Sometimes, attracting the right candidate to your business is an entirely unpredictable game of chance. The chance that the right candidate will pick up the paper and see your recruitment advertisement at the right time, or the chance an incumbent will happen to notice your advertisement on the front page of ‘Seek’. So with all of this chance at play, how do you improve your odds? When you hear that a competing business was swimming in job applications for a similar role that you’ve advertised only 8 weeks ago and you’re not, its natural to wonder why, but you’ll find the reasons why have a lot less to do with chance than you might think. Its actually often all a just a case of timing.

In discussions with my clients around their internal recruitment efforts, the answers to 1 question I ask, regardless of industry, seem to share a similar theme. I regularly ask employers: ‘when specifically do you tend to advertise a vacancy with your business to the market?’ And the responses are all too often: ‘whenever I get around to drafting the advertising copy’ or, ‘when we have the budget cleared for the role’ or, ‘whenever we remember to call up the advertising people and get the ball rolling’. In my experience most hiring managers seem to be entirely reactive to advertising their vacancies. Employers might say, post a recruitment advertisement on a Wednesday, perhaps around 11am. Or perhaps the hiring manager creates a LinkedIn post advising of the vacancy when they get a chance to over the weekend, thinking ‘people are sure to notice that post with so much more free time…’ — well, not necessarily.

Typically, during the working week, the average Joe just wants to get through to Friday. Friday rolls around, they’ve ‘clocked off’ for the day and are now feet up, just enjoying their leisure time. Same goes for the weekend. And yet so many employers advertise their roles late Friday, with the expectation that the weekend traffic is going to jump all over their opportunity. Whereas actually so many of those candidates that you think are going to read your advert, are down at the beach, or at the local footy, or catching up with friends. People often don’t even want to think about work in their leisure time; they just want to enjoy their weekends. They’ll also usually have less of an opportunity to actually sit in front of a computer and pour through ‘Seek’ over their weekends than they might have during the week.

It also only takes a few hours for your advertisement to shuffle down a few pages on an online job board or via LinkedIn, and so with everyone else pumping out their ads on Friday afternoons, your advert is dropping further and further away from the noticeable front page of search results.

So, if Friday evenings and weekends don’t work so well, when is the best time to advertise a vacancy? The answer is actually late Monday afternoons and evenings. When Joe Blo is back at his work desk with a case of the Monday blues, if he is even subconsciously contemplating a career move, his mind will wander over to, ‘another week of this job, I really need to make a change’ and bingo, Monday afternoons are actually the busiest times for traffic on job listing sites.

Implement this advice into your next job advertisement listing and let me know if you find it makes a difference! Personally, I’m tipping you’ll probably be too busy to let me know, because you’ll be fielding so many candidate inquiries…