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Does the Age of Your Job Posting Affect Performance on Job Boards?

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One of the most common questions we hear from staffing agencies revolves around the age of a job post on job boards. There is a common theory that new jobs receive more candidate traffic and applications.

Our recruitment marketing team examined job postings for our clients where we manage their monthly recruitment spend. We looked at a variety of companies and their job postings on Indeed (mainly because the data from Indeed was the easiest to gather and analyze), looking for any causation between age of the job on Indeed and candidate applications.

Here were our main takeaways:

  • Candidates click more often on new jobs when compared to old jobs. The initial five to 10 days appear to be the most important. If a client had a job posted for 30 days, we saw clients get 50-70 percent of the applications in the initial 10 days.
  • Apply rates are consistent regardless of the age of the job. Cost per Application and Cost Per Click also stay pretty consistent and might even drop. However, the lack of traffic for an older job does not make up for that lower cost of acquisition.
  • Staffing agencies MUST close job orders and create new job orders with a new job ID to ensure their jobs appear as new. Just constantly updating the date of the job in your ATS will not make the job appear as new on Indeed.

Let’s dive into the data.

Janitor Jobs in California

This dataset looks at a janitor position in healthcare facilities. It’s a consistent job to fill throughout their clients’ buildings in California.

The job posted at the end of March and did really well at the start, but then it started to decrease:

  • Days 1-2: 55 applications
  • Days 3-7: No sponsorship
  • Days 8-10: 42 applications
  • Days 11-14: No sponsorship
  • Days: 15-25: 25 applications

The applications didn’t fall off a cliff, but it did have an impact. However, this next set of data takes our point even further.

In the middle of May, the original job maintained its presence on Indeed. To kickstart the application total, we created four new jobs by using automatic geographic expansion to show the job to appear in surrounding cities.

The original job had the “30+ days old” on its job postings on Indeed. The four new jobs appeared as new: 1 day old, 2 days old, 3 days old, etc.

Data for May 16-May 22:


Data Analysis:

  • We created four new jobs, and they brought 10 times the applications!
  • The apply rate dropped slightly, but that wasn’t the main factor in receiving fewer applications
  • The old job had 18 clicks while each of the new jobs averaged 38.8 clicks – twice as many clicks.

What does that data tell us? It means job seekers weren’t clicking on the old jobs as often. The conversion rates were similar, which we should expect as they were the same job, but people weren’t finding them because of their age. That was the only variable in this test.



Maintenance Mechanic in Ohio

Our second dataset looks at maintenance mechanic positions throughout Northeast Ohio. It’s a consistent position this industrial staffing agency must find for their clients.


Data Takeaways

  • 40 of the 48 applications came in the first 20 days, with nearly 40 percent of all applications coming in the first five days.
  • After the first 20 days, candidates just were not clicking on the jobs. The Cost per Click (CPC) was similar, the Cost per Application (CPA) went down. But candidates just were not clicking.

This dataset supports our first claim that jobseekers click more often on jobs that are newer on Indeed.

Trucking/Transportation in California

One of the hardest industries to find candidates is in transportation, especially in trucking. One of our newest clients where we manage their recruitment spend is a transportation company on the West Coast.

It became apparent quickly that new jobs made an impact on candidate traffic in this difficult industry.


Data Takeaways

  • Starting with the impressions column (number of times your job ad is seen), that jumps out. With fewer impressions due to the age of the job, that means Indeed is not showing the job as often as it gets older.
  • 26 of the 38 applications came in the first 10 days, while the apply rate was consistent for the first 20 days. For the third time, we see apply rate stay consistent but the amount of traffic and applications to the jobs is highest when the job originally posts.
  • Yes – the CPA was higher in those first five days, but in the staffing industry, especially in transportation, speed wins! We will pay that premium for quality.

The biggest takeaway – we must set ourselves up for success in any industry, but especially in the most competitive industries (transportation, healthcare, technical). We were able to go back to our client and let them know that the jobs with a June 12 posting date needed to be updated. By the middle of July, those jobs aren’t getting traffic.

What Should You Do?

There are several solid takeaways from this data, but the biggest one is that age of the job impacts candidate application behavior.

How can your staffing agency take advantage of this conclusion? Here is a step-by-step guide to follow:

  • Close job orders when they are filled.
  • Create a new job order with a new posted date
  • Assign a new job ID
  • Ensure that new job order has a unique URL

This is very important: it’s not enough to just update the date on the job order in your ATS. Why? Indeed has an “indexed” date in its database. Let us look at an example:

A recruiter posts a job on June 25. That is the “index” date in the Indeed database. The same recruiter “updates” the date on August 1. Indeed’s database recognizes that as the “last updated” but it will still show the job as 30+ days old based on the “index” date.

Our data shows that candidates will not click (and therefore not apply) on old jobs. There might even be a part of the Indeed algorithm that pushes older jobs less often than newer jobs. It is vital to close your jobs when they are filled and re-open new ones. Yes, it is more work. But that work will lead to better results and stop the feeling of “no one is applying for my jobs.”

Haley Marketing provides this analysis and research for its clients where we manage their recruitment spend. Our conversations with clients after analyzing their data revolves around getting the most out of their monthly budget.

Contact us today to learn more on how we can help you get the quantity and quality of candidates you need for your open job orders!

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