Are Free Job Boards Still A Good Way To Find Candidates?

Free job boards have been a staple in candidate sourcing for many years. Recruiters have come to rely on them as a way to fill their talent pipeline and recruit job seekers. So many free job boards, however, are resulting in fierce competition for jobs to be posted on the first page where they are more likely to be seen by candidates. So is this still a good way to reach candidates?

While free job boards are the most cost-effective way to advertise your job postings, there are also some downsides. Before you post to any free job boards, take time to consider the advantages and disadvantages. Free job boards may not be the best choice for every business, so evaluate your goals and objectives before making a decision.

Here are some advantages of free job boards

  • More Applications

The biggest advantage of free places to post jobs is that it reaches a wider audience than any other means of recruiting, especially when you post to multiple job boards at once. Postings can be seen by job seekers in different parts of the country and even different parts of the world. They have access to these postings 24/7 and they can make an application at their convenience. These postings are immediately available to anyone who has access to the internet.

Not only are these job postings easy to find, but they are also easy to apply to. Job seekers can create accounts on job posting sites, like Indeed, to save their resumes and their career experience to their profile. After entering this information, they can easily apply with just a few clicks. The site will automatically input their information into the application so that they can submit within a matter of seconds.

The advantage of a wider audience is that there will be a lot of applicants for you to choose from with various qualifications. This will give you more options and lessen the chances that you will have to settle on a less than ideal applicant.

Your business will only be able to fully maximize the advantage of posting to as many relevant job boards as possible if you have an efficient system that saves you time and effort. One main goal of recruiting the best candidates is to reduce the time to hire without skimping on quality.

With Fountain’s Boost, you can post to free job boards with the click of a button. With Boost, there is no need to log-in to and monitor different job boards. You can review all of your candidates in one user-friendly dashboard. If you want to give your candidate sourcing the edge by using paid as well as free job boards, let us know your budget and we’ll post to the best paid job boards as well.

Sign up for a free trial to find out how Boost will improve your candidate sourcing experience for both free and paid job boards.

  • High trust factor

Free job boards, like Indeed and Monster, are popular with job searches because well-established companies, like Macy’s and Costco, use these platforms. The fact that free job boards are used by household names builds trust with applicants. Big companies using free job boards can have advantages and disadvantages for small businesses. The plus side is that applicants will trust the platform but, on the other hand, the competition for job postings to gain the top spot will be very stiff.

  • Build Your Talent Pipeline

Free job boards are still a good way to reach qualified candidates. When using the best hiring software, the number of candidates will no longer be an issue. Additionally, you can also build your talent pipeline with applicants who were qualified but may have just missed out on being recruited this time around. For example, if you need to source 100 gig workers and you receive 150 qualified candidates, you should retain the details of those you did not recruit. This is especially important in the case of contingent workers because the turnover rate is unusually high.

Read TechRepublic’s article about the new ways that hiring managers consider applicants in the gig economy, with expert commentary by CEO of Fountain, Keith Ryu.

The following are some downsides of using free job boards

  • Unqualified Candidates

People seeking jobs on free job boards can apply for dozens of positions in a day. Sometimes applicants may not even read the job description or personalize their resume and cover letter for a particular job posting.

It is not uncommon for some people searching for jobs to send their application to anyone who will take it in the hopes of getting hired quicker. These candidates may not even be aware of the jobs they are applying for and it is possible that they are not passionate about your business or even your industry.

Because of the ease of the application process on free job boards, you are going to have to sift through a lot of applications from unqualified or undesirable candidates. This can be time-consuming and not always fruitful if you do not have the right technology to assist you.

Without the adequate hiring software, posting and sorting out job listing results on free job boards can be quite burdensome. Your hiring team will become overwhelmed if they have to screen applicants using Excel spreadsheets or an inefficient Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Using Fountain to screen and communicate with your applicants makes managing hundreds (or even thousands) of applicants at one time easy and efficient. In fact, our automated hiring software has enabled each recruiter at one hiring agency to handle nearly 2,000 candidates at one time without negatively affecting the customer experience.

Read the Turas Group case study to find out how Fountain dramatically increased their recruiter to candidate ratio.

  • Hard to target

If you are sourcing for a highly specialized position that requires years of experience or degrees and certificates, free job boards may not be the best place for you to find your candidate. The candidate that you need may not be looking at these job boards or even looking for a position to begin with. These candidates are often passively sourced or hired through network relationships.

Targeting specific candidates can be a great strategy for candidate sourcing more experienced candidates. Unfortunately, free job posting sites do not typically allow you to target a certain audience. For instance, if you only want to source candidates who have a degree in marketing, there is no way for you to close off the job posting to unqualified candidates. Once your job posting is up, anyone who searches for jobs on that site will be able to see your posting and apply.

Given that only one in 152 applicants is hired when looking for more qualified workers, the lack of targeting of most free job boards will not be a good way to reach these types of candidates. In terms of highly-skilled specialized workers, referred candidates typically also have lower turnover rates, saving you from going through the recruitment process again in a few months.

When thinking about your recruitment needs, you should use a mix of free job boards and other types of candidate sourcing methods to increase your chances of finding the best candidate. Recruiters who use job boards still source directly, but they do it to supplement the applications they are already getting from the free job boards.

Continually posting on free job boards to fill your talent pipeline allows you to take advantage of passive and active candidate sourcing. With this strategy, you will get the highest benefit possible from the site and create the highest probability of finding a candidate you want to hire.

Hiring software features that help you make the most of free job boards

To help with the overflow of unqualified candidates, your hiring software must have the capability to sort and filter candidates who have applied to your position based on your specific objectives.

You also need the functionality to communicate with all job applicants in an efficient way. Your business should think about every touch-point with candidates (whether suitable or not) as an opportunity to improve its brand.

If your business operates in the gig economy, it can be easy to dismiss the impact of not responding to unsuccessful candidates. This is because it is likely that gig workers will apply for many jobs at one time and may not care about being contacted. However, adopting this approach is a risky strategy because, if candidates do share their bad experiences on sites like Glassdoor, this could have a negative impact on your future hiring needs. Research shows that applicants have avoided applying for jobs at specific companies because of reviews on Glassdoor.

Fountain’s hiring software features means that sorting through candidates and communicating with them, no matter the outcome of the application, means that free job boards will remain an important part of a recruiter’s sourcing strategy.

Free job boards have clear advantages and disadvantages. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to candidate sourcing. What it really comes down to is what your business needs and the tools you use to maximize each sourcing platform.

Because of the advances in hiring technology, such as automation, you no longer need to make the trade-off between posting to multiple free job boards at once and spending a lot of time screening applicants. Free job boards could be especially beneficial for entry-level positions or jobs in the gig-economy.

If you need candidates who have specific qualifications or degrees, free job boards may not be the best option for your business. Therefore, if you are recruiting for senior management and leadership positions, free job boards will not be the best way to reach these candidates.

However, if you own a restaurant, hotel, delivery business, etc that depends on an hourly and contingent workforce, you should definitely include free job boards in your hiring strategy.

Your sourcing strategy should include the tools that you will use to maximize every aspect of sourcing candidates. With Fountain, the following features will help you to source and manage the candidates from free job boards:

  • Separate workflows for every job you post.
  • Carry out background checks, schedule interviews and perform other screening functions.
  • Send candidates messages by SMS or email.

Conclusion

Despite the changes in the job market, free job boards are still a good way to reach candidates today. Your recruitment strategy should include different hiring methods for different types of worker classification. Increase the chances of free job boards working for your business by using Fountain to help you to deal with the deluge of applicants.

Fountain will help you to secure the best applicants from both free and paid job boards in the most efficient and convenient way.

Book a free and personalized demo and we will walk you through how our software will transform your hiring process.

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