Category: Insights

Written by toomaime

Last Updated 🗓 3 years ago

Running a job board

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The guide to run a successful job board as an indie maker

It is not a secret that building a job board is a popular product among makers. Alone, the search on Producthunt gives numerous examples. Building a job board means facing the challenge building a product for a double sided market.

One the one hand you build something for recruiters and on the other hand for applicants. By observing some of the most successful boards you will quickly learn that, although it seems to be easy to create a job board, it is super hard to run it successfully and above all make it profitable.

Problems you are facing - the “chicken and egg” issue

Smartjobboard precisely describes the challenges you are going to face in their article Chicken and the Egg Conundrum. Overcoming these challenges is the most important step for running a job board.

  • You need recruiters and employers to post relevant jobs and the right candidates to apply for the job openings.
  • To get users/candidates to your site, you need to have a decent amount of job listings and valuable resources.
  • If you don’t have interesting job openings, candidates won’t come to your job board.
  • If there are no candidates applying, employers won’t post jobs.

You need to find a solution for this problem at the same time to run your job board successfully. As you can see, solving these problems is essential and although it might seem like a difficult issue, it is not impossible to solve. Let’s take a look at some actionable tips to overcome the challenges:

Adding jobs to your website:

Attracting candidates

  • Spread the word on Social Media - use twitter hashtags, linkedin groups, facebook, specific reddit channels
  • Content marketing is crucial (e.g. writing a blog, guest blogging, providing stats for your niche etc.)
  • Paid ads on social media or search engines
  • Use your network if you already have contacts in your niche - a great example for that is Dan Petty (currently working on Epicjobs )

Find companies hiring in your niche

  • Searching Google for “Jobs in [your niche]”.
  • Which companies are listing paid jobs on competitor websites.
  • Look at job aggregators

Convince them to try you out

  • Offer a free trial
  • Offer job packages and discounts
  • Offer different features (e.g. brand color, highlighted jobs, showing company logos, stick to frontpage etc.)
  • Help them with their first job posts and ask for feedback
  • Provide analytics and performance information

For Smashing Magazine the most important shifts in thinking for a job board owner is to see the job board as secondary to the content, not the other way around. This means that you should first put the focus on creating great content and promoting it. If you start a job board like me without content in the hand you will run into the so called “Chicken and Egg” issue. The Smashing Magazine describes it like this:

What type of a job board should I build?

First of all I tried to categorize the job boards by their focus and area:

Location Focus: A specific location like remote or a city

Profession Focus: At the center is a specific profession (e.g. Teachers, Designers, Developers)

Contract Focus: Freelance jobs, Remote contract, Flexible jobs

Demographic Focus: A specific gender or age

The List

Location Focus:

Profession Focus

Contract Focus

Demographic Focus

Niche Focus

How to monetize your job board

The monetization of a job board can be done by two approaches: charging the job seekers or the employers. Let’s take first of all a look at the most common way, charging the employers.

Charging companies

  • Charging companies for posting their job
  • Charging companies for having options like highlighting, brand color, displaying logos, distributing to other sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter and posting position on social networks
  • Offering job slots like ZipRecruiter Monster
  • Access to candidates resume profile
  • Paid ads for employers in newsletter or website (e.g. Banners, Sponsor)
  • Sponsored emails for quick hiring or for companies opening new locations

Charging job seekers

  • Job seekers can feature their resume
  • Building courses for job seekers
  • Help with resume writing or interview coaching

Sources and more to read:

[1] Monetize your job board website

[2] The Secret to Building a Successful Job Board?

[3] 4 Ninja Moves To Crack the Chicken and the Egg Conundrum

[4] How To Monetize Your Job Board Website

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