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Recently in my university research group (scientific fields: computer science and bioinformatics) we had some open positions for PhD students and PostDoc. For the hiring phase, we decided to insert some announcements on many free websites. We avoided pay websites, such as IEEE Job Site or others.

Now, the hiring phase has just ended up. We've found some good applicants, but not so good as we expected. So I am wondering what would have happened if we had chosen the pay way.

I searched for some prices for a 30 days announcement on some popular job websites, and here are the prices I've found:

  • Linkedin: 140 €
  • ACM Careers: 380 €
  • IEEE Computer Science Society job board: 400 €
  • IEEE Job Site: 212 €

Do you think that these prices were worth to find better PhD or PostDoc candidates?

Do you think that next time we should pay one of these announcements in order to get better candidates?

Have you experienced before with them?

Many thanks

1 Answer 1

Yes, it's worth paying for an advertisement if you end up hiring a stronger candidate. I tend to be fairly frugal, but I think of your situation in terms of one-time cost vs. recurring cost. When you pay for the ad, you pay just once. When you hire a weaker candidate, you pay every day in terms of lower productivity and lower quality results.

In the U.S., a typical annual salary for a postdoc in math might be in the range of $40,000-45,000 (33,000-36,500 €); in CS, it would likely be higher. Even the IEEE price (the highest of those you list) is roughly 1% of that. So, if you're fairly confident you'll get a better candidate by paying for a few ads, IMHO, you'd be foolish not to do so.