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.
You’ll want to promote your region on a few fronts and include related resources:
- What’s great about living in the area
- How to start a business locally
- What kind of schools and training programs may be available
- Resources for job search and career development
- Tools to help businesses hire local workers
- Local success stories
This is where you’ll want to put on your “marketing hat”, perhaps drawing inspiration from tourist boards (or maybe even collaborating with them!). Consider using photos, videos, posters, social media, local media, and events to share information and promote your job board and the resources it offers. Get community members involved by asking them to share their photos, videos, and stories by utilizing hashtags and social media groups.
And it’s not just for the already Internet-savvy young people! If you want awareness to reach your whole community regardless of age or comfort with digital media, consider running in-person events like job fairs, resume clinics, or training sessions on effective recruiting.
By creating a hub for careers and hiring and related resources, you’re helping to shift the narrative that says the world only revolves around big cities or particular neighbourhoods, which can help you retain homegrown talent.
Other positive side effects can include a rise of businesses that help foster entrepreneurship, like incubators and coworking spaces, which provide a lot of support to new businesses. And of course, it can also help to nurture a sense of community and local pride in your home town.
You’re not just marketing a website that can generate some revenue, you’re showing off! Sometimes you don’t appreciate where you live until someone from out of town visits and plays the tourist. And unless you show your town and the world what you’ve got to offer, they may not fully realize what value they have all around them.
So whether you’re a member of your chamber of commerce, an economic development officer, or a community leader who wants to bring your local economy into the future, put on your marketing hat and get creative with telling everyone about what your local job board has to offer.