Posting Job Ads – Think Like the Candidate

by | Jun 24, 2014 | Blog, Recruiting

  • Integrity HR

Submitted By: Aleta B. Gorter
Corporate Recruiter, HMS Global Maritime

Posting Job AdsWhen I got into Corporate Recruiting, I brought with me more than a decade of marketing experience and a whole new recruitment approach. Back when I was a Recruiter for a satellite-TV company, I followed suit with my predecessor and placed job ads where we had contracts (one was $30,000 a year!). As I placed these job ads, I noticed we were only receiving, on average, 17 resumes a month!  (That’s not even one a day!!)

Then, I changed our approach and started thinking like the candidates.

First, I took a good look at each job description. We were looking for two main positions – call center representatives and installation technicians. Most of our call center employees were in college and enjoyed the same work schedule each week. Knowing this, I made a flyer to hang on the corkboards at area colleges, and I also reached out to the Career Services departments of the colleges. I used the highlighted point of “dependable schedule” to get their attentions.

The result: the resumes inundated my Inbox!

I practiced the same theorem to staff our technicians. The common denominator of our technicians was a construction background. I asked some of my construction friends where they have found independent contractor work, and the universal answer was “Craigslist”.

Don’t cringe!

I posted the Technician position on Craigslist in various cities around Kentuckiana. Once again, my inbox was full! Qualified candidates with years upon years of construction and installation experience were knocking down my virtual door!

Secondly, I researched our contracts to get an idea of demographics. I wanted to know how far out these websites actually reached. For example, one company (that we had used for the past 5 years and for which we paid $30,000 a year!) didn’t actually reach most of our territory! In fact, they only covered Louisville and Lexington!

Furthermore, I found that a good portion of Kentucky does not have good Internet coverage; so placing web-based job ads were relatively useless. In fact, I researched the local and county newspapers and found that placing a $100 a month job ad faired far more response than our $30,000 a year contract.

The result of these changes?

We saved over $20,000 a year and immediately increased our candidate pool by 696%.

Posting Job Ads To Find The Right CandidateSo, let me put this in perspective for a higher paying position and more professional candidate search. Say you are hiring a Senior Accountant. You want them to have their CPA, minimum 3 – 5 years’ experience, and an Accounting degree. Put your candidate glasses on now and think about where to find a candidate of this caliber. Craigslist is not appropriate for this level. Some of your main, overpriced employment sites are probably going to turn up a lot of candidates that “want to change professions” and are “a quick learner.”

I will give you a hint… Professional level jobs have professional level “societies.” 

For a Senior Accountant position, I would post a job ad for a few hundred dollars on the Kentucky Society Certified Public Accountants (, along with The Ladders ( The Ladders is an amazing website for upper management positions that start out at a minimum of $40,000.

I would also recommend posting on LinkedIn (, as this, too, caters to professionals. Researching websites to see what demographic they reach is incredibly important. I highly encourage people to contact the website(s) and ask about the demographic statistics. I have learned that, in most cases, paying $200 a month for a narrow-casted media may prove far more fruitful than a $1200 a day ad.

If there is one thing you take away from this post, let it be to know your demographic.

Recruiting is very parallel to marketing, and understanding your target audience is key!

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