How to Best Use Craigslist to Hire Hourly Workers

Craigslist can be an invaluable tool for growing your business, as you can quickly find great candidates for a particular job position. This is because Craigslist receives almost 2 million job postings monthly.

If you're looking to hire hourly workers on this platform, you've come to the right place, as we break down everything you need to do to effectively use Craigslist and post a compelling job ad to find the most qualified candidates for a particular job position.
Posting fees depend on your location, so you can be charged between $10 and $75 for a job ad.
Understanding the platform and the job posting process

Before you create your job ad, you need to learn how to effectively use Craigslist.

How Craigslist works

Craigslist has eight sections: community, housing, jobs, services, for sale, discussion forums, gigs, and resumes. Each section (except for gigs and resumes) is divided into many categories, which makes it very easy to navigate the site and find exactly what you're looking for.

Once you find what you need, you simply click on the ad and get in touch with the person or business who posted it. To place an ad, you need to sign up for an account, which is completely free. All ads, except for job postings, are also free. Posting fees depend on your location, so you can be charged between $10 and $75 for a job ad.

How to navigate the jobs listing

Navigating the job section on Craigslist is pretty straightforward, as all you need to do is select a category and an area or a specific location. Once you do, you can create your job posting, adding every necessary detail about the job, your brand, contact details, and the required skills and experience of candidates.

How to create a job posting

After you create an account on Craigslist, you'll be automatically directed to a local page nearest to your location, but you can edit the location and select the area you need. Go to your account and choose a location under the "postings" tab.

Once you do, click on "post to classifieds" in the upper left corner of the homepage.

Then, select the "job offered" option to set the type of your posting.

Now you can choose a job category under the "jobs" section and start creating your job ad, adding the ad title, describing the job position, and adding your contact information.

Find their help page

The Craigslist help page is an excellent source for any question you may have about the platform, so be sure to check it out. It has all the information you may need about classified and paid postings, including how to edit your posts and add images, as well as legal information and advice on avoiding scams and fraud.

Consult forums for additional information

The Craigslist discussion forums may provide you with additional information on posting a job ad and finding hourly workers on the platform. Simply choose a category or use the search box to find what you need.


How to create a detailed job description

A job description is what will make or break your ad. You need to write a compelling job description that includes all the necessary information about the job and its requirements, so that you can attract the right candidates.

Clearly define the job by yourself or with your team

If you don't clearly define the job, you won't attract many candidates, as they simply need to know exactly what the job entails to see whether or not it fits their needs.

Write several versions and test them

Testing your ads is vital to see how they're actually performing, and whether you may need to adjust them. Writing several versions of a single ad and testing them frequently will help you see what works best and create an effective ad that will attract the right talent pool.

There are numerous A/B testing tools you can use, so be sure to explore them and find the best one for your needs.

Test it out with a friend or coworker

Your friends and coworkers can also help you out, as they'll give you honest and constructive feedback. They may also have some creative ideas on how to make the ad more effective, so you should definitely seek help from them.


Strategies to optimize the job posting

Optimizing your job posting is essential for making it truly effective and making people genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Here's what you should do.

Give it an eye-catching title

The title is the most important part of your ad, because it's the first thing that job seekers will notice. That's why you should write a catchy job ad title. Apart from the job position, make sure you include information that people will find attractive. For instance, you can add "bonus guaranteed", "excellent pay" (you can even state the exact pay), or anything else that will attract people.

The longer the title, the better (but don't overdo it), because it's easier for people to pick it out, and you have an opportunity to include compelling and useful information.

Include your brand logo

Not every job posting on Craigslist features an image, which is why you should include one, as you'll stand out. The main reason to do it is the fact that images grab people's attention and engage them instantly. Including your brand logo will also look professional and get more people to click on your job posting.

Talk about your company's strong culture

Tell the story about your brand and the strong culture you've built, so that people will know what to expect if they start working for you. Write about the work environment in your company, your teams and their collaboration, interesting projects you've completed, and anything else your job candidates might be excited about, such as various learning and development opportunities.

Create hyper-local job ads

If your job ads include a precise location, you'll have better chances of capturing the attention of the right candidates looking for a job in that particular location.

However, if the area where you're hiring is highly competitive, such as Manhattan, for instance, consider posting your ad in adjacent areas, such as Brooklyn or San Jose, as they're less competitive and you can attract more applicants.

Post early in the morning

Posting your job ad very early in the morning will yield a higher response, but it essentially depends on the job. Mornings are great for jobs with regular business hours, but late afternoons and evenings are better for closing bartender jobs, for instance. Also, have in mind that the traffic on Craigslist is lower on Fridays and during weekends, so choose any other day to post your job ads.

Create multiple job ads

To increase your chances of reaching as many job applicants as possible, create multiple job ads, but make sure they're not the same. Change the titles, copies and images, and be sure to regularly test each of them to see how they're performing.

Use an ATS

To get the most out of your Craigslist hiring process, you should use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), which is a type of software that significantly simplifies the recruiting process.

An ATS automates and streamlines your recruiting operations, storing all the candidate data, including their applications and resumes. It makes recruiting more efficient by saving you time and making you more productive, as everything you need to hire workers is stored in a centralized repository.

Be prepared to tweak the job posting as needed

You can easily edit your every job posting anytime you want. If you A/B test your ads regularly, you'll probably be tweaking them frequently, as you absolutely should. Here's why.

It might be too vague

If your job posting is too vague, all you'll manage to do is waste both time and money, because no one will be interested in the ad that doesn't disclose any useful information. It would also look very unprofessional, so make sure it clearly conveys all the core functions and skills the job position requires.

It might be too specific

Too specific job ads are those that include too much technical jargon. You definitely don't want to create such ads, because they would turn away job candidates who may be perfect for the job but don't see themselves as such precisely because of all the confusing jargon.
Gather all the necessary data before you start your assessment, which is something that your ATS will help you with.
Assessing the applicants

Once people start applying for your job posting, it's time to assess your job applicants and find the best hires. Here are the essential steps you need to take.

Gather all the applicants' data

Apart from your applicants' CVs that showcase their education, skills and experience, you can ask for letters of recommendation, cover letters, reference lists, educational transcripts, certifications, and other supporting documentation.

That all depends on the job and your preferences, but a resume is the most important document you need. Gather all the necessary data before you start your assessment, which is something that your ATS will help you with.

Go through each application thoroughly

Don't skimp on the applications you receive, because you may miss important information that may expedite your recruitment process. Read everything thoroughly and consider every little detail in order to properly evaluate your applicants and make the right decisions.

The second you find something you don't like, reject their applicant

Don't waste time on mediocre applicants or those who're not a good fit for a particular job position. If you identify something as a deal breaker, simply move on to the next applicant. Otherwise, you would waste both your and your applicants' time. Reject the unqualified applicants and narrow down your list, and you'll be left with only the top candidates.

Create a shortlist and schedule online interviews

Shortlisting your candidates will simplify your hiring process in that it will help you identify the best fits for your company. It will help you pick those applicants who you actually want to talk to in an interview. To create a shortlist, use all the required criteria for the job position, including the candidates' education, knowledge and skills, work experience, personality traits, and competencies that make them stand out.

Select the best of the best

Once you create a shortlist, you'll be able to pick the top candidates for the job. Select only the best of the best, and go over all the data again to make sure you've made the right choices.

Respond quickly

Getting in touch quickly with your top job candidates to schedule an interview is crucial, because they won't wait forever for you to respond. A better opportunity may arise, pulling them away from your brand and into the arms of your competition, so call or text them as soon as you can.

Don't forget about the other applicants who didn't make the cut, though. Getting back to each of them means showing respect and being professional. Perhaps some of them would be a great fit for your company for some other job role later on, so it's good to build great relationships.

Be mindful of their time zones

When scheduling online interviews, don't forget to check where your job candidates are currently located. Some of them may live on the other side of the world, so choose a time that will be convenient for both of you.

Schedule all interviews in one week

Having all the interviews in one week will speed up your hiring process, because you'll be quickly done with all the questions and getting to know your job candidates, so you can spend the next week carefully reviewing everything.

This is also crucial because the candidates that you interviewed first won't wait long for you to get back to them. You'll be able to contact each candidate in a timely manner and get on with hiring those you've ultimately chosen.

As you can certainly see, using Craigslist to hire hourly workers is incredibly easy. It takes a bit of effort to optimize your job postings, but it's completely worth it, because that's what will help you attract the right talent pool.

Visit Craigslist right now, set up your account, create an effective job posting, and follow all the aforementioned tips for assessing your job applicants and choosing the best candidates who will fit perfectly with your brand and corporate culture.

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