Since the early days of posting jobs in local newspapers, the standard way to promote a job opening has been to pay a fixed price and, in return, receive a designated slot for a specified amount of time. When the Internet took over as the primary medium to post a job, the model remained the same -- companies started paying an agreed upon amount to include their job posting on an online job board.
The fixed price, one-time posting model was going great, right up until businesses like Google introduced a new way to advertise online, which they referred to as pay-per-click (PPC). It wasn't long before the new way of thinking was being adopted by job aggregators like Indeed and Simply Hired, who started offering pay-per-click advertising for jobs.
This brings us to where we are today. Big job boards, like Monster, Workopolis and CareerBuilder continue with the traditional paid posting model and aggregators are pushing the PPC idea. All of these players remain successful and competitive, proving that there still isn't a clear "right way" of posting your job. Instead, the question becomes which is the right way for you and your company to promote your job openings, assuming it's in your budget?
The Benefits of Pay-per-Click Job Postings
Only pay for specific clicks. Exactly what the name suggests, pay-per-click means that you only pay if somebody actually clicks on your job, and that's often less than a dollar. Yes, it can add up quickly; however, at least you know most of what you paid was to give more information to an interested candidate. (Note: There will always be a few accidental clicks or extremely unqualified people.)
It's easy to measure. You get a report from PPC postings, meaning you'll see exactly how many people clicked on your job and the cost of each of those clicks. You'll also know how many clicks resulted in an application and how many of those applications were quality.
Set Budgets. PPC seems like it could get out of control, but another advantage is the ability to set exactly what you're willing to spend, both the maximum click and a daily budget.
Specify Targets. The nature of PPC also means it's easier to say exactly who you want. For example, you can ensure your job ad only appears for somebody who typed in certain keywords for certain regions. With sophisticated engines such as Google, advertisers can often name the specific demographics and search history of their target audience.
Free Postings. PPC job postings are frequently associated with search engines and aggregators which also offer organic search. That means you can post all of your jobs for free and only pay to boost those which need extra attention.
The Benefits of Pay-per-Post Job Postings
Low-maintenance. Regular job postings are much easier to use and, with a "set it and forget it" functionality, require much less maintenance and planning. This is the opposite of PPC, which requires more planning and monitoring.
Easier internal sell. Recruiters and HR managers trying to sell a new recruitment solution to their managers have a much easier time getting buy-in for traditional job boards because they're familiar and easy to understand.
Unlimited views. You pay one price for a posting for a certain period of time and if a million people click on your job, you're still paying that same price.
Easier to Budget. Fixed prices make it much easier to predict what you're going to spend. If you anticipate a specific number of posting requirements, then you'll know your exact costs early on. In PPC, you can set budgets, but you never know exactly what you'll spend until afterwards.
You Still Get Organic. When you search through aggregator job boards, you'll often notice postings (sometimes paid) from the major job boards. It's in these big players' best interests to promote your job everywhere, and they have the resources to do so.
As with every business decision, the right strategy will depend on your current situation and the direction the company is planning to go. Hopefully these few benefits of each job posting technique will help you make a clear decision on the best route for you.