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When you need to fill open positions, do you simply post jobs to free job boards? Another option is to pay for a sponsored job posting so more candidates see the job opportunity.

What Is a Sponsored Job Posting?

A sponsored job posting is a paid advertisement that boosts the posting so more candidates see it. Payment is typically based on a campaign budget over a set timeframe. For example, a company may decide to spend $1,000 over ten days for a sponsored job.

Organic Job Posting vs Sponsored Job Posting

Organic job postings simply use location and key terms within the job post to align with candidates’ search terms. Sponsored jobs appear before organic job postings because the company has paid for it. For instance, if a candidate searches for the term “Customer Service Representative jobs near me,” many positions will appear. The first results they see are sponsored jobs, which are followed by organic job postings.

Should Companies Choose Sponsored Job Postings?

As with all expenses, you must consider budget and how you will measure return on the investment. Sponsoring jobs does not guarantee the quantity or quality of applicants you may receive. Sponsored job postings should be part of a larger recruiting strategy. Let’s look at some pros and cons.

Benefits of Sponsored Job Postings

  • Increased visibility. The main purpose of sponsoring a job is to increase the number of candidates who see the job opening. A larger budget guarantees brand exposure and opportunities for more candidates to apply.
  • Transparent job descriptions. When a company decides to spend money on a job post, they typically spend more time and make it more detailed. Listing requirements, skill sets, job responsibilities, company information, managed employees, and reporting structure on job descriptions creates transparency and accurate expectations.
  • Additional features. Most platforms with sponsored posts include additional features. This can include databases of resumes to source candidates, advertisement credits, and analytical features to view how the campaign funds are spent.

Drawbacks of Sponsored Job Postings

  • Potential loss of funds. As mentioned before, sponsoring a job post does not guarantee applicants or high-quality matches. With each view or applicant, funds are deducted from the budget. In competitive job markets or among popular positions, potential candidates have many options to choose from. It’s possible that at the end of the campaign, the money has been spent with minimal results.
  • Expense of campaign. Most platforms that sponsor job posts explain that a larger budget has a higher success rate. For smaller companies, spending enough to compete with larger companies can be a financial strain. For instance, on Indeed, $500 for one position is a low-end budget.
  • Competitors can see your information. With increased visibility to candidates comes increased visibility to competitors. Job posts may contain salary ranges, job duties, and other information that competitors use to gain an edge in the recruiting battle.

Tips for Effective Sponsored Job Postings

Sponsoring a job can be done in a variety of ways depending on your needs.

Tip 1: Choose a Platform

There are several platforms on which to sponsor jobs, including Indeed, LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter. Pick the platform you think will bring the most success for the least amount of money and on which platform your target candidates are most likely to be. Ask yourself which platform has brought the most candidates in the past. How did your current employees hear about you? Are you willing to try a new platform? A company can pick one or use many platforms simultaneously, depending on budget.

Tip 2: Set a Realistic Budget

It is easy to allocate more and more funds to sponsored jobs in hope of finding the right candidate. Although sponsoring a job brings more potential candidates, it may not bring the best fit immediately. Set limits to how much you are willing to spend on sponsored jobs.

Tip 3: Determine How Long to Sponsor a Job

Will you sponsor a job for a week? Two weeks? A month? The amount of time spent sponsoring ads directly impacts the total spend of a campaign. Try starting a month at a time. This will give you enough days for candidates to find the post coupled with a large enough daily budget to have a meaningful amount of impressions. For example, if you set a total budget for the month at $1,000 over 30 days, that is $33 per day. The average cost per click at this writing is $.94, meaning you will pay roughly for 33 people to click on your ad per day.

Tip 4: Do Not Rely Exclusively on Sponsored Ads to Find Candidates

It is important to keep a diverse approach to recruiting and use sponsored jobs as part of a larger recruiting strategy. Continue to source candidates on your own, use recruiters, post open positions to social media, ask for employee referrals, and invest time in other referral sources such as universities or staffing agencies.

Platforms That Offer Sponsored Job Postings

There are many platforms that offer sponsored job postings.

Indeed

According to Indeed, at this writing there are over 250 million job seekers per month, and employers are 4.5 times more likely to make a hire when they sponsor the posting. Indeed focuses on screening questions (so employers only pay for quality applications), job post visibility and instant matches. Indeed states, “We set the price per application based on local job market conditions in your area, and the information you provide in your job post, like job title and location. Indeed will show you the cost per application upfront so you can stay on budget.”

LinkedIn

LinkedIn emphasizes that dynamic ads and sponsored updates will deliver increased application rates, InMain response rates, brand awareness, and decreased time-to-hire rates. This is accomplished by first-degree connections, website retargeting, matched audiences, and candidate “look-alikes.”

ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter reports that four out of five employers who sponsor their posts get a quality candidate within the first day. There are three different plans for hiring needs: Standard, Premium and Pro. These plans include a dashboard, distribution to 100+ job sites, artificial intelligence to find candidates, database of resumes, and applicant tracking systems.

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Questions You’ve Asked Us About Sponsored Job Postings

One suggestion would be to start with a free job post to see how many quality candidates you can attract without spending funds. After a week or two, if there are no applicants or applicants that do not match the qualifications, consider creating a sponsored job posting. If the vacant position is critical to the success of the company, sponsoring a job from day one may be more appropriate.

An effective sponsored job campaign costs around $500 over a couple of weeks in a local area. This allows for the daily spend limit to be large enough to attract new candidates. Campaigns become more expensive across a larger geographic area.

Austin became the HR Manager at Nursa in 2022 where he is building a HR department in the company’s second year of operation.  Before that he worked as an HR Director at Discovery Connections and an Account Manager for a Section 125 benefits and COBRA administrator. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science in 2019 and from Southern Utah University with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership in 2021. At the end of 2021, he became certified with SHRM-CP.

Originally from Oklahoma, Austin enjoys trying new foods in new places he travels to, watching college football, and snowboarding at the local resorts in Utah. He has been married to his wife since 2019 and owns a cockapoo named Hershey.

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