4 Reasons “Post & Pray” Recruiting Won’t Work in 2023

Bob Wallace Jan 04, 2023 Finding Employees


4 Reasons “Post & Pray” Recruiting Won’t Work in 2023

You’re probably aware of just how hard it is to attract and retain the best and most-qualified individuals for your company. Even with a strong in-house recruiting team, there’s a good chance you aren’t reaching the ideal candidates for each position you need to fill, especially if job boards are your number one resource for candidates.

A lot of this has to do with the fact that the job market has evolved to the point where the most qualified talent isn’t actively seeking employment. Rather, employers are seeking out these candidates to include in their selection process. 

This doesn’t mean great candidates are out of reach. What it does mean, however, is that it takes a lot more effort than posting a job on a job website or two and praying it results in the candidates you need. There are too many factors out of your control when you’re trying to acquire the right-fit candidates for your company.  

Unfortunately, “posting and praying” tends to be the default reaction when there are jobs to fill. While this certainly seems like the easiest and most logical solution to start with, it isn’t a very effective one for the long haul. It would be better to start with more than just the job posting in most situations. Whether you have a recent spike in open jobs with the need to get the word out quickly, or simply a pile of job reqs that are downright time-consuming, recruiters can get really overwhelmed sometimes. It’s only natural to have a knee jerk reaction of flooding multiple job boards and hope for the best. Here are four reasons why post and pray recruiting isn’t going to cut it in 2023.

1. The Job Search Process Has Dramatically Changed in Recent Years

From the COVID-19 pandemic to the wave of Baby Boomers leaving the workforce, the job market has been tight for a few years now. Although it’s hard to predict how long this trend will last, one thing is clear: the current job market is very much candidate-driven.

CareerPlug’s 2022 Recruiting Metrics Report showed a 49% increase in new job postings while there were 30% fewer candidates applying for jobs in 2021. This means your job is probably one of many available to qualified candidates.

Jobseekers now have the upper hand in regards to which jobs and companies they choose to be interested in. People no longer want to have information pushed at them. Instead, they remain passive, wanting to seek it out themselves on their terms — a “don’t call me, I’ll find you” type of scenario. If and when they want to look for a job, they’ll reach out to Google or social media before they’ll visit an online job board. 

Identifying Candidates Beyond Those Who Apply

While these individuals might not be actively searching for new job opportunities, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be interested in hearing about them. However, in order to entice them, and essentially compete for their talent, you need a more proactive approach. The post and pray method just doesn’t fit the bill. Rather than expecting candidates (which are often the wrong ones) to fall into your lap, you need to be actively searching for the right candidates yourself. 

2. There’s a Good Chance Your Post Won’t Even be Seen 

Not only is the post and pray recruiting strategy impersonal, it’s often pretty generic. If your job posting goes live in the morning, it’s likely to be buried by the end of the day along with all the other similar listings, for various reasons. Why is this? Here are a few reasons:

  • Terminology. Your post will never be seen by the right candidates if you’re using a job title or phrase that isn’t commonly searched by candidates or used by job boards such as Indeed and Linkedin. You don’t want your job to blend in with the other postings, but at the same time being too clever or cute in the job description puts people out of the candidates’ line of sight.

  • Quantity of Jobs. There are just so many jobs available right now that posting a job today could mean it’s 3-5 pages deep into the results in a matter of a few hours!

  • Sponsored Job Posts. If you’re not paying to boost your job posting’s visibility, you can easily get buried after the jobs that have been sponsored. Indeed says that companies get 30% more applicants for jobs that are sponsored. The question becomes: Were they good candidates or was it just easier for people to see the sponsored jobs so they went for it?

With these challenges faced on every job board out there, it’s become harder and harder to find even a few good candidates using this approach. This leads us to the next challenge with post and pray recruiting. 

3. Posting & Praying Produces Quantity, But Not a Lot of Quality

When you post your company’s open positions to job boards, especially if you’ve paid to sponsor them, it’s only natural that you want to feel like your investment was worth it. If you’ve used job boards often, it’s possible that you’ve spent thousands of dollars getting the word out. And, while it might seem like receiving a high volume of applicants is a good thing, it can actually be a bigger problem than you may realize. 

It’s not uncommon for some jobs to receive hundreds of applications. Considering many job boards offer a one-click application process, that’s not surprising. This encourages applicants to apply for numerous jobs (sometimes multiple times) without even really thinking about whether they are interested, let alone qualified, for the role. Yes, you might be getting your job posting in front of as many eyes as possible, but are you really attracting the talent you want?

The truth is, even though you’ve received a high quantity of resumes, the quality of those resumes and candidates is likely going to be very low. CareerPlug’s 2022 report shows that job boards produced 72% of all applications but less than half of the hires. 

If your in-house recruiting team isn’t prepared to receive an avalanche of applications, sorting through them all can become an exhausting and overwhelming task! 

Job Boards are Pro-candidate, Not Pro-recruiters

Job boards don’t really make it easy for companies to find qualified candidates. Websites like Indeed and Linkedin know that their success relies on job seekers visiting their site. Because of this, their setup is designed to cater to candidates rather than companies like you who are continuously investing in their services. This is becoming increasingly obvious with the growing number of restrictions — forcing employers to include annual income, not allowing them to take their single posting and publish it across multiple cities, etc. You’re going to be spending more and more time trying to get the jobs posted than ever before, with little return for that time spent. 

4. Job Boards are Confusing to Candidates

When it comes down to it, the job board universe is too big and it causes confusion. As an employer, you’re not able to ensure that the people you want (and need) will see your job posting AND apply. This is because it can become confusing to candidates after spending some time looking at jobs.

  • Candidates become overwhelmed as to which job to apply for, so they just don’t. 
  • In some cases candidates skip over your job post because they think they’ve already applied for your job when it was actually a similar sounding position for another organization.
  • A lot of people abandon the online application process. A lot of employers require a lot of information and clicks (sometimes as many as 51 clicks) to submit an application. According to Appcast, a recruitment data provider, 92% of candidates drop-off during the application process! 

RPO: A Better Alternative to Post and Pray

Many companies resort to posting and praying because they think alternatives are too expensive. When you consider the time spent posting on multiple boards and then sifting through unqualified applicants, you could be spending your time in a more productive way.

Before you opt for the post and pray method, consider whether or not you’re actually benefiting from it. If the answer is no, then a more effective strategy, like partnering with a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) organization who can help you find those candidates who aren’t actively seeking a job, and can present you with options that meet your requirements. This would allow you to focus your time on the process of taking good-fit candidates through the full recruiting process. RPO providers offer a stronger quality of hires in a shorter amount of time, which ultimately saves you time, resources, and money. 

RCI offers RPO options for recruiting needs, both short-term solutions and options for long-term recruiting. Talk to our expert team to find out how we can help enhance your team’s recruiting efforts, resulting in filling your open positions in less time with a diverse set of candidates who meet your requirements. 

Two Minute Cost Per Hire Quiz