Research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that hiring an employee can cost upwards of $2000 and sometimes significantly more. While this money is spread out throughout different stages of the recruitment process, many businesses pour a significant amount of their revenue into advertising vacancies. 

While there are many avenues to explore when it comes to listing vacancies, Indeed tends to be a popular choice, given that it has millions of users. However, while Indeed does allow employers to use their site for free, it also allows users to sponsor specific jobs. This increases your reach, making it easier to connect with top-quality, qualified candidates.

As such, if you’re a business looking to post a job ad on Indeed or a different job board website, wondering what you should be charging for featured job listings, you may be questioning what Indeed charges for sponsored jobs. 

In this article, we’ll explore Indeed’s pricing structure and offer a solution if you, too, want to adopt a similar business model moving forward.

Understanding Indeed’s job posting costs

Indeed stands as one of the foremost job posting platforms globally, boasting an impressive 300 million unique monthly visitors. This remarkable reach has made it a go-to destination for employers looking to connect with a vast pool of potential candidates.

Employers on Indeed can choose from two primary job posting options: free listings and sponsored listings. Free listings provide a basic level of visibility for job openings without incurring any direct costs. Sponsored job listings, on the other hand, offer a range of enhanced features to boost the visibility of your job postings. However, these come with associated costs.

The cost of sponsoring job listings on Indeed isn’t fixed; it varies based on several key factors, including:

  • Specific hiring needs: The nature of your hiring requirements plays a significant role in determining the cost. More specialized or high-demand positions may incur higher fees.
  • Local market conditions: Job markets differ by location, impacting the competitiveness and cost of sponsored listings.
  • Job title: The job title itself can affect the cost, as certain titles may require more investment to reach the right audience.
  • Job location: The geographical location of the job opening can also influence the cost, with higher costs in more competitive job markets.

Free vs. Sponsored Listings: A Comparative Analysis

Free listings

Businesses looking to cut down on recruitment expenses can post jobs on Indeed and gain access to useful features. However, this route is only likely to be effective for quick hires – here’s why:

  • Visibility: Free job listings appear in relevant search results but gradually lose visibility over time.
  • Duration: They are automatically paused after 30 days, necessitating periodic reposting for extended exposure.
  • Recruitment tools: Free posts include valuable recruitment tools such as screener questions, job skills tests, virtual interviewing, and an Employer Dashboard to streamline application management.

When you’ve paid for a sponsored listing, you’ll gain access to all of the features listed above in addition to other premium features, and your listings will appear more frequently in search engines or search results. 

This means you’ll likely receive more applications, especially as the listing stays live until you pause it or your application goal is met. Here’s an overview of what you can expect with sponsored listings:

  • Enhanced visibility: Sponsored job listings enjoy higher visibility, appearing more frequently and for extended durations in search results.
  • Duration: They remain live until you manually pause them or until you reach your specified application goal.
  • Instant match: Sponsored listings feature ‘Instant Match,’ a powerful tool connecting employers with candidates whose CVs align closely with the job description.

Why should employers consider sponsored listings?

There are many reasons why an employer might choose to pay for a sponsored listing instead of using a free listing. For example, sponsored posts are reportedly more effective, with 80% more applicants and an 85% faster recruitment time. As such, they are the preferred choice for employers looking to fill vacancies quickly and efficiently. 

Furthermore, as they can speed up the hiring process considerably, investing in sponsored posts could save you money in the long run. It also protects your current employees from burnout, as they do not need to pick up work left unattended due to unfilled vacancies.

Decoding Indeed’s pricing model

In 2022, Indeed made a significant shift in its pricing model, moving away from the traditional pay-per-click (PPC) approach to a pay-per-application (PPA) model. This transformation marked a fundamental change in how employers pay for the use of Indeed’s platform.

Under the PPC model, employers posting sponsored job ads on Indeed paid for each click their job listings received. This meant that every time a job seeker clicked on a sponsored job posting to view it, the employer incurred a cost. Employers had the flexibility to set a budget and limit the number of clicks to manage their spending.

With the new PPA model, employers only pay for applications that they receive, and they also have 72 hours to review or reject an application before they’re charged for it. This not only gives you more control over the final amount you pay per job listing, but also ensures that you have more control over the overall quality of applications that make it to the next stage.

How does the PPA model work?

  1. Employers create a job listing using their employer account, and based on criteria such as local competition, job title, and specific hiring needs, Indeed will calculate how much each accepted application will cost.
  1. Employers can set a limit for how many applications they’d like to receive for each job opening, making it easier to keep their spending within their budget or daily budget. Applicants looking for a new job can send in an application.
  1. Once applications begin to roll in, employers have 72 hours to reject applications that do not meet their requirements. This means they only pay to connect with their ideal candidates. You can set minimum response requirements on screener questions; applications that don’t meet these requirements will be marked as “deal breakers” and placed into the rejected tab.
  1. Employers can close the application when they’ve found their ideal candidate(s).

Once you’ve compiled a job listing, Indeed will automatically recommend a price per application. This pricing is based on historical data on similar jobs and the estimated number of applications needed to help you hire a candidate. If you’re operating in a competitive area or industry, the price per application will likely be a little higher.

Beyond this, you can stay within your budget by limiting the number of applications you’ll receive ahead of time. You’ll also receive a price breakdown beforehand, so you know exactly how much you’ll spend in advance. 

However, it’s important to note that PPA is not available to all users. For example, for PPA to work effectively, it must have data to refer back to that can help them calculate the estimated costs. In scenarios where this data is unavailable, employers must return to the older model of paying for each application, even if they’re later rejected. 

Exploring additional paid services by Indeed

Sponsored job posts are not the only paid services available on Indeed; they also offer additional paid services such as:

  • Indeed Resume review: This is a service offered to job seekers who want to improve their CV. You can opt to have your resume reviewed with feedback, get coaching on how to write a resume, or have your resume professionally written by an expert. Additionally, many platforms offer a variety of CV templates to choose from, allowing you to select a format that best suits your industry and personal style. 
  • Indeed Hiring events: These are virtual job fair events that make it easier for companies to hire for multiple roles at once. Indeed will help with event promotion and help screen attendees. 

Using Indeed vs. having your own job board 

While Indeed offers undeniable benefits, it’s essential to consider its limitations, especially for employers with specific needs and preferences. Some major reasons why employers turn to custom job board solutions include: 

  • Limited control: With Indeed, you have limited control over the user experience, branding, and customization options. Your job listings must adhere to Indeed’s guidelines, which may restrict your ability to create a unique and tailored recruitment experience.
  • Budget challenges: Indeed’s transition to a pay-per-application (PPA) model offers more precise cost control, but it also presents budgeting challenges. The cost of applications can fluctuate based on various factors, including job market competitiveness and the attractiveness of your job listing. This unpredictability may require careful monitoring to avoid unexpected expenses.
  • Competitive environment: Indeed is a highly competitive job posting platform, with millions of employers vying for attention. This competitive landscape can make it challenging to stand out, especially for smaller businesses or those in niche industries. Your job listings might get buried among numerous other postings, affecting their visibility.

Setting up your own custom job board as an employer can take time and an initial investment, but the rewards include greater control over your hiring process, brand identity, and overall user experience. Let’s explore these benefits in more detail:

  • Full control and branding: One of the primary advantages of having your own job board is the level of control it affords. You have complete autonomy over the platform, enabling you to tailor it to your specific needs and branding requirements. This control extends to the design, user interface, and overall user experience, ensuring that your job board aligns seamlessly with your organization’s identity.
  • Customization options: Your own job board allows for extensive customization. You can implement unique features, functionalities, and search criteria that precisely match your recruitment goals. Tailoring the platform to your specific requirements enables you to offer a more tailored and efficient hiring process for both employers and job seekers.
  • Data ownership and insights: When you operate your job board, you retain ownership of all user data and insights generated through the platform, within the limits of whatever compliance regulations you adhere to. This valuable data can inform your recruitment strategies, providing actionable insights into candidate preferences, demographics, and behaviors. Such information can be instrumental in refining your hiring processes and targeting the right talent effectively.
  • Reduced costs over time: While there may be an initial investment in developing and maintaining your job board, it often proves cost-effective in the long run. As you attract more candidates and employers to your platform, you can reduce spending on third-party job boards or recruitment agencies. These cost savings can contribute significantly to your organization’s bottom line over time.

Introducing WP Job Manager for WordPress job boards

Employers seeking to establish their own custom job boards can do so effortlessly thanks to the power and flexibility of WordPress, which offers an ideal platform for building and managing tailored job boards to meet your unique recruitment needs.

WordPress provides a robust foundation for creating fully customized job boards without the hefty price tag associated with developing a proprietary system from scratch. Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, the affordability of WordPress makes it an attractive choice for crafting a tailored recruitment solution.

To further enhance your custom job board on WordPress, consider integrating the WP Job Manager plugin. WP Job Manager is a powerful job board plugin that extends WordPress’s functionality to cater specifically to your hiring needs. 

WP Job Manager provides comprehensive support for organizing job listings, including location-based searches, category sorting, and taxonomies for job types. These features streamline the user experience and make it easier for job seekers to find the positions they’re interested in.

The WP Job Manager plugin offers a range of features and add-ons that enable you to create a seamless and efficient recruitment process, including:

Additionally, WP Job Manager comes with Google Job Schema integration. This structured data format ensures that your job listings are easily discoverable by search engines, increasing their chances of appearing in relevant search results.

Monetizing job boards with WP Job Manager

You can also use WP Job Manager to create a monetized job board that various employers and recruiters can pay you to use. For this purpose, WP Job Manager offers two valuable add-ons: WC Paid Listings and Simple Paid Listings.

  • WC Paid Listings: This add-on seamlessly integrates with the popular WooCommerce plugin, allowing you to monetize job postings through a WooCommerce-based system. It provides a straightforward method for charging employers or recruiters for listing their job opportunities on your platform.
  • Simple Paid Listings: As the name suggests, this add-on simplifies the monetization process even further. It enables you to charge for job listings without the need for a full-fledged e-commerce setup, making it an accessible option for those seeking a hassle-free monetization solution.

Bear in mind that if this is a route you want to take, you can take a lot of inspiration from Indeed’s model. Consider how Indeed focuses on delivering an exceptional user experience while delivering flexible monetization strategies. Having explored Indeed in depth in this article, a key takeaway should be that employers will pay for sponsored job listings if it means increased visibility and reach

Get started with your custom job board today

In this article, we’ve looked at Indeed’s pricing model and discovered that it’s quite favorable to recruiters and employers, especially since it adopted a PPA model in 2022, which means that now employers only need to pay for applications from candidates with real potential to fill whatever role is being advertised.

However, this model still doesn’t compare to the benefits of having your own custom job board, where you have more control over the costs and ultimately don’t have to rush to reject applications that you don’t want to pay for.

So, if you’re ready to take this step, try WP Job Manager today!