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Screw up your job board in 6 easy steps

The Job Board Doctor is on vacation this week. The post below was one of the most popular of the past 2 years, so we’re running it again!

It’s been a while since I took a look at how you can screw up your job board, so I thought it was time to revisit the subject.  After all, if you’re going to spend time on your site, why not make money instead of losing it?

Most job boards generate revenue from employers (yes, some such as TheLadders and LinkedIn also get substantial revenue from candidates, but this is still the exception rather than the norm). So to NOT make money with your job board, you really have to forget about what is important to employers – which inevitably leads you back to the job seeker. As an old folk saying goes, ‘If the job seeker’s not happy, no one’s happy’.

So, what does a person have to do to sink their job board? Here are some ideas:

  • Forget why the employer is using your service: Employers don’t flock to your site because it looks cool (although that can help) or because you have the latest and greatest technology. They use your services because they need to connect to your candidates. Thus, if you don’t attract the right kind of candidates, you’ll lose your revenue-producing customers. Obvious? Maybe. But you’d be surprised how many job boards lose track of this.
  • Fail to change: Ever visit a job board and think, ‘Man, that looks like the 1990s!’? I see sites like this every week. They’re not mobile-enabled (despite the fact that 99% of their job seekers have mobile devices), they only offer job postings and resume access (even though employers are looking for additional ways such as social media and targeted emails to reach candidates), and they happily cling to a site-centric, transactional revenue model, even as their competitors move on. In other words, if you want to lose money with your job board, just sit on your butt. It will happen – promise.
  • Ignore metrics:  Don’t like to track what happens on your job board? Your privilege – but you will lose candidates and employers AND money via your ignorance.
  • Pretend social recruiting doesn’t exist: It doesn’t matter whether social recruiting works or not – it has steadily gained the upper hand in HR’s mind over the past 3 years. That means more HR dollars are flowing to it, which inevitably means that less is being spend elsewhere – like your job board. Instead of ignoring it, why not roll it into your offerings? Nope? OK, no new revenue for you!
  • Treat your job seekers like dirt: Candidates are the lifeblood of a successful employment site – so if you want to lose money, just treat candidates like they’re a dime a dozen. That’s what your profit profile will look like in the near future – dimes, not dollars.
  • Focus on being acquired: Sure, it would be great if a large multinational paid way too much money for your job board because of your ‘strategic importance’ or some such nonsense – but the odds of that happening are right up there with winning the lottery. If you focus on selling the business instead of making money with the business, you’ll most likely do neither.

Are there more ways to avoid making money with your job board or career hub? Sure! But my fingers are getting tired…

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