What are online job boards?
An online job board is a place where job seekers and employers can find and connect with each other. Employers can post open roles with required skills and qualifications, and job seekers can apply to opportunities they’re interested in.
Unlike a company careers page, the main purpose of a job board is to facilitate connections between job seekers and other employers who may be stopping by your website. Job boards are also different from job search engines. While job search engines like Indeed aggregate a wide range of job listings from thousands of online sources, job boards are typically more focused on a particular industry, location or job type (e.g., freelance, contract, remote).
With niche job boards, job seekers visiting your site know that opportunities on your job board are likely to match what they’re interested in, while employers get the chance to tap into a relevant, specialized talent pool.
Job board software
While you can build a custom job board completely from scratch, you can also use job board software — it’s often quicker, easier and cheaper to implement. There are two main job board software options: open-source software or software as a service (SaaS) platforms.
Open-source software like WordPress typically has plugins and themes that allow you to create a job board. However, this option usually requires a certain level of technical skill (or a dedicated web developer) to create and maintain. With SaaS on the other hand, you pay a software vendor to create, host and manage a white label job board that will appear custom-made for your website — but it requires less heavy lifting on your end.
Job board software typically offers a variety of features for both job seekers and employers, including:
- Job and resume posting
- Matching alerts
- Applicant tracking integrations
- One-click application
- SEO tools
- Integrations with job aggregators
Many also come with customizable design options that allow you to brand your job board to fit with the rest of your site.
Step-by-step guide to creating a job board
A job board is a valuable resource that gives your existing visitors a reason to return, attracts new customers and can even bring in additional revenue (if you choose to monetize it).
Here are five steps to help you create a successful job board that can support and engage your customers during this difficult time:
Step 1: Determine if launching a job board is right for your business
Make sure a job board will be relevant to your target audience by thinking about why people come to your site (e.g., to read your blog, to purchase products/services), as well as the overall size of your audience.
Adding a job board to a restaurant website, for example, may not be helpful since visitors are probably more interested in viewing your menu than jobs. However, if your business offers medical software, there’s a chance your customers are also hiring healthcare professionals and would find a job board valuable.
Once you’ve determined that a job board is right for your users, think about the size of your audience. How many monthly visits does your site get? You’ll want to make sure you have enough people visiting your site so that employers posting on your job board receive a sufficient number of relevant applications.
Step 2: Define your niche and objective
What kind of jobs do you want on your job board? Job boards typically stay within a specific niche to best serve their target audience. Some job boards are grouped by industry, like finance, government, healthcare, tech or sales. Others might focus on a specific type of role instead, such as contract, entry-level or remote.
A company in the construction industry, for instance, might want to use a SaaS platform to host construction-related jobs only on their site. They probably wouldn’t want to post any other types of jobs because it wouldn’t be relevant to their customers’ needs. A local government website, however, might want to host a wider range of jobs to serve a large number of citizens with diverse skills.
After narrowing your focus, define your objectives so that you can measure success. Beyond connecting job seekers and employers in your niche, think about what else you are hoping to accomplish. Is it increased traffic to your site? Do you want to grow your email subscriber list? Or bring in additional revenue? Clarifying the purpose for your job board can help you track its success and your ROI.
Step 3: Choose your job board software provider
If you want to build your own job board, you’ll need the right software to help you achieve your goals. But which one is right for you? The answer depends on your budget, timeline and skills.
Open-source job board software
Often a free or more cost-effective solution than SaaS, consider using open-source software to build your job board if you already have a site built on a CMS that has job board themes, widgets or plugins.
While building a job board with open-source software might be free in terms of money, keep in mind that it may come with other costs or challenges. You might need a web developer to customize the site to fit your needs, for example. You’ll also need to think about who will take care of bugs, upgrades and other ongoing maintenance tasks.
SaaS job board software
If you’d rather not handle hosting, coding, upgrades or maintenance, consider leveraging a simple SaaS solution to create a white label job board. All you have to do is sign up for a SaaS service, connect your domain, choose a job board theme and add job listings.
Since there are several SaaS job board options out there, you’ll want to choose one that has all the critical features you’re looking for (e.g., mobile responsive design, matching alerts, data backfill options).
Step 4: Collect high-quality job listings
Instead of launching with an empty job board, reach out to your contacts from other businesses in your industry ahead of time and ask them to post their job openings.
Many white label job board providers also provide access to a network of employers, as well as features that allow you to backfill your job board with relevant jobs from job aggregators like Indeed. This is a great strategy when you’re first starting out with a job board.
Another way to collect job postings is to promote your job board to employers in your niche — which we’ll talk about more in the next section.
Step 5: Decide how you’ll market your job board
To help as many employers and job seekers in your niche as possible, it’s important to drive traffic to your job board by coming up with a comprehensive marketing strategy. There are a few ways to promote your job board, including:
- Press releases
- Email campaigns
- Blog or social media posts
- Digital advertising channels
Another simple way to let your audience know that you have a job board is by linking to it from your site’s navigation menu.
Offering to connect job seekers and employers in your niche can be an impactful way for you to give back to your customers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Not only can a job board provide easy opportunities for your customers to navigate their job or hiring search during the pandemic, it can also build credibility, trust and loyalty with both your current customers and prospects.