When Is The Best Day To Post a Job?
by Ryan Kohler
Let’s face it, we are creatures of habit. We have habits we continue to follow, even though the factors that lead to our initial habit no longer exist or are no longer relevant. This fact seems to hold true with Human Resources professionals and their hiring processes. I believe that the incorrect habits and assumptions are passed on from HR person to HR person because no one ever stops to question the process, or more importantly, no one researches and pulls the data to support or debunk the habit.
Let me take a quick stab at resolving one of the “bad habits” of HR that seems to be at the top of my list lately. ApplicantPRO manages the posting of jobs to job boards for our clients, meaning that from a single dashboard, an HR person can not only post their jobs on their own career site, but also push it out to hundreds of free and paid job boards. These job boards might include Indeed, SimplyHired, CareerBuilder, as well as local state workforce job boards.
Job seekers looking for work on the weekends used to be valid, but job seekers have moved on and left the HR people behind
Week in and week out, ApplicantPRO sees a consistent rush to post jobs on Friday afternoons. HR managers are trying to head home for the weekend, and the last thing they do is finalize their posting and push it out to job boards. Since I tend to be someone who questions the status quo on a daily basis, I set out to do some digging into why this phenomenon was occurring, and more importantly, if it was really a valid habit.
I’ve asked a few clients, as well as other consultants in the HR industry about this, and the main response I got was that “job seekers look for jobs on the weekends.” It has been a while since I worked for someone else, but looking back, I don’t seem to remember spending my weekends looking for work. More than likely, I spent my weekdays looking for new employment, when I was most frustrated with my current job, or right after getting a paycheck that was less than what I thought I deserved, to start looking for a new job. It appears that this concept of job seekers looking for work on the weekends used to be valid, but job seekers have moved on and left the HR people behind. Before the Internet took the world by storm, a job seeker relied on newspaper classifieds to find jobs to apply for. The ads were sold by the day, so employers would choose which day to run their ad based on the widest readership of the paper. Many people didn’t get the newspaper during the week, so companies would elect to post job advertisements in the weekend paper when the readership was at its peak.
The only people I personally know who still get a newspaper are my retired mother and hardcore coupon clippers, (don’t get me started on how those coupon folks boost the readership by ordering 4 to 5 papers a week) and none of these people look at the help wanted section.
The Internet has changed our world. It has brought us to the point of demanding instant access to everything; when we want it, how we want it. Anyone who hopes to get a job today must have access to the Internet. Many employers only post their jobs online, and a large percentage only allow people to apply through their web-based application. But the question remains, even as we have moved to an Internet based world, do job seekers still wait for the weekend to search for jobs?
Answering this question is vital for employers looking to generate the most qualified applicants, as quickly as possible. Some job boards, such as craigslist, display their jobs sorted from newest to oldest. For other job boards, posting on the wrong day of the week may mean that you have to wait until the next week for the job to be seen during their peak traffic time.
This brings us to what the real world data actually shows. Contrary to popular belief, most job boards (company careers sites) generate more job seeker traffic during weekdays than they do on the weekends (see traffic images below). Of course this may vary based on industry, but after looking at traffic data from job boards, as well as from hundreds of client careers sites, the average weekday sees as many as 2 to 4 times the job seekers of Saturday or Sunday. To get even more specific, a high percentage of people are actually looking for work during the middle of the day, in other words, when they are supposed to be working.
Employer Career Site Daily Traffic Logs
What this means for the average employer is don’t wait until Friday to post your new jobs! Posting them on any weekday will generate more immediate job seekers than posting them on the weekend. Keep in mind that job aggregators who scrape jobs from your career site or look at your rss/xml feed can take a day or two for the job to go live. If you want to be hyper-analytical (like I would be), and you have a tracking system in place like ApplicantPRO, which will track visitor and application traffic by source and by day, then you could try posting the same job with different weekdays as the start date and see if there is any real difference in results. Otherwise, post the job when you are ready for applicants to start applying, with a focus on the weekdays.
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