So You Wanna Build a Job Board? Part 3 – Outsourcing Sorcery

This blog post is the third in a series that will examine the pros and cons of different methods of creating and running a job board as the focus or part of a business. There are many reasons for creating a job board–it can be the centre of your business, a way to pipeline talent for your recruitment firm or staffing agency, or a way to help monetizeyour already traffic-heavy news/media website. This is the third installment of ourseries, and covers the ins-and-outs of outsourcing the work of building your job board. Also see: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4, and Part 5. 

We’ve already covered what it takes to build a snowman job board from scratch as a Do-It-Yourself project, and what’s involved with building a job board entirely with WordPress.

 

Now let’s say you want the final product to be similar–something customized, something where you get the final say in every detail–but you either can’t or don’t want to do the building of it first-hand. So, you want to explore the option of paying someone else to do that work for you.

 

If you just need someone to build a WordPress job board for you, you’re looking at hiring a web designer on a short freelance contact. As discussed, the barriers-to-entry of creating a WordPress job board is comparatively low, but at the same time, hiring a designer who knows WordPress well can be money well-spent if that kind of work is not your personal forté.

 

If, however, you’re looking to create something more ambitious as far as the design and technology of your job board goes, outsourcing the development will become more involved. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing the building of your job board?

 

PROS:

1. When you outsource the tech development of your job board, your end-product is going to be something made to order. You’re the client, and as long as you can pay, you get the final word on the design, what features and functionality the board has, and what you need to manage it.

2. There are a lot of options out there for outsourcing software and web development, including companies and professionals in other countries who may charge a lower rate than the developer who lives next door. But regardless of where you hire them, they can usually get the job done faster than if you had to do it in-house or all on your own, so you can save both time and money in the short-term.

3. Paying somebody else to do the work for you means that they are accountable for the work, and you can call on them to fix any problems with what they made. (Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have any agreements on support worked out ahead of time.) Unlike when you’re building a job board yourself, either with WordPress or from scratch, now you have experts to turn to when things go wrong.

 

CONS:

1. The short-turn gain can turn into long-term pain. You’re the only one dedicated to the longevity of your job board, not people to whom you’re outsourcing the work. The time and money you save up-front may wind up costing you more when new design trends, the demands of new technology (and the expectations of their users) suddenly become too loud to ignore. Investing in an upgrade of your system can sometimes become a bigger project than the initial set-up. You might not be able to hire the same person or company as you did last time, or you might only be able afford small fixes and tiny bits of patch-work.

2. Quality control. A company might have a great portfolio of previous work, but you may not get a say in which team members are working on your project. You’re outsourcing the task of software and/or web development because it’s not your specialty, and leaving it to the experts is the wise thing to do. But there needs to be a level of trust in who you’re hiring to build your code. If it’s a mess, you may have a hard time getting someone to clean it up down the road. Some people may mitigate this risk by hiring a local consultant to supervise the project for you, but that increases your overall cost.

3. 62% of offshore IT contracts cost much more than businesses expected. If the product you’re paying for doesn’t turn out the way you expected, it’s not like returning a sweater to the store, receipt in hand. You’re invested in the project, and to fix it you’ll need to invest more time and money. Even if you hire developers at a competitive rate, you’re paying them for every hour of their highly skilled labour to improve or fix it. And any down-time or delay you experience in fixing it means less time spent being up and running, and less revenue.

 

If you have very specific needs that other solutions can’t meet, and a flexible budget and timeline, outsourcing your web and software development for your job board is a pretty good option. You’ll need to do your research on who you’re hiring, and do some careful planning around the longevity of what’s built and how you’ll approach maintenance, updating and upgrading in the future. Hiring a consultant who knows the ins and outs of development to supervise the project can also help you monitor quality control and advise you along the way.

 

 

Stay tuned for the rest of our “So You Wanna Build a Job Board?” series, where we’ll cover other ways to create or update an online recruitment website.

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