WaveTrackR report reveals best day to post jobs

No recruiter could deny that the best time to post a job advert is when candidates are actively searching for vacancies. And yet WaveTrackR’s Recruitment Trends: Lockdown Report has found that the vast majority of job ads are not posted on or even close to the day that most applications are made. When you consider how much time and money is spent on planning your recruitment strategy, creating your job ads and posting them to job boards, it would be devastating for those ads not to be seen by top talent because they weren’t posted at the right time.  

WaveTrackR data shows that, at 18%, the majority of applications were made on Mondays, followed by a 17% share each on the following three days. By Friday applications fall to 14% and then drop again over the weekend to 9% on both Saturday and Sunday. What is clear is that candidates are most active at the beginning of the week, with vigour waning as the working week ends and the weekend begins. However, taking 22% of the total share, the day most jobs were posted was Friday – right when candidate activity is dropping off and not picking up again until Monday. By that point, your job will be three days old and this matters for a number of reasons.

Bar graph with distribution of jobs and applications per day of the week
Jobs & Applications by weekday – WaveTrackR Annual Report 2021

Job boards take freshness into consideration when ranking job adverts – the older the job, the further down the rankings it will place. Your job will also be unlikely to make it to the featured jobs sections or email updates on the days candidates minds and eyes are on the job hunt. Exposure is key, it opens up the talent pool massively, so it is imperative that your job ad is front and centre when candidates click onto those job boards. You could write the best, most targeted and persuasive job ad but if it’s not getting in front of top talent when they’re actively looking, it won’t provide you with the results you need. Timing is everything. 

It’s no different to any other advert in any other medium in any industry. The success of an advert will depend on its exposure to the right demographic and that means posting/printing/publishing/sending it at the right time, whether that’s the time of day, day of the week, or month of the year. You wouldn’t run a TV advert for toys at 10 pm or publish a Christmas-focused advert in February. You wouldn’t send a marketing text message to consumers at 5 am or a sales email to clients at midnight. The same concept applies to publishing your job ads.   

So why do so many recruiters still post jobs on a Friday? It could be a relic from the days when newspaper advertising was king. Readership was highest over the weekend so Fridays were a great day to publish job ads. Not any more. The Boomtown Rats may not like Mondays but candidates do. They’ve either taken a break from the job search over the weekend or used it to perfect their CV and reflect upon what they want from a new job and, come Monday, are ready to (re)start their job search in earnest. It is a similar phenomenon to the new year effect that we see reflected in higher application numbers in January every year in the WaveTrackR annual report. New year/new week, new start.

A decade ago this kind of data wasn’t readily available to us and it really was a shot in the dark, a leap of faith buoyed by intelligent guesswork. With analytical data now pinpointing the best time to post your jobs, as well as which job boards are the best fit and what to include in the ad, it is far simpler to achieve a higher ROI each time. In the fight for the best talent, recruiters need to utilise every weapon in their arsenal and data analytics can be a hugely valuable tool when formulating your recruitment strategy. Knowing when candidates are active on job boards will allow you to post your jobs at the right time, increase your response rate and raise your ROI. It’s time to like Mondays again.   

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