Comparing Indeed vs. Craigslist for Employers

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Do you need to fill a job opening? Are you looking to hire a qualified applicant with a minimum of hassles?

In that case, you’ve no doubt considered using a popular jobs board like Indeed or Craigslist. But what’s the difference between the two? Which one would be best for what you need?

A third website that competes with them is ZipRecruiter, which can post a job opening to up to 100 job boards at the same time. If neither Indeed nor Craigslist has exactly what you need, ZipRecruiter might be a better choice to find qualified candidates for your job vacancy.

As for Indeed and Craigslist, there are key differences between them. In this guide, we’ll do a side-by-side comparison between these two platforms — how they work, what they cost and what kind of job seekers they’re aimed at.

What Is Indeed?

Launched in 2004, Indeed is a free job board that also offers paid, premium options to make life easier for job seekers and employers alike.

Because it’s free, employers gain access to a diverse candidate pool that’s brimming with talent. And job seekers don’t have to pay to apply for jobs, upload their resume to Indeed’s database, or create job alerts for roles they’re interested in.

For employers, the free features of Indeed take the risk out of testing the waters of the talent pool. But its premium features, such as sponsored postings and a subscription to Indeed’s resume database, are what really make Indeed useful for employers.

Other top features of Indeed’s job board include company pages, support for third-party applicant-tracking systems and Instant Match, a tool that matches candidate resumes to your job ads.

What is Craigslist?

Founded in 1995, Craigslist is best known for being a classified-ads marketplace where people can find nearly anything — furniture, rooms to rent, missed connections and even legal help.

But a major portion of Craigslist’s business is as one of the top job search sites where job seekers can find part-time work, manual labor, side gigs and more.

How Indeed Works for Employers

Employers can post a basic job opening for free on Indeed, making it an ideal platform for hiring managers who are operating on a budget. But as great as the free option is, that also means the competition is stiff to get your job postings seen. How many other employers are competing for the eyes of qualified candidates?

Indeed’s solution to that problem is a paid job post. For as little as a few bucks a day, employers can post sponsored jobs and make sure the job postings get in front of the most applicants who are job searching. When you pay for a post, you can invite people to apply for your job after finding resume matches.

Other free solutions for employers include adding screener questions and the ability to message and virtually interview candidates. It’s not possible to repost jobs from other websites onto Indeed.

Indeed also simplifies the screening process by grouping qualified applicants to the top of a dashboard, automatically declining applicants and helping to schedule interviews all within their website.

How Craigslist Works for Employers

Craigslist Jobs is a cost-effective solution for employers looking to fill jobs. There are no subscriptions required, just a flat fee for each job posting. You don’t even need to create an account to post jobs if you don’t want to.

Craigslist job postings are strictly a no-frills experience, though. You go without flashy features like resume searches or the ability to manage applicants. Job listings won’t be syndicated to 100 other job boards like with ZipRecruiter, either. But if a hiring manager knows exactly what they’re looking for, they can upload new job openings to the Craigslist job boards in a matter of minutes.

Employers looking to hire via Craigslist job postings can get an unlimited number of emails from potential candidates. On the downside, you won’t be able to search through any sort of resume database to find qualified local candidates.

Indeed vs. Craigslist: What They Cost

Indeed starts out free. There’s no charge for posting a help-wanted ad on the site.

If you want to post jobs and attract more eyeballs to your job posting, though, it costs. Indeed has a pay-per-click model where pricing is based on user engagement with job posts. The total cost is based on the budget you set and the amount of time you choose to advertise the job.

Also, 30 resume views per month costs $100, while 100 resume views per month costs $250.

As for Craigslist, it’s by far the cheapest option for employers looking to speed up their hiring process. A 30-day job posting costs between $10 and $75, depending on the location. Individual listings can’t be swapped out for new ones — instead, employers will need to create a new posting, but they can post as many jobs as they want at any given time. All you need to do is pay with your credit card for a new listing.

Indeed vs. Craigslist: the Bottom Line

When it comes to comparing job boards, it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you make a decision on where to start.

A Craigslist job search is no-frills. Applying to a Craigslist job is similar to how people acquire things from other Craigslist posts — job searching users need to email or call the poster and hope to hear back from them. There isn’t a way to track applications or answer screening questions to make yourself stand out.

Side gigs, part-time and manual labor tend to have more options in a Craigslist job search, while job boards like Indeed or ZipRecruiter are better known for full-time positions.

If you’re a job seeker starting a job search, think about what kind of job you’re looking for. Are you looking for a side gig, or something that doesn’t require a university degree? Craigslist can be a good solution for you to land a job quickly.

Employers on a small budget will also benefit from Craigslist’s affordable job board. For as little as $10 each, you can post as many jobs as they want — but you’ll have to do a lot more leg work when it comes to sorting through unqualified applicants and manually handling the entire hiring process.

Now, with the ability to simply syndicate job postings, create sponsored jobs, boost team collaboration and take advantage of the job site’s artificial intelligence, there’s a reason why ZipRecruiter has been named the No. 1 website for employers’ hiring needs. It has a nearly perfect rating on TrustPilot, taking it to the top spot above all the other job boards.

As for people who are job searching and hoping to get plenty of resume views on their job search, ZipRecruiter has thousands of potential employers and millions of jobs to search through. And with the recruiting process made simple for a potential employer, it then makes it easier for job seekers to make it through the job search process.