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Advice for Employers and Recruiters

8 reasons why it is better to buy postings on a cost-per-application than a traditional, duration-basis

Anita Jobb AvatarAnita Jobb
February 9, 2024

For hundreds of years, employers have advertised their job openings on what we at College Recruiter refer to as a traditional, duration-basis. That often translates into something like $200 for a job posting that will run for 30 days, unless the employer chooses to deactivate it sooner.

Years ago, TopUSAJobs introduced cost-per-click (CPC) pricing and that was quickly popularized by Indeed. Today, most job postings in the U.S. are paid for on a CPC basis and that pricing model is rapidly gaining popularity in Canada, the United Kingdom, and European Union. It is just starting to gain some traction in other markets, but just.

About a year ago, Indeed tried to migrate all of its employer customers to a cost-per-application (CPA) pricing model, where the employer might pay $25, $35, or some similar amount each time a candidate successfully applies to a job. Unfortunately, the roll-out didn’t go as well as Indeed or others expected and hoped, and so they took a step back and so Indeed no longer offers the CPA pricing option. But that doesn’t mean that CPA-based pricing for job postings is dead. It just means that you can’t buy it from one of the many good job boards. You can from many, including College Recruiter.

Why is it better for employers to use the recruitment model where they pay only for qualified and validated applications, over the traditional duration-based approach in advertising job openings? Here is what 8 thought leaders have to say.

  • Reduce Risk with Performance-Based Recruitment
  • Save Time with Qualified Candidate Payments
  • Customize Criteria for Targeted Hiring
  • Optimize Recruitment with Results-Driven Strategy
  • Adapt Strategy Using Real-Time Data
  • Enhance Transparency and Accountability
  • Narrowcast for Efficient Talent Engagement
  • Leverage Data to Optimize Recruitment

Reduce Risk with Performance-Based Recruitment

At ProActuary Jobs, we have started offering this service. Many employers like this model since it reduces their risk. They don’t need to pay anything if their advert doesn’t result in a placement, whereas the traditional approach means they pay an upfront fee with no guarantee of success. We are happy to offer this type of recruitment solution as we are confident in driving applications toward the jobs on our site.

Dr. Mark Farrell (FIA), CEO, Associate Professor and Actuary, ProActuary Jobs

Save Time with Qualified Candidate Payments

In my experience, using a recruitment model where employers only pay for qualified and validated applications is better than the traditional duration-based approach for advertising job openings. This is because it saves time and money and ensures that employers receive applications from candidates who meet their requirements.

For example, let’s imagine a company looking to hire a graphic designer. With the traditional duration-based approach, they would pay for a job ad to be posted for a certain period of time, whether or not they receive qualified applications. This means that they may end up paying for applicants who are not a good fit for the role, wasting their time and money.

On the other hand, with the pay-per-qualified-application model, employers only pay when they receive applications from candidates who meet specific qualifications. This ensures that they are investing their resources in applicants who are more likely to be a good fit for the job.

In my experience, using the pay-per-qualified-application model has led to better results and a more efficient hiring process. Employers can focus their time and resources on reviewing applications from qualified candidates, and they have a higher chance of finding the right person for the job.

Jon Gordon, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Sheer Velocity

Customize Criteria for Targeted Hiring

Employers can set specific criteria tailored to their unique hiring needs. This customization ensures that they attract candidates who possess the skills, experience, and qualifications essential for success in the organization. It results in more targeted and efficient hiring processes. Our ability to tailor criteria allows us to adapt to changing market dynamics and evolving business needs, ensuring that our recruitment efforts remain aligned with our strategic goals.

Rex Huxford, Director of Demand Generation, MD Clarity

Optimize Recruitment with Results-Driven Strategy

Paying for qualified and validated applications, rather than utilizing a traditional duration-based approach, optimizes recruitment efficiency and cost-effectiveness for employers. This model ensures payments are directly tied to tangible results, mitigating the financial risks associated with prolonged job postings.

It streamlines the hiring process, attracts candidates who genuinely meet the criteria, and saves time and resources. Focused on outcomes rather than time spent, this approach encourages a results-driven recruitment strategy, aligning better with modern, agile hiring practices.

Pat Schirripa, CEO, People 2U

Adapt Strategy Using Real-Time Data

With the pay-per-qualified-application model, I can make data-driven decisions in real time. I can adjust my recruitment strategy based on the performance of different job postings and channels, ultimately optimizing my hiring approach. 

This agility ensures that I stay competitive in the talent market and adapt to changing candidate preferences and market conditions. Moreover, it enables me to identify and address bottlenecks in the recruitment process promptly, streamlining the path to hiring success.

Phil Strazzulla, Founder, SelectSoftware Reviews

Enhance Transparency and Accountability

The pay-per-qualified-application model fosters transparency and accountability. I can easily track the effectiveness of my job postings based on the number of qualified applications received. This data-driven approach empowers me to refine my recruitment strategies and make informed decisions to improve hiring outcomes. 

Additionally, the model’s transparency extends to the candidates, as they know they are applying for positions that align with their qualifications, creating a more positive applicant experience. This transparency enhances the employer brand and encourages top talent to engage with my organization.

Shawn Plummer, CEO, The Annuity Expert

Narrowcast for Efficient Talent Engagement

The pay-for-performance model just makes more sense for smart tech recruiters nowadays versus old-school approaches. Instead of blasting job posts out broadly, hoping to catch decent fits in a wide net, we narrowcast with precision to engage serious, qualified talent off the bat.

Once candidates clear those relevancy gates, their conversion and retention rates spike; no more wasted cycles filtering through lukewarm applicants. Sure, casting a wide net puffs up your employer brand, but qualified placements truly prove your recruiting chops and essentiality to candidates.

It optimizes efficiency and effect—a wicked one-two combo for game-changers like us. Because ultimately, every hire is a long-term partnership. Investing in fit merits the requisite time, attention, and expenditure.

Lou Reverchuk, Co-Founder and CEO, EchoGlobal

Leverage Data to Optimize Recruitment

The PPQA method can be a source of data that can be used to optimize future recruitments. The first time we used the PPQA approach was when we were advertising for a junior SEO position. After setting up the ad, we tracked the application volume and sources. We noticed an influx of high-quality applications from one job board. Based on this insight, we invested more time advertising vacancies there instead of spreading our resources thinly across multiple channels. We would have missed this if we had continued with the traditional duration-based approach, which would have cost us more resources. We always use the PPQA at Admix Global because it provides data that the traditional duration-based approach cannot. The PPQA model yields data that can empower employers to make informed strategic decisions to optimize future recruitment.

Eugenia Syrytsia, Seasoned Recruiter, HR Expert, Admix Global

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