Why We Built Job Board Software and You Shouldn’t

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.

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Scary Mobile Experiences on Job Boards

We’re one week away from Halloween, and I’m thinking about all things spooky and scary, including what’s frightening on a job board – bad mobile experiences.

I know, I know.

You know that job seekers search and browse jobs on their mobile devices. We’ve talked about it a lot here on the Careerleaf blog, and you’d have to have your head in the sand not to notice how many people use their mobile devices for just about everything.

But the reality of it, and how job boards are facing up to it, can be a frightening prospect. Below are a couple (anonymous) examples of what job search can be like on a phone.


Classic Old School

This job board features a still-functional older design, but it’s intended only for desktops/laptops, and becomes unreadable on mobile without excessive zooming and scrolling. The point of registration for the job seeker isn’t any easier for the mobile user.

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Maintaining SEO When Your Website Changes

You have a job board, and maybe you need to change the domain name. Maybe you’re upgrading your CMS, or even your entire job board’s structure and technology.

No matter why it’s changing, when your existing URLs change, it will impact your site’s SEO. It will also impact traffic from sources beyond search engines – think of your established audience who types in your URL directly or has you bookmarked. Think of all the places online that link to pages on your site.

If you make a change that affects those URLs, you’re going to get hurt. Yes, even if you’re moving to a better system with nice, clean, human-readable URLs to replace the less-than-ideal dynamic ones you had before.

There are ways to mitigate the damage, however, and it helps to plan ahead.

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Pieces of the Puzzle for Job Board Success

Whether you are about to launch a new job board venture or you’re an industry veteran, it’s common to feel like success is a puzzle and the pieces aren’t quite coming together the way they should. Here on the Careerleaf blog, we lay out the key pieces of the puzzle and give you some ideas for pulling it all together. Even if your particular business model is a little different or unique, there are common areas you can focus on to help create success for your job board.


Be aware: Everyone’s puzzle fits together a little differently

Notice I said help create success. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there are no magic bullets, no one-size-fits-all solutions to your job board business problems in perpetuity. What works today may be stale, awkward, and inefficient in a few years. Your dedication to staying aware and your ability to adapt will remain your most important assets.1

There are common building blocks that shouldn’t be overlooked when building a job board business, or using a job board as an additional revenue stream for an existing business. Starting with the basics, let’s review the purpose of your job board:

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Why Recruiters Should Consider Adding a Job Board

We’ve talked about the sometimes blurred lines that distinguish between job boards, aggregators, and recruitment companies, as well as how their technology and business needs match up or overlap.

The traditional idea of a job board is morphing, changing, and growing to adapt to new employment trends and recruiting needs, so the idea of extending one’s job board services into the realm of recruiting isn’t a stretch.

But what about recruitment companies? Staffing agencies and contingency recruiting companies can benefit from consolidating how they advertise jobs and collect candidate information. Let’s take a look at the top three benefits of in-house job listing and candidate profiles.

Job Advertising Efficiency:

As a recruiter, you need to reach candidates where they are and bring them into the fold. With a job board that takes advantage of outbound feeds and sets up distribution relationships with other niche boards, aggregators, and recruiting networks, a recruiter can be done-in-one as far as their advertising needs go. 

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Hey Careerleaf, why don’t you offer a job board app?

Super-obvious, statement-of-fact, spoiler-alert for off-the-grid lifestylers: mobile devices are the most popular way users access the Internet, growing almost 400% over the last four years.


While riding the city bus, I noticed just how many of the passengers were using a device to send a message, play a game, watch a video, etc. Seeing someone using a smartphone is something I take for granted, but once I took a moment to focus on what my fellow passengers were doing, I experienced a split second of amazement – these mobile devices are everywhere!


Given the mobile revolution, we are often asked, “Why don’t you offer a job board app”?

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No Excuses: Google’s New Mobile-Friendly Rules

Mobile-friendly career sites are now a must, because Google is putting its foot down.

Since last year, Google has indicated to mobile users whether websites listed in their search results were mobile-friendly. Now, websites that are not mobile-friendly will now begin to be affected in how they rank in search results.

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What is your job board communicating?

Last week on the radio, I heard a series of segments on “Generation Z”. That’s right, just as you were getting a handle on Millennials, we have to start thinking about the next group of youngsters coming up behind us. Time to start thinking about how they will interact with the job market, disrupt the workplace, change recruiting–and spawn a thousand unnecessary think-pieces, no doubt.

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So You Wanna Build a Job Board? Part 5 – Cover Your SaaS

This blog post is the fifth 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 monetize your already traffic-heavy news/media website. This is the fourth installment of our series, and covers the ins-and-outs of installing software to run your job board’s technology. Also see: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.


SaaS is the sassy-sounding acronym for the term “Software-as-a-Service”. It refers to software that lives on the Internet. The software is hosted by the service provider, and often in “the cloud”, as opposed to their own in-house servers.


SaaS can be delivered to the customer either through a shared online portal (e.g. all customers log onto the same website to use the software), or it can be delivered through unique customer instances (e.g. everything is hosted by the software provider, but is accessed through a customer’s own website).


Let’s get down to it, then. What’s good and bad about using SaaS to power your job board?

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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?

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