From the outside looking in, any random Joe wouldn’t think there’s a difference when it comes to hiring a new employee for a global media conglomerate vs. a local real estate company. Why would there be?
A hiring manager posts a job on any of the online hiring platforms. Then they wait for the applications to roll in, narrow down the most qualified candidates based on their resumes and cover letters and invite those people to interview. They pick one, make an offer and tada! A quality hire is made. Easy, right?
But if you’re a small business recruiter, hiring manager or — heck — an all-in-one owner, you know hiring top talent doesn’t come as easily as it does to a Fortune 500 company. Your next great employee might not even be looking for your name when they start their job search. And you definitely don’t have a team of 500 nationwide recruiters handling the hiring process for you.
Being a small business owner means being smarter and more strategic when it comes to finding talented candidates to work for you.
And that first strategic decision should be choosing the right job search engine to help you navigate everything from creating brand recognition to ranking candidates after their interviews.
Didn’t know those features came with just a simple job post? Read on to learn about the best hiring platforms for small business employers.
ZipRecruiter has only been around for a little over a decade, but it has already positioned itself as one of the top websites for small businesses.
Companies that are hiring can create a job posting and find quality candidates through ZipRecruiter’s easy-to-use hiring platform platform.
Not only will ZipRecruiter’s artificial intelligence algorithm find top talent for them, it will also syndicate each job posting to more than 100 other job search websites to open up the applicant pool even more. For small businesses that need extra hands and minds, ZipRecruiter can step in and be the (much cheaper) recruiter they need.
ZipRecruiter was rated the No. 1 hiring site in the U.S. in 2020, earning the top spot, thanks to its ease-of-use for hiring teams in finding quality candidates.
Some easy-to-use features include customizable templates for different positions and the ability to create screening questions for job candidates to streamline the interview process. It also uses AI to scan potential applicants in the ZipRecruiter resume database for top candidates on the employer’s behalf.
A unique feature small businesses can take advantage of is ZipRecruiter’s pre-written job descriptions that make it easy for small businesses to post jobs and quickly help find a quality candidate. They can also swap out a job posting whenever an opening has been filled, instead of being stuck with a set time frame to keep each job posting live.
ZipRecruiter has a mobile app, which lets employers create a job posting, screen candidates and contact support from anywhere. Support is available via phone, online chat or email. For a small business, being able to get help without needing a full-time account manager (usually only given to big companies spending lots of money on a job board’s service) is key.
Glassdoor goes beyond the typical job board and features employer branding solutions for companies in the hiring process and gives job seekers the ability to research companies before applying to the jobs posted.
For a small business, this can be a huge opportunity to showcase themselves — especially against big companies with recognizable names.
In addition to seeing the job criteria, job seekers can read more about potential companies, including their benefits and salary information — even what their recruitment process is like. Employers can post photos of the office and from team-bonding events, too, to give potential candidates a better understanding of what the company culture is like.
A particularly unique feature of Glassdoor is that current and former employees (as well as people who have only interviewed with them) can leave reviews for other candidates to see. Pros, cons, feedback on the interview process and what can be done to improve all help job seekers get a more in-depth look into the company. Businesses then have the chance to respond to those reviews.
As for size, there are 50 million unique monthly users on Glassdoor, making it one of the largest job boards out there.
When hiring for more niche roles, Glassdoor is a great solution for employers looking to showcase their business and company culture. The ability to create a brand that job seekers are interested in can be a huge advantage during the recruiting process.
Companies can create a brand page for free, as well as utilize the insights that Glassdoor provides to improve employee and interviewee experiences.
With a paid membership, businesses can use premium features on Glassdoor, such as competitor comparisons, branded advertising to get in front of more qualified candidates, and review analysis.
Because Glassdoor’s main focus isn’t the job search, but instead a branding site for companies, there aren’t as many features for recruiters to utilize as there are on a job site like Indeed or ZipRecruiter. There’s no applicant tracking system, nor can employers conduct a resume search.
Indeed is the largest job-searching website in the world — there are tens of millions of employers posting jobs and hundreds of millions of job seekers hoping to find their next role. It’s main and only focus is as a job-search engine.
There are 63 million monthly users coming to Indeed to search for their next role. With such a large audience, it’s a great place for small businesses to post their jobs. The likelihood of one of those 63 million people being in the right location with a great background is much higher than if they went with the more niche hiring platforms.
Employers can post a basic job opening for free on Indeed, making it an ideal platform for hiring managers working on a budget. But as great as the free option is, that also means the competition is stiff to get your job opening seen. How many other employers are competing for the eyes of qualified candidates?
Indeed’s solution to that problem is a paid job post. For as little as a few bucks a day, even small business employers can post sponsored jobs and make sure they get in front of the right applicants. When you pay for a post, you can invite people to apply for your job after finding resume matches.
Other free solutions for employers include adding screener questions and the ability to message and virtually interview candidates. Indeed also simplifies the screening process by grouping qualified applicants to the top of a dashboard, automatically declining applicants and helping to schedule interviews all within their website.
For short-staffed small businesses, being able to handle everything in a single dashboard can be a helpful feature.
Monster is one of the oldest hiring platforms, having aided in the hiring process for recruiters since 1999.
If you’re a small-business employer looking to find candidates, you can create a job posting on Monster and search through resumes to find qualified candidates. There is also an opportunity to syndicate open positions to other job boards with certain subscriptions.
Since Monster was one of the first job search websites out there, it seems most employers have posted job listings on there at some point, to help in their recruiting process. It’s a time-tested search engine, that’s for sure!
The key difference between Monster and some of the other job sites is that many features are only available with higher cost plans. For example, the ability to proactively search through resumes, text and email job seekers or narrow your search parameters can only be used when paying for a Standard or Premium plan.
You can also reuse a job posting on Monster instead of having to recreate a new post for additional similar jobs. This can be a cost saver for small businesses, but there aren’t as many features.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that doubles as a job board for people who have an account. Think of it like Facebook for professionals, and instead of listing furniture on the Facebook Marketplace, you can post open positions on the website’s jobs tab.
And while there are more than 700 million people using LinkedIn around the globe to network and learn, not all of them are searching for jobs.
LinkedIn, while primarily a social networking site for professionals, has a Talent Solutions product to help companies find their next hire. It uses insights from the community to help match applicants to jobs.
Similar to other job boards, companies can post a job for free or pay for a sponsored post to promote the position and get more applications, faster. But the pricing is dynamic, meaning different roles will cost more or less — so job postings for your next Vice President of Technology won’t cost the same as an Associate Account Manager.
People looking for jobs tend to do their own background research on the companies they’re applying to, which almost always includes a LinkedIn search. By having jobs linked directly to the LinkedIn company page, applicants are able to make decisions more quickly about whether to apply or not. Small businesses can use this to their advantage and show off why working there is a great choice for a job seeker.
By posting a job on LinkedIn, hiring teams are able to check out the LinkedIn profile of any potential hire, in addition to viewing their resume, and reach out to them proactively to apply for a job. Additionally, small businesses can post job listings from other websites (including other job sites included on this list like, ZipRecruiter) on their company profile without having to pay any fees.
On the flip side, by posting jobs on LinkedIn, employers are limiting themselves to only people who have a LinkedIn account.
Craigslist is best known for being a local marketplace where people can find almost anything — furniture, rooms to rent, missed connections and even legal help.
But a major portion of Craigslist’s business is as one of the top-job hunting sites for part-time work, manual labor, side gigs or more. So if you’re a small, local business needing these types of hires, Craigslist could be the right solution for your company.
Craigslist is a cost-effective solution for employers looking to fill jobs. There are no subscriptions required, just a flat fee for each job posting. They don’t even need to create an account to post jobs if they don’t want to.
There are no flashy features like team collaboration, resume searches or the ability to manage applicants. Job listings won’t be syndicated to 100 other job boards like with ZipRecruiter, either. But if a hiring manager knows exactly what they’re looking for, they can upload new job openings to the Craigslist website in a matter of minutes.
Employers looking to hire on Craigslist can get an unlimited number of emails from potential candidates, but are unable to search through any sort of resume database to find local candidates themselves.
So, which one of these job boards is best for a small business who needs to make a good hire, without going overboard on cost?
Our vote is for ZipRecruiter. With all the available features, it makes recruiting as simple as it can be without a 50-person dedicated hiring team. Having its own artificial intelligence, pre-written job descriptions and 100 syndication choices are just a few of the reasons why we think small businesses will get the most bang for their buck with ZipRecruiter as they build out their teams.