IT Developer Search – Job Site Comparison for Employers

Our company had need of another developer (recession.. what recession?) so I decided to review the current players and try to get some comparisons before I posted my advert, and search CVs. Here are my research notes. I’ve tried to compare like-with-like where that is possible. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, I tried to stick with the bigger on-line players.

Site 1 month advert 1 week advert CV search sample job search1 sample cv search2

Score (out of 5)

Monster UK £199 (only as part of packages) £799 for month, £249 for week. 278 7 candidates (4 in London)


JobServe £299 £120 £200/month, 200 CV views 698 55


JobSite £1983 £99 £600 (24hrs) 61 n/a


TotalJobs £99 n/a £250 (week) 11 n/a


Jobs £199 n/a £499? 20 (see notes) n/a


Indeed Free/CPC Free/CPC Free/$1 per CV 971 about 350



All prices quoted correct at time of research (24th June 2013) and are exclusive of VAT.

1 sample job search is “ web developer” and criteria is “Guildford, Surrey”. If a distance is specified we use 20 miles.

2 CV search price for one month access (if available)

3 JobSite advert was for two weeks, so doubled the £99 cost to match month.


I had recruited one person through a recruitment consultant, who it seems used Monster as a CV source and sent me candidates from there,so it was a logical place to start.

There are a lot of different options including discount combined advert + CV searches, and also geographic filters with discounted pricing, which looked good. After a bit of searching I found their CV search test-drive facility, which allows you to run your queries and get real results back with the contact details removed. The search found only seven candidates, four of which were in “London”, so if I used the service for a week (assuming no new candidates appeared in that time) that would be a cost of £35 per CV!

The job search returned a respectable number of positions, but was priced at a similar level to the other services and wasn’t especially tempting. In their favour they did have regionally-restricted packages, where the searches and listings were for a smaller area. This makes a lot of sense – many smaller employers (like me) won’t be willing to interview staff from the other side of the UK, and it wastes my time and theirs.

The only criticism of this offering from Monster is that the regions are fixed areas: so “South East” includes people from Essex, as well as Guildford, but not someone from Crawley. They should have had regional listings based on a radius from the job location, which would make more sense.


Founded in the earliest days of the UK Internet, they used to dominate the UK IT recruitment industry, but everyone else has caught up a bit. The job listing test returned almost 700 hits, although the distance was set for 25 miles, which brings much of central London into scope. I changed it to 15 (there is no 20 option) and this dropped to just 153.

The CV search facility is not competitive at £198 for a month (and 200 CV downloads), but there is no online test-drive facility. I was contacted by a sales manager from JobServe who offered to do a demo, which involved using a remote-client view whilst he talked me through the demonstration. My CV search test returned 55 CVs, which is a more reasonable £3.60 per CV.


I included this site as I had the impression they had scale on their side. Their job listing prices were similar to Monster, JobServe but the number of job matches was pretty derisory at only 61, suggesting their database isn’t very large.

The CV search facility was laughably over-priced: £600 for 24 hours access. How many CVs are in the database? No idea. CV search test-drive? Nope. Good luck with selling that, JobSite.


Not a good start for this company: the basic job prices are available on the site but access to anything else as an employer requires you to register. So one set of fake login details later, I gain access.

Initial impressions are that this is a company focused on payment and your details. The services they offer (job listings, CV search etc.) are the fourth and fifth items on the employers menu. Clicking the first item “My Account” seems to be broken: until I realise it’s not a tab or a link.. it’s a title for the section. I also notice that the site is classic ASP – which suggests this is a company that has not invested in it’s website infrastructure in the last ten years.

The job search test returned 20 results, none of which were in or near Guildford as requested. Then I noticed the results were actually coming from a different site: Indeed –  an aggregator. Which suggests the level of service being offered by Jobs is very basic: I did the same search directly on the Indeed site, and got far more jobs that the search, which suggests they’re not even using it properly.

The CV search function only works if you’ve purchased it. I can’t tell if it’s any good, or how many CVs I can search, or do a trial run. I have to purchase a subscription first. Kind of like meeting a bloke in a pub who wants to sell you a mobile phone. Except the phone is in an unmarked box, and he won’t let you see what you’re buying until you’ve paid him for it. Do you think I’m going to take a punt for £… for… er – how much is it?

And there is the second problem.. there is no mention of CV search in the purchase options. There is something called “Full Internet Sweep” for £499.. is that it? I guess it must be, since there’s little else in this site.

Given the job search just subcontracts the list to Indeed, one wonders if the “CV search” would do the same – a service you can get for free from Indeed directly? This site is a thin veneer of not-very-much, trying to trade on an easily-remembered domain name. It’s no wonder the recruitment industry has such a bad name.


I am embarrassed to say I’d not heard of Indeed before. I stumbled on their name from (so at least that site had one redeeming feature!). Their model is so different and refreshing that it took me a while to get it. They are “Google for Jobs”.

If you think about it, it’s a totally logical concept. Google helps you find web pages, and Indeed helps you find jobs (if you’re an employee) or find staff (if you’re an employer). Their business model is the same too, with job adverts charged on a pay-per-click basis. However there is an option to turn off the “sponsor” option so it’s possible to list jobs for free.

The test search for job produced an excellent 971 results. This is partly because Indeed acts as an aggregator for jobs from other locations and sites, so it gives a wider choice. A very good reason for a potential employee to use it over the competition.

The CV search seems to be totally free, although I’ve not tried contacting anyone through it. It took a Google search to determine that contacting people via the CV service costs about $1 per CV. The CV search provides so much information that finding the person with a Google search for their name wasn’t that difficult to do: frequently these people also appeared on LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.

However, at a cost of $1 per CV I’m happy to pay for the service and use the online contact facility. I can also have new CVs sent to me that meet my criteria, also at no extra charge unless I chose to contact that person.

I have only two criticisms of Indeed: first, that they make it a bit difficult to work out what their services cost for the CV-resume service, and secondly that they need to spread the word of their existence more!


It’s a bit of a no-brainer really. The days are numbered for the “classified-ad” listing model for recruitment agencies. Pay £199 for 30 days listing when possibly no-one would search for or see your vacancy. The CV search products on most sites are overpriced rip-offs, with only JobServe’s offering looking like it would be worth a try.