How to Pay Only for Quality Applications Using Deal Breakers

Post a Job

Note: Pay per application (PPA) pricing is not available to all users at this time.

When you sponsor a job on Indeed using our pay per application (PPA) pricing model, setting “deal breaker” job criteria tells us the must-have requirements you’re looking for in applicants. This allows us to show you only the applicants who meet your minimum criteria. Not only that, but you will only pay for quality applications from jobseekers whose responses meet these deal breakers.

But what are the most effective deal breakers for finding quality candidates on Indeed? In this article, we will cover how deal breakers work on Indeed, including how to define your must-have requirements to get the most out of your Sponsored Jobs.


What are deal breakers on Indeed?

A deal breaker is any hard requirement like years of experience, licenses/certifications or shift availability that you can use to tell Indeed what makes an applicant qualified for your job. When you add screener questions to your job post and mark one or more of them as deal breakers, you will only pay for applications whose responses meet the job’s most important requirements or for those you do not reject within 72 hours.

Setting the right deal breakers is important when you sponsor a job on Indeed because it helps us identify who meets your minimum requirements and automatically reject those who do not. This can help eliminate a lot of the time and effort that goes into sorting through large pools of applicants. Instead, hone in on applicants who meet your must-have criteria upfront. In fact, Sponsored Jobs with deal breakers reduce the number of candidates rejected by employers by 55%.[1]

Screener questions you can mark as deal breakers on Indeed are:

  • Education: What is the highest level of education you have completed?
  • Language: Do you speak [language]?
  • Experience: How many years of [skill] experience do you have?
  • License/Certification: Do you have a valid [license/certification]?
  • Shift availability: Which shift(s) are you available to work?
  • Willingness to travel: What percentage of the time are you willing to travel for work?
  • Work Authorization: Are you authorised to work in the United States?
  • Security clearance: Do you have an active security clearance?
  • Vaccine requirement: Are you fully vaccinated against or willing to undergo weekly testing for COVID-19?


How deal breakers help identify quality candidates

When a jobseeker applies to your position on Indeed, they will be required to answer the screener questions you selected when you posted your job. If an applicant’s answers do not match your deal breaker requirements, we will automatically move them to the Rejected tab in your Employer Dashboard. If they provide an answer that does match your criteria, you can view them in your Candidates tab.

Once you start to receive applications that meet your deal breaker requirements, you have 72 hours to review and decide if the application meets your needs. You will not pay for applications you reject within 72 hours, letting you have the final say on quality.

Adding screener questions to your Sponsored Job and marking any must-haves as deal breakers can also help us surface better matches for your jobs through Matched Candidates. With this feature, the moment you sponsor a job on Indeed you gain access to a short list of quality candidates from our resume database that fit your job description. You can then invite your favourites to apply. On average, employers who sponsor their job make a hire 25% faster when they use Matched Candidates.[2]


How to mark qualifications as deal breakers

Start by posting your job on Indeed. When you get to the Customised pre-screening section, you will be prompted to add screener questions to help us identify the candidates who meet your job criteria.

We will suggest screener questions based on your job title, but you can also choose the specific questions you want to ask applicants by clicking on the Browse more qualifications dropdown. There, you will see questions organised by category (e.g., education, language, shift availability).

Select the screener questions you want to ask applicants. For example, if you are hiring an accountant, you might require applicants to be certified public accountants (CPAs). In this example, you would select License/Certification. The application question that populates is “Do you have a valid _________ ?”

As you type into the empty field, common licenses will appear. In this case, you would choose “CPA” to fill in the blank. Since this is a must-have for the role, you would also check the deal breaker box to the right of the question.

Now, when jobseekers apply for the role, they will be asked to confirm if they have a valid CPA license. If they select no, they will be sent to the Rejected tab in your Employer Dashboard since they do not meet this important requirement.

Note: You can create your own custom questions by clicking Create custom question. However, you cannot mark custom questions as deal breakers. Asking these questions can still be useful because you can filter applicants in your dashboard by their answers.


How to define your deal breaker requirements

We recommend adding 3-5 screener questions to your Sponsored Job to help Indeed filter applicants based on your requirements. Consider marking 1-3 of those questions as deal breakers.

What are the most effective deal breakers for finding quality candidates? It all depends on your specific role and industry. For example, if you are hiring a food service worker, shift availability and a valid food handler’s license may be your only two non-negotiables. Any other qualifications would be nice to have. However, if you are hiring a veterinarian, education, years of experience and a state veterinary license may be hard requirements.

To start defining must-haves vs nice-to-haves, take a look at your job description. One method is to rank all of the requirements in order of importance and use the first 1-3 as your deal breakers. You could also ask employees in a similar role for help identifying the most important criteria.

Additionally, be thoughtful about the requirements you are marking as your deal breakers. For example, is a Bachelor’s degree absolutely necessary for someone to succeed in the role? Do you really need applicants to speak Spanish or is it just nice to have? Can you train someone on a certain skill on the job? By being intentional about the requirements you arre marking as deal breakers, you can attract a more diverse set of applicants.


Deal breaker FAQs

What happens to applicants that are rejected because they do not have my exact requirements?

When Indeed detects that a new applicant does not meet your deal breaker criteria, their submitted application is automatically filed under the Rejected tab in your dashboard. We will not send them a rejection email on your behalf unless you opt into Indeed Employer Assist. Instead, they will just be filtered out for you.

Can I go back and look at applicants that were automatically rejected?

Yes, you can view applicants that do not meet your exact requirements at any time from the Rejected tab.

Can applicants skip over my deal-breaker questions and apply without providing a response?

No, screener questions marked as deal breakers require a response from applicants. However, applicants will not be required to answer any custom screener questions you have included with your job posting.

Can you add deal breaker questions to free* job postings?

Yes, you can mark screener questions as deal breakers on jobs you post for free.

*Terms, conditions, quality standards and usage limits apply.

If I create my own questions, can I mark them as deal breakers?

No, it is not possible to mark custom questions as deal breakers at this time. Only built-in screener questions provided by Indeed can be marked as deal breakers and require a response from applicants.

Can you set multiple answers as a deal breaker on one question?

No, not at this time. When you specify a deal breaker, it is a binary question, so it has to be something that only has one correct response versus multiple answers.

If I have already posted a job and I add new screener questions or decide to mark my questions as deal breakers, will they apply to existing applicants?

Screener questions or deal breakers added to your job post after it has already been posted will only apply to new applicants. The criteria for these new screener questions and deal breakers will not be applied retroactively to existing applicants.

Can you mark assessments as deal breakers?

No, skills assessments on Indeed cannot be marked as deal breakers.

  1. Indeed data (US)
  2. Indeed data (US)
Post a Job

Ready to get started?

Post a Job