The Way We Work
January 10, 2011 by Erica Benton

When it comes to job posts, most managers put all their focus into writing the job description and instructions for applicants — both vital to the hiring process. However, there is one tiny little detail can have a huge impact on the number and even the caliber of contractors who apply, and that is the timing of your job post.

Your job post should go ‘live’ at a time and date most likely to attract the best pool of contractors for the job. This means putting some thought into whether or not your ideal contractor is likely to be found in one particular time zone, country or culture.

For example, if you need an Italian-to-English translator, there is a strong chance your best applicants will be found in Italy. Of course, the beauty of the Internet is that the whole world is your applicant pool. (You might find that the best Italian-to-English translator is in Argentina!) But, putting a little thought into which parts of the world your best applicants are likely to be found is a job posting best practice.

Why? Because jobs are posted online every minute, and the older the job post, the less likely it is to get the attention you think it deserves.  You’ve got to consider the time of day, the day of the week and whether or not a holiday is near before posting your job. No matter how much people may need work, they’re just not likely to be searching job posts in the middle of the night, on weekends, or on holidays, which is why having at least a vague idea about the culture and location of your ideal candidate matters.

For example, that Italian-to-English translator you want is not likely to be sitting at his computer searching job posts on June 2nd, which is Festa della Repubblica — a national holiday in Italy. So wait a day or two if it’s June 1st and you want to post that job. Likewise, need a U.S. contractor? Don’t post a job on a Friday night, when your U.S. pool of contractors are probably either out with friends or on their sofas with their feet up.You’ll likely receive applications from every other part of the world before the U.S.-based contractors even see your post on Monday morning.

While there is a world of potential quality candidates for your position, thinking carefully about the timing of your next job post can help you pinpoint the contractors that are a likely fit. Don’t let your hiring process be sabotaged by something as easily avoided as bad timing.

Have you noticed a difference in the timing of your job posts and the responses you receive? Share your insights in the comments!

Erica Benton

Social Media Guru

Erica Benton joined oDesk in 2009, bringing with her nearly a decade of small business and freelance experience, and a love of all things social. Her passion for startups, technology and marketing was born during her tenure with Kulesa Faul Public Relations, while she learned the art of entrepreneurship firsthand through Equine Alternatives, a business she founded while earning her Bachelor of Science degree from… read more

  • Chloe

    I would like a way to save a draft of a posting. I’ve had to write out most of the post, and save the big text box as a text file for later.

    It would also be useful to refresh the post and top-post it after a few days. Craigslist allows you to do this after 2-3 days so you can bump it to the top.

  • Warren Whitlock

    This looks to be common sense and useful as general information. Posted sometime ago, and comments mention that you may have oDesk specific data. Has that ever been shared?

  • Matthew

    Can you write a post on how we should write the job advert to attract the right and quality contractors?

  • Wahid

    Yeah,i think so,many people don’t know about the perfect time,people should select business hours for any types of deal or transaction.However thanks for sharing.

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  • Chris

    Does odesk have any data on what time of day most contractors are actually looking for work though.

    As in have you guys done any studies on application rates for jobs at times of day for various countries?

    I’d love to know if your average filipino VA did their job hunting at 8am before they began their work on their current contracts or if they tended to look for jobs at 8pm once they have finished a day of work.

    Also have you guys ever thought about potentially having your job posting marketplace operate a little more like a forum where job postings that get applicants get “bumped” up the job posting list so that the most popular jobs with the best terms get the most attention?

    • Erica

      Chris, we do have data on the times of day applications come in and job searches are performed. I’ll ask our oConomist to pull that together for an upcoming blog post!

      The issue with “bumping up” popular jobs (or jobs with popular terms) is that it will create the “Digg effect” on the marketplace — users will only see the top page results, and everything else will be buried. By showing jobs chronologically, and allowing contractors to filter the results based on their personal search criteria, it is more likely that contractors will see ALL the jobs that are relevant to them, not just the ones deemed popular by the community.

      • Manoj

        your opinion is great.

        • http://gmail bodrozzaman

          Can you write a post on how the contractors should write the jobpost to attract the right and quality buyer?