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The Best Job Sites of 2016

Under the supervision of staffing expert Rich DeMatteo, our research team spent 50 hours reviewing 10 of the most popular job sites across 31 key features to rank the 10 best in 2016. The top three job boards for 2016 were Indeed, Glassdoor, and Monster.

 

Overview of Research

Our research team, along with staffing expert Rich DeMatteo, spent 50 hours researching and narrowing down over 100 public job boards to a final group of 10 established sites, and then utilized that research to evaluate each one across 31 key features selected for their importance to consumers.

rich
Rich DeMatteo

Recruiting Expert

Rich is currently the leading social media and careers expert at Corn on the Job, and the co-owner of Bad Rhino Social Media.

We determined the final ranking using a weighted methodology which consisted of those 31 key features categorized into five core metrics: Job Listings (30%), Job Search Functionality (25%), Ease of Use (20%), Job Posting Functionality (15%), and Career Resources (10%).

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The Best Job Sites of 2016

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Boston, MA - Jobs Posted per Day
Boston, MA - Jobs Posted per Day
New York, NY - Jobs Posted per Day
New York, NY - Jobs Posted per Day
Chicago, IL - Jobs Posted per Day
Chicago, IL - Jobs Posted per Day
Kansas City, MO - Jobs Posted per Day
Kansas City, MO - Jobs Posted per Day
Jacksonville, FL - Jobs Posted per Day
Jacksonville, FL - Jobs Posted per Day
Memphis, TN - Jobs Posted per Day
Memphis, TN - Jobs Posted per Day
Houston, TX - Jobs Posted per Day
Houston, TX - Jobs Posted per Day
Phoenix, AZ - Jobs Posted per Day
Phoenix, AZ - Jobs Posted per Day
Los Angeles, CA - Jobs Posted per Day
Los Angeles, CA - Jobs Posted per Day
Ease of Use
Ease of Use
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Mobile Device Capability
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Location
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Company
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Employment Type
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Job Posting Functionality
Job Posting Functionality
Website Traffic Over Last Six Months
Website Traffic Over Last Six Months
Average Time Spent on Site
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Job Posting Price
Job Posting Price
Career Resources
Career Resources
Job Application Tips
Job Application Tips
Job Recommendations
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Methodology

Our expert

Our research was guided by recruiting and social media expert Rich DeMatteo. He has had years of experience in both career coaching, where he aided job seekers, and corporate recruiting, where he conducted behavioral interviews, trained managers, and created unique interviewing processes. Rich is currently the leading social media and careers expert at Corn on the Job and the co-owner of Bad Rhino Social Media.

How we selected our test group

The purpose of this ranking is to find the best job sites for Americans looking to find a job or small business owners looking to post job openings online. We wanted our ranking to be relevant for as many people as possible across the entire United States. With this in mind, our first step in determining which of the many job boards to rank was the decision to only focus on sites that were national and available to the public. We didn’t want our ranking to be limited geographically or be based on belonging to a particular group or club. We then eliminated the job boards that are more industry specific. A site such as Dice.com, which focuses on tech-related jobs, might be useful in helping someone get a job as an iOS developer, but it wouldn’t help an aspiring writer or lawyer get their dream job.

We also eliminated from consideration sites that didn’t have sufficient advanced search features that allowed users to find the specific job they were looking for. This eliminates some popular sites such as LinkedIn or Craigslist that have job listings on the site but are not solely for jobs. We have made a separate review of Craigslist below that talks about the benefits of using the site and when it may be beneficial to use instead of some of our other top job boards.

To compile our starting list we gathered sites from already existing rankings such as Robert Half’s 10 Best Job Search Websites or Quintissential’s the Top 10 Job Board Sites for Job-Seekers. We made a master list of job sites using these rankings. We then narrowed down our list using the criteria outlined above to get us down to a final group of 10 job sites to rank:

  • Beyond.com
  • Careerbuilder
  • GlassDoor
  • Indeed
  • Jobing.com
  • Linkup
  • Monster
  • Snagajob
  • TheLadders
  • US.Jobs

How we selected which data to use in our methodology

Our expert guided us in choosing 31 key features to grade each job site against. These features were selected based on their importance to a job site’s functionality for both job seekers and employers and include data such as number of daily job listings in major cities, the features of each site’s advanced job search, the site’s career resources, and the total website traffic.

We grouped our 31 key features as sub-metrics into five core metrics. This was to simplify how we would calculate our rankings as it allows us to weight certain metrics over others depending on how important they are to a successful job site.

Since the focus of our ranking is to help people looking for jobs (although we include job posting functionality as an important core metric for employers) we chose Job Listings as our most important core metric. This core metric ranks job boards based on how many new job postings they get per day in major cities across the United States. A larger number will make it easier for candidates to find the perfect job for them.

Here is the breakdown of our metrics:

Metric 1: Job Listings (30% of final score)

  • Boston, MA job listings per day
  • New York, NY job listings per day
  • Chicago, IL job listings per day
  • Kansas City, MO job listings per day
  • Jacksonville, FL job listings per day
  • Memphis, TN job listings per day
  • Houston, TX job listings per day
  • Phoenix, AZ job listings per day
  • Los Angeles, CA job listings per day

Metric 2: Ease of Use (25% of final score)

  • New job notifications
  • Mobile device capability
  • Resume upload
  • Quick application
  • Job control check
  • Job saving

Metric 3: Job Search Functionality (20% of final score)

  • Location
  • Keyword
  • Industry categories
  • Company
  • Payment
  • Employment type

Metric 4: Job Posting Functionality (15% of final score)

  • Website traffic
  • Average time spent on site per user
  • Posting price

Metric 5: Career Resources (10% of final score)

  • Job application tips
  • Job recommendations
  • Networking
  • Community sections
  • Resume templates
  • Blog

With the exception of website traffic and time spent on site per user, which we gathered from SimilarWeb.com, all information was gathered directly from each company website.

How we scored our methodology

After categorizing each sub-metric into their core metrics we assigned each one a score of 1-10. Depending on the sub-metric, the scores were determined by two methods: ranking and attribution. 

We used rankings to score sub-metrics when the metrics were using qualitative data. The job site with the best statistic received the highest score (this could be the highest number or lowest, depending on what is being measured). An example would be the sub-metrics for total job postings in Chicago. The job site with the highest posting in that city was Indeed and it received a 10/10.  Since there were only 10 job sites being scored, the next highest job site for Chicago, TheLadders, received a 9/10, and so on down to the last place site, Beyond.com, receiving a 1/10.

We used attribution to score sub-metrics when the metrics had binary data, like a yes or no. The job site received a score based on whether or not it possess a certain feature or attribute, such as a keyword option in the job search tool. Since the job sites aren’t ranked against each other for these binary metrics, there can be multiple 10/10 scores. For example, in the Ease of Use core metric, there were six sub-metrics and both CareerBuilder and Beyond.com had all six, resulting in a 10/10 score. GlassDoor, Monster, and TheLadders had five of the six and all received an 8.3/10. 

Core metric scores were then calculated by averaging each sub-metric score (we weighted sub-metrics evenly). Finally, we took each site’s core metric scores, applied the weights, and calculated the final ranking. Here’s how our #1 site, Indeed, did on each of its core metric scores:

  • Job Listings (30%) – 8.9/10
  • Ease of Use (25%) – 6.6/10
  • Job Search Functionality (20%) – 10/10
  • Job Posting Functionality (15%) – 9.7/10
  • Career Resources (10%) – 3.3/10

We calculated its final ranking by scoring each core metric according to the weights we assigned. For example, Indeed’s Job Listings score makes up 30% of the total score so we take Indeed’s Job Listing score (8.9) and multiply it by 30% (0.3). We do this for every core metric score and add them together to determine the final weighted score: [(8.9*0.3) + (6.6*0.25) + (10*0.2) + (9.7 * 0.15) + (3.3 * 0.1) = 8.1.

We then compared all the final scores to determine the best job site.

Craigslist

Craigslist is another website on which you can post jobs and respond to job postings. Because it is not primarily a job board – Craigslist is a website on which users can post and respond to a variety of classified ads – we could not apply some of our metrics to ranking it.

While it does have advanced search functionality rivaling most of our top job sites, it doesn’t have a lot of the ease of use features we ranked other sites with such as new job notifications, job control checks, or job saving. It also doesn’t have many of the career resources a lot of the other top sites have. Additionally the traffic to craigslist is for much more than jobs which makes it difficult to determine how many users go to the site looking for jobs.

The site is free to post but does not have a good job control check system in place. This leaves the site open to job scams so caution is a must. These scammers will post job listings and use your information to commit identity theft or require numerous fees before you are able to start working. These jobs usually advertise a high salary or upfront payment with little to no experience required. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.

However this does not mean Craigslist shouldn’t be used at all. Since it is much cheaper to use on the employer’s side than any of the other sites we found that you can often find more short term and one time gigs than on some of the other job sites.

Here’s how Craigslist did on the metrics we can rank for it:

Metric 1: Job Listings

  • Boston, MA job listings per day – 316 (5th)
  • New York, NY job listings per day – 431 (6th)
  • Chicago, IL job listings per day – 467 (5th)
  • Kansas City, MO job listings per day – 156 (5th)
  • Jacksonville, FL job listings per day – 74 (8th)
  • Memphis, TN job listings per day – 44 (7th)
  • Houston, TX job listings per day – 186 (8th)
  • Phoenix, AZ job listings per day – 351 (5th)
  • Los Angeles, CA job listings per day – 904 (2nd)

Metric 3: Job Search Functionality

  • Location – Yes
  • Keyword – Yes
  • Industry categories – Yes
  • Company – No
  • Payment – No
  • Employment type – Yes

Metric 4: Job Posting Functionality

  • Website traffic – N/A
  • Average time spent on site per user – N/A
  • Posting price – 0 – $25 depending on location

Drawbacks of our methodology

Because we tested Job Postings based on major cities they are not necessarily representative of the total US numbers or even regional numbers. We ranked the sites this way to get an estimation of the job posting distribution of different sites across the United States. This gives a site like GlassDoor, which has a high number of job postings in the cities we reviewed, an advantage over Indeed, even though Indeed has a much higher job listing rate nationally. In the month we reviewed, GlassDoor has an average of 37,500 jobs posted daily, while Indeed has an average of 67,700, almost double GlassDoor’s posts. We ended up ranking sites based on heavily populated cities because we were not able to calculate many sites’ total job postings or even job postings by region due to their websites’ limitations.

Even though Indeed was beaten in our scoring, it is important to keep in mind it still has many more overall job postings than GlassDoor nationwide.

Additionally for metrics such as Ease of Use and Career Resources we were only able to rank quantifiable data. This led us to ranking sites on whether they had, for example, mobile interfaces or application tips. We were not able to rank sites based on the quality of their advice because of its subjective nature.

Understanding Job Site Features

1. Job Listings back to metric

Very Important

30.00% of our methodology score

The more jobs a site has the more likely it is that a job seeker will find a job that suits their needs. Job Listings ranks sites based on how many jobs get posted on the site. We ranked each site based on the average amount of new jobs they get daily based on the last month of job postings.

To give a more complete picture of which job boards were posting the most jobs and where, we chose to rank the largest cities in each of the 9 divisions in the US as outlined by the Census Bureau. This gives an accurate picture of what the job site situation is across the country.

To rank this we went straight to the job boards themselves. We filtered our search to include all jobs across all fields posted in the last 30 days and then recorded the totals. We did this for all of the 10 sub-metrics in our Job Listings core metric and changed the location to the corresponding city for each one to get our final number.

Once the totals over the full month were recorded, we divided them to get the jobs posted per day in each of our core metrics. We then ranked them against each other and gave the highest scores to the sites with the most jobs.

 

Highest Scoring Sites in Job Listings
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2. Ease of Use back to metric

Very Important

25.00% of our methodology score

Our expert identified ease of use is one of our most important categories. This measures how convenient the website is for saving and applying to jobs. This can improve the user’s experience and reduce the time spent navigating the site and increase the amount of time spent searching for and applying to jobs. The sub-metrics in this category are new job notifications, mobile device capability, resume upload, quick application, job control checks, and job saving.

New job notifications was an option in all the sites we reviewed. It sends you an email with new jobs in the categories you choose. You are usually able to input specific jobs as well as industry categories or company names. You can edit or change what notifications you get from the site at any time. The best sites allowed you to access them through a mobile app to check or apply for new jobs on the go as well as upload your resume and fill out a profile for quick one click applications. Some allow you to save jobs you like for later review without having to find them again through the search features.
We also paid attention to a key feature that increased the safety of the website: job control check. These sites typically had a screening process before employers are allowed to post jobs to ensure they are legitimate, or have a dedicated staff of moderators to weed out scams from their job listings. None of these are foolproof and it can never hurt to do a little research about the company before giving them your information.

Highest Scoring Sites in Ease of Use
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3. Job Search Functionality back to metric

Important

20.00% of our methodology score

One of the most important features of a job search site is being able to find the perfect job, so an advance job search function is a must have. This is why we required that every site we ranked have one. Some of the sites’ search functions were better than others, however, and we ranked them based on 6 filters important to job seekers: location, keyword, industry category, company name, payment, and employment type.

Location is probably the most important feature for job search. This allows users to sort jobs by where they are looking and helps insure they find a job in the right area. Keyword searches allow you to search the job sites for specific jobs and industry category allows you to narrow down the job list by your skills and experience. Company name is useful if you are looking to work for a particular company. Employment type will help you easily distinguish full time, temporary, part-time, and fixed contract positions among others. Payment allows you to sort by salary ranges although even job sites with this functionality only display their salary for a small portion of the total jobs.

We graded each site based on how advanced their search functionality was based on these six criteria. The best sites allowed a user to sort by all of these criteria. The most basic sites only allowed location and keyword searches.

Highest Scoring Sites in Job Search Functionality
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4. Job Posting Functionality back to metric

Important

15.00% of our methodology score

Unlike most of our other core metrics Job Posting Functionality is directed at employers looking to post jobs. Most job sites will accept and post listings for one month although some will allow for longer durations for additional fees. We don’t recommend this approach because most search engines will automatically sort job listings by the most recent ones which diminishes the possibility that job seekers will see your listing the longer it has been posted.

We ranked sites based on three key features: website visitors, average visit length, and price to post. The more visitors the site has and the longer they stay on the site the more likely it is that the perfect candidate will see and apply to your job.

There are two main types of posting payment plans: a monthly fee and pay per performance. A monthly fee is a flat rate that job sites charge to put your job on their site. The job will come up when someone searches the right keywords but there is no guarantee anyone will apply. The second option is pay per performance. A pay per performance plan only charges you when users actually click on your job posting. You set the amount that you want to pay and payment stops when you reach your goals. These plans have no contracts and let you cancel at any time. Pay per performance allows you to post jobs more intelligently while accounting for your budget and desired hiring group. We prefer this option and rated these more highly.

Highest Scoring Sites in Job Posting Functionality
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5. Career Resources back to metric

Somewhat Important

10.00% of our methodology score

The advantage of using a specialized job site over a forum or classified ads site is its career resources. These help users find and obtain a job they love. We ranked sites based on six key features: job application tips, job recommendations, networking, community sections, resume templates, and job search blog.

Job application tips helps the user through the process of applying to a job, including the initial application, resume tips, interview help, and negotiation tips. Job recommendations offer users advice about what jobs they should apply for based on their resume and a personality test. Some sites offer resume templates to help improve your resume from the ground up. The best sites also contain networking opportunities where you can meet potential employers and expand your personal network.

Some sites had forums or other community sections where you can talk with people and exchange advice and experience about applying. Finally, some sites keep a blog updated with tips, advice, and general information for job seekers.

All of the sites we reviewed for career resources had room for improvement. Many of them were missing some or several key features that would make them a comprehensive guide for finding and landing a new job.

Highest Scoring Sites in Career Resources
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Editor's Awards

With the most visitors, cheapest posting prices, and second longest time spent on site, Indeed is your go-to place to post jobs as an employer.

Indeed is our top pick for the best job sites of 2016. It has more jobs posted to it daily in the cities we reviewed than any site other than GlassDoor and it has more total jobs posted to it daily than any other site. It is simply designed and has numerous tools to aid in your job search: mobile interfacing, resume uploading, job notifications, and moderators checking the legitimacy of postings on their site.

But where Indeed really shines is for employers posting job listings. Indeed had more visitors in the last six months than the other nine sites we ranked combined. It receives an estimated website traffic of 1.4 billion visitors during that time period. The next most visited site we reviewed, GlassDoor, only had 260 million visitors over the last six months. People spent an average of 6 minutes and 19 seconds on the site which is the second longest of the job sites we reviewed. This wealth of candidates helps insure employers find exactly the worker they are looking for.

Indeed also has the best payment options for employers. You can post for free or do a “pay per performance” posting. This second option lets you spend money to more prominently feature your ad on their site and only charges you when people look at your job posting. As discussed in the Job Posting Functionality core metric explanation we like this option best because it allows an employer to pay what they want and stop advertising immediately when they have found their hire. Indeed is our best job site for people posting job listings.

Drawbacks:

  • Indeed has poor career resources
  • It does not let you save jobs you want to apply for

Ranking Results:

  • Job Listings – 8.9/10
  • Ease of Use – 6.6/10
  • Job Search Functionality – 10/10
  • Job Posting Functionality – 9.7/10
  • Career Resources – 3.3/10



GlassDoor has the largest number of job listings in the 9 cities we reviewed, as well as an easy to use web interface with competent search functionality.

With over 4,000 new jobs being posted daily, GlassDoor has more job opportunities than many of our lower ranking sites combined. This combined with its advanced Job Search Functionality greatly improves the chances that you’ll find the perfect fit.

An easy to use interface complete with notifications to help you sort new jobs you might be interested in, mobile device capability, resume upload capacity along with quick application and a thorough job control check makes GlassDoor our second place pick for the best job sites of 2016.

GlassDoor’s downside comes from its small selection of career resources. While GlassDoor has an impressively extensive interview database where people post real interview questions to better help you prepare, it doesn’t offer much else to help you through the job application process. Some of our better sites had community forums that allowed you to post questions and read advice from real people, or resume templates to help professionalize your resume, but GlassDoor falls short here.

Drawbacks:

  • GlassDoor has poor career resources
  • GlassDoor is more expensive to post jobs than many of our other sites

Ranking Results:

  • Job Listings – 9.7/10
  • Ease of Use – 8.3/10
  • Job Search Functionality – 8.3/10
  • Job Posting Functionality – 6.5/10
  • Career Resources – 3.3/10



With extensive job application tips, networking functionality, a community forum, resume templates, and a comprehensive blog, Monster is the best site for Career resources.

While Monster didn’t stand out enough to claim our first place spot it had high scores in four of our five core metrics. It ranked 3rd overall for our Job Listings category after GlassDoor and Indeed and made particularly strong showings in Chicago and Houston.

Monster is very easy to use and has a sleek and simple interface. It has all the conveniences of our best sites: job notifications, mobile app capacity, resume upload with quick application, and job saving. The only area it falls short in our Ease of Use core metric is that it doesn’t have a rigorous job control check. This isn’t as much of a problem as it is on a free site such as Craigslist, but it is still a good idea to keep an eye out for job scams.

Where Monster really shines is in its career resources. It has comprehensive guides on all aspects of searching for and applying to jobs sorted neatly into categories for easy access and consumption. It has community sections devoted to networking and exchanging advice and information. The only drawback here is that there is such a wealth of information that even with its neat organization it can be hard to find everything Monster has to offer.

Drawbacks:

  • Monster is one of the most expensive sites to post jobs on

Ranking Results:

  • Job Listings – 8/10
  • Ease of Use – 8.3/10
  • Job Search Functionality – 8.3/10
  • Job Posting Functionality – 5.4/10
  • Career Resources – 8.3/10

Last Updated on July 6, 2016

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