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.
Is Hiring on Craigslist A Waste of Time?
Craigslist has some features that make it the best location to advertise a job. What could be more enticing to a hiring manager than a website with 60 million active users? Every job board, including Craigslist, has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one side, Craigslist’s simplicity of use and operation can work against recruiting managers who are short on time.
So, this one question lingers… is hiring on Craigslist a waste of your valuable time?
PRO: Universal & Affordable
Nearly everyone is familiar with Craigslist’s trademark bright blue writing and purple peace sign. The “appearance” of Craigslist has hardly changed in recent years. Today, Craigslist offers a ton of high-caliber employment in just about any industry, is free to use for job seekers, and is advertising-free. The cost to post a job on Craigslist varies depending on where a hiring manager wants to do so, from $0 to the most expensive $75 in San Francisco.
PRO: Applicants for hourly positions
For employers wanting to fill hourly or part-time roles, Craigslist is a well-known source. When hiring for minimum wage roles, businesses with significant employee turnover, such restaurants or motels, often cannot afford sites like Monster. Businesses that frequently hire for non-salary positions find that Craigslist is the best resource.
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 affordable fees have the power to draw plenty of applicants to a vacant post. Craigslist, however, offers essentially no tools to speed up the hiring process. When posting a position, for instance, a hiring manager is constrained by geography. It is not possible to submit a job in some metro regions. A hiring manager would have to personally advertise to multiple cities and metropolitan areas in order to find the ideal candidate from across the nation.
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!