Craigslist was founded in 1999 by Craig Newmark in San Francisco. What started as an email list of events quickly became a giant that displaced traditional printed classified sections. Today, Craigslist has websites in over 70 countries and in 700 areas. With over 50 billion page views every month, Craigslist is a place where one can buy a sofa, find a used car, rent an apartment, buy concert tickets (at varying levels of legality) and, of course, find a job.
There are elements of Craigslist that make it an ideal place to post a job. For a hiring manager, what could be more appealing than a website that reaches 60 million active users? Craigslist, like every career site, has its own set of pros and cons. What makes Craigslist easy to use and operate on one hand can be detrimental to a hiring manager who has not much time to spare.
So, this one question lingers… is hiring on Craigslist a waste of your valuable time?
PRO: Universal & Affordable
Almost everyone recognizes the Craigslist purple peace sign and their signature bright blue text. Craigslist’s “look” has remained virtually unchanged in recent history. Today, Craigslist is free of advertising, free for job seekers to use and features tons of high quality jobs in virtually any industry. Depending on where a hiring manager is looking to post a job, Craigslist’s job post fees range from $0 to the most expensive $75 in San Francisco.
PRO: Applicants for hourly positions
Craigslist is a well-known resource for employers looking to fill hourly or part-time positions. Businesses with high turnover jobs like restaurants or hotels typically cannot afford sites like Monster when filling minimum wage positions. Craigslist becomes the ideal resource for businesses that find themselves constantly hiring for non-salary positions.
CON: Lots of (Unqualified) Candidates
Craigslist is reputable for attracting a good number of applicants. However, sometimes the quality is not up to par. When it comes to salary or specialty positions, sometimes it is more advantageous for an employer to post a position out to a board like Indeed, Monster or a niche job board.
CON: Lack of Tools
These low fees can attract a great deal of candidates to an open position. However, Craigslist provides virtually zero tools to streamline the hiring process. For example, a hiring manager is geographically limited when posting a job. There is no option to post a job across various metropolitan areas. A hiring manager looking to attract the perfect candidate from across the country would be left to manually post to various cities and metropolitan areas.
CON: Lack of Organization
Craigslist does not make it easy for an employer looking to keep track of applicants. A single job post may receive hundreds of applications. From there, however, an employer is left to sift through volumes of emails, cover letters and resumes. This can be a time-consuming and confusing process.
Craigslist is a prime target for spammers and other scandals. Some job seekers have reported scams such as the “Personal Assistant” scam. In these instances, a job seeker would be hired as a remote personal assistant. Fear of scams is a valid reason for job seekers and employers to choose to avoid Craigslist altogether.
Despite all the cons, Craigslist remains an amazing resources for many things. In a couple of clicks, you can refurnish your house, buy a new carburetor or meet someone new for a date (with caution, of course!). Weigh the pros and cons to decide whether or not Craigslist is the right resource for your hiring!