If you’re currently not using Craigslist as one of your online recruiting channels, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to find candidates. Guy Kawasaki agrees in the extraordinary effectiveness of Craigslist, read about his experience with posting jobs.

For those that are unfamiliar, Craigslist (as defined by Wikipedia) is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personals, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories) and forums on various topics.

Craigslist is Mostly Free

Craigslist allows employers to post jobs, mostly for free (unless you are in SF, LA, DC, NYC and a few more) and the traffic driven to the site is decidedly tech savvy.

If you are posting in a paid area it is still much cheaper then traditional job boards. Here’s a price per ad comparison chart.

Best Practices for Recruiters

Sr. Technical Recruiter Gene Leshinsky has already written up best practices around how recruiters can use Craigslist effectively so rather re-invent the wheel, here is what he tells us:

1. Create an account. An account is free and will allow you to track your ads. This will also allow
you to preserve your job descriptions and easily repost ads next time you have a similar position.

2. Edit the Job Description. If the job description given to you by your client is 5 pages long, cut it down to a paragraph or two. Most people won’t read the whole description, nor will most candidates have the whole skill set, you will be missing out on many candidates if you don’t edit the job postings.

3. Know your categories. Discover what jobs get the most replies in what categories. I know that posting a really obscure skill set on CL (Salaselogix, Tivoli) will probably not yield many results, while posting an ad for “Help Desk”, I will be inundated with qualified professionals.

4. Know where to post for free. Boston charges, but Worcester doesn’t. Most candidates will commute from the cities around Worcester to Boston.

5. Search in the Resumes! There are some very talented people who post their resumes on CL and lot’s of recruiters who don’t know about them. Search other city sites for candidates who may be willing to relocate.

My Tips

6. Craigslist allows HTML, when posting your job description, break up the content by adding headers, bullet points and live clickable links.

7. The newest jobs are listed on top. Remember, the higher you appear, the more visibility you’re likely to receive. Every few days, delete your ad and create a new version of your ad. (copy/paste works fantastically)

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