and postings are by far the most expensive of the websites we reviewed. Another downside is that there are no company profiles, as there are on Indeed, so applicants can’t do research about your company on the job board before applying.
Best Job Board for Attracting Candidates via Mobile App: CareerBuilder
While all the sites have a mobile app for job applicants, CareerBuilder’s mobile app is the best-rated out there. This could work to your benefit if you’re looking to hire millennials, 54% of whom search for jobs and apply via their smartphone. There’s also a CareerBuilder app for employers that lets you review applications and resumes on the go. Indeed and Snagajob also have an employer app, but Ladders and Monster don’t.
Like Indeed and Monster, CareerBuilder has robust search tools and a candidate management dashboard that prevents you from having to purchase a separate applicant tracking system. While their prices and features are similar, CareerBuilder has about five times as many resumes as Monster does.
Cost to Post a Job on CareerBuilder
CareerBuilder has lots of pricing tiers and options that start at $219 a month to post just one job (the Lite plan) up to $499 a month to post 5 jobs (the Pro plan). You can’t post a job on CareerBuilder for free.
However, the Lite package doesn’t allow you to contact job seekers via email, so you’d have to upgrade to the Pro plan to get that feature.
Larger companies can contact the sales team if they need to post and advertise more than 5 jobs a month.
Cost to View a Resume on CareerBuilder
Once you pay for a package, you can view a limited number of resumes for free from the 45 million resumes on their site. For instance, with the Lite package, you get up to 50 resume views per day, but you won’t have the ability to contact those job seekers through the site, so you’d have to manage contacts and follow ups through your own email account.
With the Pro package, you get the added benefit of being able to contact a job seeker via email from within the CareerBuilder website so your work email doesn’t get filled up. Nonetheless, paying so much to view a limited number of resumes just doesn’t make sense for a small business when viewing unlimited resumes is free on Ladders and much less expensive on Indeed.
CareerBuilder Customer Support
What CareerBuilder is Missing
Best Place to Advertise Entry Level Jobs: Snagajob
Snagajob is really the only big job board that caters to entry level jobs, including home service jobs such as caregiver and grocery clerk. Snagajob even has a category for teen and summer jobs. So if you’re looking to fill mainly entry-level positions, Snagajob is for you.
Posting a job on Snagajob is pretty straightforward, just like the other job posting sites. You can also view information on job seekers, although many may not have detailed resumes since they’re hourly workers.
Snagajob, as you can see in the screen capture below, also has some nice features to track your job applicants throughout the process.
Cost to Post a Job on Snagajob
Snagajob pricing starts at $89 for one job in one location, and isn’t a bad option if you have the same job open often — such as a dishwasher, part-time retail clerk, fast-food worker, or delivery driver. If you want to advertise the job, it’s $10 extra per job post and like other job sites, ensures your job ad is pushed to the top of the search results when candidates are searching for open positions.
Unlike the other paid job sites, however, Snagajob offers a free 30-day trial, which may be long enough for you to post and hire someone.
Snagajob does provide volume discounts and discounts for veterans. So it may be worth contacting them directly to get a custom quote if you’re posting multiple job openings or looking for discount options.
Cost to View a Resume on Snagajob
Once you purchase one or more job postings, you’ll be able to view an unlimited list of job seeker profiles — that’s included even if you only post one job.
There is no free employer resume search however, and Snagajob notes that many of the jobs posted on their site don’t have or even require resumes.
Snagajob Customer Support
You can reach customer support by phone (888)762-7624 or email email@example.com, M-F 8:30 AM – 7:30 PM ET.
What Snagajob is Missing
As mentioned, Snagajob doesn’t have many highly educated workers applying to open jobs since it targets hourly jobs exclusively. In addition, Snagajob is costlier than free job posting sites like Indeed. But Snagajob can be a great option for small businesses advertising only hourly and odd jobs as their advertising rates for one job are much less costly than other paid sites like CareerBuilder and Monster.
12 of the Best Places to Advertise a Job
Below are twelve job sites we feel are great to post your small business job openings. This list includes the five we reviewed above and lets you see all twelve options in one place.
|Job Posting Site||What It’s Best For|
|Indeed.com||All Jobs Overall||This is our top pick for small business owners recruiting new employees. Free.|
|Ladders||Major City-Based Higher Level Roles||Free for employers, Ladders targets solely $40K and up job seekers. Low cost ads.|
|Monster||Great for pre-screening hourly and skilled workers||With a special database and posting option for hourly/skilled workers, Monster is a good option for these kind of roles.|
|CareerBuilder||Provides a mobile app for use by job seekers of all kinds||A long-standing rival of Monster, CareerBuilder has pricing and features similar to Monster.|
|Snagajob||Hourly Jobs, First Time Jobs & Teen/Summer Jobs||Especially popular for retail and service jobs and entry level roles like fast food workers and hotel housekeepers.|
|Craigslist||Hospitality and Service Jobs||Affordable postings from free to $35 a month, Craigslist dominates in smaller towns for hotel, restaurant and retail jobs.|
|Wisestep||Social Media Outreach||Wisestep, though smaller than Indeed, is similar and lets you link to social media profiles to get the word out on open jobs.|
|FlexJobs||Part-time & Remote Work||As the name says, FlexJobs is best for remote or flex-schedule jobs, such as a part-time virtual assistant.|
|High-Level Roles||LinkedIn Recruiter Lite offers InMails to target people with specific skills for high-end and management jobs.|
|Glassdoor||Jobs with Employer Reviews||Began as an employer review site and now offers job postings and ads. You can post up to 10 jobs for free, or pay for ads.|
|ZipRecruiter||All jobs||ZipRecruiter is a job site aggregator that allows you to post your job once and they’ll push it to 100+ job sites. $249/month.|
|SimplyHired||All jobs||This site is also a job site aggregator that costs $99-$199/month to advertise a job, and has a robust mobile app for job seekers.|
For more options, read our article listing an additional 59 free job posting sites for every kind of niche job you could think of. Or take a look at additional reviews of job boards, freelancer websites and recruiting sites.
By-and-large, Indeed gives your job post exposure to the most qualified candidates for a good price (starts at free) and is a great place to advertise a job. It’s the largest job board, and receives the most website traffic.
It also tends to work much faster than the other websites. Hiring a candidate in 1-2 weeks versus 1 month can make all the difference for a small business who has an urgent need for hiring.
Want to get started on Indeed? Claim $50 in free job sponsorship credit.