Your Guide to Planning a Job Board Tech Update

Established job boards have many advantages in the marketplace – a solid brand, a customer base, job seekers, and insight into their niche about the problems that need solving and what does – and doesn’t – sell. With all that going for them, it’s easy to understand why job board owners who have been around for a number of years might be apprehensive about updating their job board solution. If it ain’t broke, don’t fit it, right?

The trouble is that many older job boards have custom-built solutions that have begun to visibly age or are no longer meeting the expectations of job seekers and employers. And even though they might see their profits shrinking as they struggle to keep up with shifting expectations and changing technology, it can be difficult to make a big change when you’ve become accustomed to your current solution or business model. Reasons for updating your job board tech may vary, but regardless of what you do want to change, you really don’t want to risk losing what is working for you.

So how can job board owners reduce the risk involved in making a big change to their technology? I’ve outlined four steps below that can help you prepare and plan for updating or switching your job board solution.

Continue reading “Your Guide to Planning a Job Board Tech Update”

How a Job Board Can Help Revitalize Your Local Economy

Chambers of commerce and local governments representing and working with businesses outside of big cities have generally witnessed a slower economic recovery than those of their urban-dwelling neighbours. Many chambers are launching and implementing economic development projects to encourage the development and retention of local businesses and workers.

But industries have changed due to automation, globalization, and the rise of service and technology sectors, making it difficult to retain the young talent they raised and educated and attract new workers and residents.

So, how can chambers of commerce help local economies evolve?

Continue reading “How a Job Board Can Help Revitalize Your Local Economy”

Does A Job Board Fit With Your Association’s mandate?

Many associations are discovering new and novel ways to generate non-dues revenue while staying true to their mandate. Here are a few areas where your mandate may overlap with the services a branded job board for your association can provide:

Continue reading “Does A Job Board Fit With Your Association’s mandate?”

How Niche Job Boards Solve Big Problems

Niche job boards can solve a lot of problems for recruiters, and there are many different types of recruiters. Most of them have to really hustle and work hard to do their jobs, and while new technologies are opening up all kinds of doors and possibilities for the future, it can be overwhelming. Some people who need to hire employees aren’t recruiters at all – they’re primarily business owners and office managers who are also responsible for recruiting and hiring.


Hiring feels like an aberration of some kind. It’s a disruption to an employer because it means that somebody has quit, retired, or been fired. Or it means their business is growing and they need more hands on deck to get the work done or even just to keep their heads above water.


Often, it’s a big hassle that needs to be dealt with in a rush.


And yet, without the right people to fill those gaps and come on board, businesses can really struggle. Niche job boards can help solve these problems for employers and recruiters.

Continue reading “How Niche Job Boards Solve Big Problems”

Quality Job Posts Drive Job Board Success

How can you, as a recruiter or job board owner, make hiring easier and more effective?

There are so many factors that you might consider – your job board’s design, an employer’s brand, candidate experience, SEO – but the answer to that question really begins with what is perhaps the most important element of the recruiting process: the humble job post.

Those other things matter, but without good job posts, you run the risk of leading a horse to water without it taking a drink. To use another animal-based metaphor, you’re fishing without bait.

Where Most Job Posts Go Wrong

Job descriptions are important. Depending on the employer’s size, the type of work and the kind of contract involved, it can be very important to define a job description for both the new hire and the employer. A company’s HR department may need to keep job descriptions on file in their records for multiple purposes, but it does not follow that that description is the one that must be used to advertise a new job opening.

Continue reading “Quality Job Posts Drive Job Board Success”

Retaining Homegrown Talent with Community Job Boards

Recently, we talked about the challenges that smaller towns and cities face, along with their chambers of commerce and local governments, when it comes to attracting and retaining a skilled workforce.

Many municipalities, their leaders, and businesses are working hard to make their communities great places to live and work, and are proud to see their youth achieve success in school and work. But they still struggle with being able to effectively connect those young people with the kinds of opportunities that will allow them to stay there and help grow the businesses that employ them.

So how can a community job board run by a chamber of commerce or municipal government help retain their young, homegrown talent?

To answer that question, we need to look at some key factors that make a community job board successful:

Continue reading “Retaining Homegrown Talent with Community Job Boards”

Municipal Job Boards for Regional Economic Development

Cities both big and small find themselves focusing on economic development to improve the lives of their citizens, help local businesses, and their local economy. One challenge that cities and local employers face is both attracting new talent to their region and retaining their local workforce.

Cities, counties, and other types of municipal regions can play a big role in helping local employers with these challenges through a regional job board, career portal, or recruiting platform. Whatever you want to call it, the following list outlines ways that a municipal job board can significantly help local economic development:

Continue reading “Municipal Job Boards for Regional Economic Development”

Does Your Job Board Have a Defined Niche?

The online recruiting industry is a big and bustling place, full of competition, but small job boards that are niche have a lot going for them.

Many new job boards can find themselves struggling to stand apart from both older, more established job boards and those mammoth-sized, generalist platforms. One of the questions we encourage job board entrepreneurs to ask themselves is, “Am I niche enough?”

This blog post will outline how new job boards can think about being niche, explore ways to further specialize, and highlight a few helpful tools that may help.

How to Get Nichier

If your chosen niche is too broad (for example, a whole industry), your first step may be to look for patterns and trends among your jobs, customers, and candidates. Let’s take a look at some dimensions you can explore in your quest to get nichier.

  • Industry and Job Function: These are very likely your first steps towards going niche, but don’t neglect the possibilities of combining the two. Many types of jobs are found across industries, so look for high demand or under-served combinations. (For example, accountants in the nonprofit sector, or event planners in the hospitality industry.)
  • Region: This is probably the best way to get more niche. Instead of trying to conquer the globe or your entire country, try starting with a city or a state/province/county with which you already have some experience and familiarity, or where it’s possible for you to do in-person networking, promote your job board, and build relationships.
  • Contract Types: I suspect this will continue to be an important way that both candidates and employers will narrow their searches for jobs and talent. Part-time jobs, summer jobs, internships, seasonal work, freelance/short-term contracts, or shift work are all examples of types of work contracts.
  • Pay Categories: Similar to contract types, but still worth exploring as a potential niche factor, is types of pay. Recruiting hourly workers vs contractors and freelancers can be quite different, as can recruiting for those getting paid $40-$60k per year vs those in the $200-$300k pay bracket.
  • Qualifications: Many jobs (like driving, construction, engineering, childcare, etc.) require specific types of certifications or licenses. In other cases, employers may prefer candidates with particular types of backgrounds. For example, an employer hiring for a finance role may want someone with a degree in statistics over one in business, or a business communications job may benefit from someone with a liberal arts degree.
  • Personal Traits: This is where you can really get creative. Some people may have specific needs or interests, and that may cross over with certain demographics.
    • Demographics: Employers today are increasingly conscious of workforce diversity and may need help reaching and recruiting women, people with disabilities, and minorities or marginalized groups (for example, LGBTQ people, or people belonging to specific ethnic or cultural groups).
    • Past Experience/Personal Interests: Switching careers is pretty common today, so why not target a particular type of transition, such as former athletes turned writers, or former educators turned financial advisors. Certain hobbies and passions might also be a great way to harness a particular market – some online gamers might take to quality assurance work, or cosplayers might find careers in the fashion industry.
    • Specific Work Needs/Preferences: Many claim that we’re in a candidate’s market today and top talent will go after the opportunities that suit their lifestyles. Focusing on employers that offer remote work, flexible hours, work/life balance, or great healthcare plans could be a great way to go more niche.
  • Employer Traits: It’s not just about what candidates want, and looking for things that make some employers distinct, their size and type of business, or on particular types of hiring paint points can help you narrow your target market.
    • Values: Some organizations pride themselves on being environmentally-friendly, committed to diversity, or being socially conscious and encouraging volunteerism among its employees. Or maybe their whole thing is on-site catering and ping-pong tables. These employers want to connect with candidates who will share their values and enjoy their culture.
    • Size and Business Needs: There can be big gaps between small-to-medium sized businesses who are relying on email and spreadsheets to organize their recruiting, and large companies with lots of roles to fill but need to get targeted exposure to their jobs. Focusing on solving the problems for a particular type of employer is a good way to go niche.
    • Hiring Gaps: What are the types of problems that employers in your niche are experiencing? Whether it’s employee retention, poor candidate experience, or employer branding, addressing these pain points can help you specialize.

Tools to Research Your Niche

Research tools:

  • Google’s Ad Preview Tool lets you preview what search results look like – you can enter keywords, and the location and version of Google being used (in Canada it’s, in the United Kingdom, it’s, etc.)
  • Google Trends & Keyword Planner can give you insights into how popular certain keywords and searches are
  • Stats & Demographics – Our guide to researching what social media platforms will be the most effective at reaching your target market has some tips and links to sites you can use to access demographic information.
  • SEO Tools – lists eight tools they suggest using to research your target market on the web.

We always love hearing about job boards discovering and establishing their niche. If you have a great niche job board story, drop us a line!

Pricing Your Job Board Services

If you’re starting a new job board, you’ve hopefully been making use of Careerleaf’s resources for job boards, and now you’re starting to think about how you’ll price your services.

To do this, you’ll need to know your overall costs and your business model, including what products or services you’re selling, and any other sources of revenue.

Revenue Goals

Many entrepreneurs may start off with dollar signs in their eyes, dreaming of all the cash they’ll have once they get their new business off the ground. The reality is many businesses take the time to become really profitable, so it’s important to set milestone goals for you to meet along your journey.

  1. Your First Sale – The first goal is proving out your business idea by making a sale, or a few initial sales, and learning from those early customers. Was the price right? Did they get what they wanted? Will they recommend your services to other people? You might experiment a little during this early stage to find the prices that match the value your customers expect and experience.
  2. Break Even – The second milestone is making enough money to cover your costs. How much do you spend to operate your job board in the first place? What do your monthly costs for software, hosting, marketing tools, and hours of labour (yours or that of an employee or contractor) add up to?
  3. Make a Profit – The third goal is generating enough revenue to cover your operating costs and make a profit. Once you’re profitable, you may invest that profit into growing the business further.

Continue reading “Pricing Your Job Board Services”