Posting a job ad starts when you modify a job description into a compelling advertisement and post it on a job board. In many cases, you can do that for free. However, paid job advertisements make your job posting more visible to job seekers, ensuring you find the best candidates in less time.
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 FitSmallBusiness. Get started with a free $50 ad credit.
There are five steps to post a job advertisement.
1. Decide What Information You Want in Your Job Ad
It’s difficult to advertise a job unless you know what the job is meant to accomplish, including what the job duties are, which is the first step to identifying the right information for your ad. Most businesses document the information you’ll need in a job description that can serve as a starting point for your job ad. We have examples of job descriptions for various common jobs, such as sales rep and administrative assistant available on our website.
Some businesses use the existing job description as their ad, but that’s not the best approach as job descriptions are often lengthy and full of legalese. In addition, company job titles are sometimes so specific to the organization as to be meaningless to an outsider searching for that job.
Once you have a job description, you’re ready to pull words and phrases from it to write a job ad and choose a compelling job title.
2. Choose a Compelling Job Title & Write Your Job Posting
After reviewing the job description, you’ll want to come up with a job title that matches what job seekers are looking for. Make it generic ― using job titles that job seekers are likely to input into their search. For instance, if you’re looking for an accounts payable clerk, you might want the job title to be accounts payable to widen your net. You can clarify the job level farther down in the ad itself. In fact, if you’re using the number one job board, Indeed, we provide tips for maximizing your Indeed job posting using the Indeed title generator.
Once you know what the job will be called, you can begin writing your ad.
Write Your Job Posting in a Compelling Way To Attract Qualified Job Seekers
You’ll base your job ad off key requirements and information found in the existing job description. However, a job description and a job ad aren’t the same. The job ad is often a scaled-down version of the full job description that focuses on attracting qualified candidates to apply. Here are ways to do that:
- Bold the title: Make sure the job title stands out from the text
- Describe the work environment: Give job seekers a sense of your business model
- Break the description into sections: Make the ad easy to scan for key data
- Bullet key text: Ensure keywords, requirements, and attributes are easy to find
- Describe the ideal candidate: Help candidates see whether they’re a fit
Therefore, your job ad should be pared down and structured with easy-to-read headings and bullets so that a job seeker can quickly scan it to see if they’re qualified and/or interested.
Here’s a sample job ad below to illustrate.
3. Tailor Your Ad to Attract the Types of Candidates You Want
However, before you post your job ad, you’ll want to decide what kind of candidate (in terms of qualifications ― like personality, education and, experience ― is best for this job. Then, tailor the words in your job ad to attract that type of worker. Are you seeking a self-starter or someone who has attention to detail? Consider some of these examples of different types of candidates:
- Highly motivated self-starter willing to do whatever it takes to find solutions
- Patient, friendly, and approachable representative with great listening skills
- Detail-oriented fact checker, attentive to tiny changes and obsessed with perfection
- Outgoing relationship-builder with many online and in-person social connections
4. Find the Right Job Board to Post Your Job Advertisement
Online, you can find hundreds of popular job boards. Below, we’ve listed solid options for posting your open job based on the most popular job boards like Indeed. There are also many free job boards that let you post a job at no cost, including sites like Craigslist. Some target specific types of job seekers like teens, seniors, military or ex-cons.
Here are examples of popular job boards where you can post a job ad.
Popular Job Boards Where You Can Advertise a Job
|Indeed||Best for any business that wants to post open jobs for free|
|Ladders||Professional and office employers who hire college-educated salaried staff|
|Freshteam||Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that want free applicant tracking|
|Monster||Tech businesses that want a mobile app making it easier for job seekers to apply|
|SnagaJob||Employers that need to fill hourly jobs with workers who don’t use resumes|
|Career Builder||Restaurants or health services recruiting for the same open role|
|Zip Recruiter||Companies that want to promote job openings across 100+ job boards|
Most online job boards allow you to advertise, boost or sponsor a job listing for an additional fee to improve how your job opening shows up in job-seeker search results.
We recommend Indeed as a free job board that gives you the option of sponsoring a job ad for as little as $5 per day until the job advertisement is closed. Better yet, you can try Indeed right now and get $50 in sponsorship credit. Post a job for free today and save the credit for when you need it the most.
5. Decide on your Budget for Advertising
Given the plethora of free job boards, you may want to post your job and not advertise it. Advertising, however, makes your open jobs more visible and often results in your job being cross-posted to multiple job boards, increasing the chances that you’ll find the right fit.
When posting a job on a job board, you typically create an account and paste in your job details into preformatted fields. Here’s an example on how to do that for free on Indeed.
Businesses on average spend about $86 per job on job board advertising, according to softwareadvice.com. You’ll find it easier to recruit for some roles than others, meaning you may need to spend more to advertise hard to fill roles and popular jobs. They noted that small businesses often pay more than larger ones who can negotiate volume job posting discounts. Nonetheless, your job board advertising budget shouldn’t break the bank.
Some smaller businesses may not have much of a job advertising budget. That’s why we recommend using a free job board like Indeed. You can post your job free to get it in front of job seekers, and then if you don’t get the number or quality of applicants that you want, you can always advertise the job to get your posting seen by more candidates.
Of course, if you consider what it takes to hire and train an employee or replace a bad hire, $100 spent on advertising the open job to increase the number and quality of job applicants in your candidate pool may be a great investment.
Here’s a list of job boards with job ad pricing to help you choose the best option for your budget.
Advertising Costs for Popular Job Boards
|Indeed||Posting jobs is free; advertising starts at $5/day per job|
|Ladders||Posting jobs is free; advertising starts at $6.25 day per job|
|Monster||Job posts include advertising and start at $375/month per job|
|SnagaJob||One hourly job costs $89/month to post and advertise|
|Career Builder||One job post costs $199/month with advertising included|
|Freshteam||Job posting is free for 3 jobs, but they’re only posted on free job boards|
|Zip Recruiter||Membership is $249/month and boosting a job post costs $300 extra|
The benefit of daily advertising, as you can get on Indeed and Ladders, is that you can close the job post and stop advertising it as soon as you have enough applicants. There’s no need to pay for a month’s worth of advertising if you find the right candidate after four days.
After You’ve Posted a Job Ad
Recruiting is an art in which you cast a wide net, somewhat like a sales funnel, and then winnow down the job seekers by reviewing their resumes and applications until you find a few that you want to interview. Based on those interviews, you typically will make an offer to the top candidate. That’s also a good time to close your job ad so that you don’t pay for advertising after you’ve chosen your top candidate.
Choose the Top Candidate
Here are three helpful resources to help you choose the top candidate. That’s important so that you don’t have to replace workers often:
VeriKlick states, “the untimely departure of a wrongly-recruited candidate costs more than 20% of annual salary after factoring onboarding, training, productivity, and engagement losses.”
Indeed provides a free applicant tracking system as part of its free job board. That allows you to view job applications and resumes, make notes, communicate with job seekers, and track candidates through the interviewing process until you choose the one you want to hire. You can get $50 in advertising credit when you sign up for Indeed.
Measure Your Results
Like any good marketing campaign, you’ll want to see how your advertising is paying off. That’s where it may make sense to invest in a free applicant tracking system or recruiting software that can provide you with hiring metrics, such as where your top candidates are coming from.
Expert Tips for Advertising a Job
We asked, legal, human resources (HR), and academic experts for their tips on advertising a job. Check out their savvy suggestions:
Share Your Culture
Leah Weiss, Ph.D., Speaker, Author, Researcher & Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business
“Consider including something about your company’s culture as well as the role’s operational capacity. Culture can be a huge draw in a competitive job market.”
Start With What’s Interesting
Lori Kleiman, SPHR SHRM-SCP, Managing Director, HR Topics
“Think of your job ad as a marketing piece first and describe the job second. The candidates will typically see the first 200 words of the ad and then have to click for more information. Start your ad with the interesting parts of the job, what you are looking for in a candidate and how they can contribute. Then, you can talk about the company and the specifics of the job.”
Appeal to Their Pride
Brad Biren, Attorney, Des Moines Injury Law
“My one best practice tip would be to appeal to the pride of an individual. People that make good support staff like paralegals desire independence and a sense of ownership of their work. To attract that type of person, state clearly, ‘We are looking for an individual with an experience and a history of success that includes taking on complex tasks and flourishes in a flexible management environment.’ That last part is secret code for ‘we won’t micromanage you.’”
Don’t Gloss Over the Truth
Jill Santopietro, Owner, 21Oak HR
“My best practice tip is to consider your culture carefully. Everyone is striving to sound as fun and exciting as possible, but that’s not always accurate, so don’t gloss over the truth. You might say ‘we are relaxed and casual until our client is in need and then we switch gears into performance mode, and we are all business.’ Don’t lead your candidates astray thinking it’s all ping pong tables and beer in the refrigerator if the rest of the time it’s very intense and demanding.”
Include a Call to Action
Joe DeMaria, CEO of JAD Marketing
“Like any good ad, your job posting needs a call to action at the end. By establishing clearly what we need the prospective hire to do, we can boost applicant numbers significantly and create a larger hiring pool for HR or our internal managers to interview and choose from.”
As a small business, you may want to do your advertising in different ways than online, although that’s most common.
Alternatives to Advertising a Job on a Job board
You may find there are alternatives to advertising a job on a job board. In fact, some of these come with software you may already be using, such as free time-keeping software Homebase, that helps you find employees by posting job ads through their app. Here are a few for your consideration.
Alternatives to Paying for Job Advertising
|Time and Attendance Software|
|Free Job Boards|
Employers that want to post on free job boards similar to Indeed
|Social Media||Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter ― some offer paid options but others are free to post your job ad on|
|Employee Referrals||Any business that wants to build a culture based on employee referrals and teamwork|
|Recruitment Software||Best for larger firms because they often include free job board posting|
|Recruit Passive Candidates||Find top talent and engage with them online or at events|
|Window Signs||Businesses in high-traffic areas. Requires application forms for walk-ins|
Job Advertisements Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you haven’t used a job board to advertise a job before, you may have some questions. If you don’t see your question answered below, you can ask it on our forum and typically get a reply within a day or so.
Where Can I Post Job Ads for Free?
Where Can I Find Specific Kinds of Workers Like Teens or Ex-cons?
If you’re looking for specific kinds of workers, like ex-cons or the disabled ― in hopes of getting tax credits ― check out our article on best job boards.
What If I’m Looking for an Independent Contract Worker Instead of an Employee?
If you’re not sure, read this article that compares the two. If an independent contract employee is what you’re seeking, your best option is to look for them on freelance websites like Fiverr instead of job boards.
What’s the Best Day of the Week to Post a Job Ad?
According to expert recruiters, the best day of the week to post your job ad is either Sunday night or Monday morning. That’s because that’s the day most job seekers resume their job search. You’ll want your job to be fresh at the start of the workweek.
The Bottom Line
Advertising a job can be costly but may be a good investment if you want to find the right talent fast. We suggest you be smart about it by choosing a free job board with the option to advertise jobs only when your free job posting doesn’t produce the number and quality of job applicants you seek.
We’re a fan of Indeed for that reason. It’s the largest job board, provides the most job seekers and is free. If your job post needs more applicants, you can pay to sponsor the job and get it moved to the top of job seeker search results. To motivate you to try their job board, it provides $50 in sponsorship credit to new users.