Strategies for association job boards are not one-size-fits-all. Membership associations and trade associations typically using the same approach to marketing to candidates and employers may not yield the same results.
For job boards that find themselves struggling to retain their past successes in the ever-changing world of recruiting, there are five core things you need to do to stay competitive and make more money.
1. Be Niche. Start Niche. Become Niche. Get… Niche-ier.
Generalist job boards – those that deal with all types of jobs on a national or international level – have the most competition. Not having a niche makes it really hard to stand out when it comes to your marketing, your SEO, and your overall value proposition to customers. (If you expect someone to search for “jobs” and find you on the first page of search results next to Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, Glassdoor, Craigslist, Facebook, and other big established job boards, you’re going to have a long, expensive, and difficult road ahead of you.)
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 13th, 2016 but has remained popular ever since. We’re posting it again with a few updates – let us know what’s worked for you in promoting your job board!
Start with Branding, and Know Your Value
I routinely come across a lot of recruiting, staffing, and software websites, and I’ve developed a very particular pet peeve as a result. I hate it when I visit a website and can’t ascertain in ten seconds or less what they actually do.
Reading their Twitter profile bio (if they have one) is often my best bet to get a quick summary or definition of their business, because it’s concise and to the point. 140 characters or less, baby!
It’s tough to take everything you do and boil it down to a tagline, but it’s so worth it. A clear message to your target market and audience helps focus your goals, making them easier to achieve. It’ll be easier to build upon that success and pitch to other markets as you grow, so don’t worry about excluding future verticals. Start with how you’re going to make money and serve your base of employers and candidates now.
Before you start your marketing campaigns, lay out the welcome mat. Put yourself in a stranger’s shoes–would this person be able to grasp all the amazing things your job board can do for them? In ten seconds or less? 140 characters or less?
It’s hard to pack the entirety of your value into such small packages, but if you lead with brevity and give them a reason to go deeper, you make it easier to stick around. A recognizable brand (name, logo, colours, taglines!) and a clear offering go a long way. Out of that, you’ll start to define keywords and more ways to sell.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 31st, 2014 and in addition to being appropriately Halloween-themed, it’s still relevant today! We’re posting it again with a few updates – let us know your experiences with “job boards are dead” rhetoric!
There’s an ongoing narrative that crops up in the recruiting space that goes something like this: Job Boards are dying! Social media recruiting, that’s the way of the future! Indeed is taking over the world, no room for others! LinkedIn is everything! Job boards are dead, dead, DEAD! (Does anyone else get that scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail running through their head when they hear this? ”Bring out yer dead! Bring out yer dead!”)
Everyone hears about job openings that don’t get advertised. These jobs are therefore filled using referrals, personal networks, headhunting, proactive recruiting, etc, etc. There’s also a lot of good evidence behind the value in employer branding and marketing to proactively attract candidates, so of course using things like social media becomes an important part of an overall recruiting strategy.
Ad-Blockers are Causing Publishers to Lose Revenue
Display advertising is an important pillar of revenue for digital publishers, but disruption of those advertising revenue models has presented several challenges.
Last week Laurie Sullivan at MediaPost reported that US publishers have lost up to $15.8 billion in advertising revenue due to ad-blocking technology. The numbers come from a study done by OnAudience.com, which estimates the international loss of ad revenue as a result of ad-blockers rose to $42 billion.
Some publishers have found that a “less is more” approach may yield better results. By being selective about the number of ads, their placement, and just who is advertising what, readers visiting a website are more likely to click on an ad when it’s relevant and their experience is enjoyable.
It’s time again to look around and what’s going on in the recruiting and job board industry. We’ve got stats on how job boards perform as a source of hire and moves from the big names in global tech, and we’ll look at what it all means for you and your job board.
Can you build a job board from scratch?
Should you build a job board from scratch?
Uh, probably not.
There are many job board owners out there capable of building their own job board from scratch, but sometimes it’s not the best decision for their business. But job boards are awesome and deceptively complicated.
It’s important for job board owners to pay attention to changes in technology, keep up with what competitors and other industry players are doing, and hear the perspectives of recruiters, employers, HR managers, and job seekers. So here’s a round-up of some of our favourite bloggers and industry news sites!
A frequent point of reference for this blog, Jeff-Dickey Chasins writes in-depth about job boards, including news about new job boards and what kind of ideas and business models are being tested in the market. Here’s a highlight of some recent posts:
- Cash, IPOs, and purchases: news of the recruitment marketing industry: Highlights of job board news including funding announcements, IPOs, and acquisitions.
- Market complexity is your friend: Emphasizes that a lack of uniformity of needs across the recruiting industry helps create business opportunities for job boards.
- Google Jobs is already changing our industry: Talks about the ways job boards, Applicant Tracking Systems, and recruiters have reacted to the advent of Google for Jobs.
ERE.net is a part of ERE Media that includes TLNT.com and Sourcecon. ERE.net regularly publishes articles from a variety of authors that cover big news items and opinions on the job board and recruiting space. Here are a few recent highlights:
- The Craigslist Experiment: Derek Zeller writes about the effectiveness of posting to the right job board as a method of sourcing, and how it shouldn’t be overlooked.
- Want Your Job Postings to Rank Well in Google for Jobs? Follow These 7 Optimization Strategies: Joel Cheesman talks about SEO for jobs being picked up by Google for Jobs.
- Unconscious Bias Could Be Stopping You From Harnessing The Potential Of New Grads: Gabby Burlacu confronts the ways HR and recruiters deter new grads from applying to jobs with poor job descriptions and traditional hiring processes.
1. Making Candidates Apply by Email ONLY
How many emails do you get? How many do you read? I’m not one of those people who will tell you to forget about using email altogether – it’s still a useful and reliable tool for a great many things – but recruiters’ inboxes are usually pretty stuffed. I think it’s safe to say most recruiters have had a few candidates get lost or forgotten in the shuffle of email.
The beauty of having a system that somehow registers candidates with you is that data and information are then housed and organized in ways that are specific to candidates. When you have candidate pools grouped to your job requisitions, you’re more likely to disposition your candidates – which is where most recruiters and employers fall short in the candidate experience. Which brings me to…
Chambers of commerce or local governments running community-focused job boards have a lot to gain by thinking of this resource through the lens of marketing.
The biggest mistake that anyone can make in trying to reinvigorate or launch a job board project is to fail to market it to the people who stand to benefit from it the most. For community leaders who have taken on the challenge of tackling unemployment and economic development, it’s vital to get the word out.
As with all job boards, you’re marketing to more than one audience. You need to reach both the job seekers and the employers in your region, and make your pitch for other workers and businesses to relocate.
One of the reasons a regional job board can be so valuable is that it centralizes disparate information that is typically spread across a combination of big national job boards, help wanted signs and bulletin boards. If it’s easy to find out who’s hiring and what talent is available to hire, it simply becomes easier to do business.
But the localization of business and opportunity is about more than just job postings and resumes. It’s also important to provide other information about your town to shed more light on living and doing business there.