Why your site should be more than “just a job board”

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In some circles the words ‘job board’ are used as a pejorative – as in, “This site stinks! It’s just a job board!” Whether uttered by a recruiter or job seeker, the sentiment animating these words is negative. Why?

  1. Familiarity breeds contempt. Let’s face it – job boards have been around for 15 years – folks don’t remember the bad old days of searching through newspapers and haunting the local jobs bulletin board. Job boards are part of the fabric of job hunting – they’re no longer the ‘shiny new thing’.
  2. Some sites aren’t that great. In fact, most sites aren’t that great, to be honest. So those sites give the good ones a bad rap.
  3. You can’t always get what you want. As in, “I went to your job board and I didn’t find a job – so you suck!”

This is why you should do your best to ensure that your job board is more than a job board. In fact, you may want to move it out of the job board category altogether – in the words of Ries and Trout, create a ‘new category’ or ‘position’ for your site.

For example, you run a job board for work-at-home marketers:

Old: MarketeratHomeJobs is the place to find your work-at-home marketing jobs – find your dream position today!

New: MarketerInYourPocket is your business development hub – find new gigs, showcase your portfolio, connect with other pros.

The old version was a job board for a bunch of no-good work-at-home lazy marketing types. The new version was where home-based marketing pros build their business, gig by gig.

As a marketing job seeker, I’d go to the second site every day – and I wouldn’t be embarrassed. And I bet I would have an easier time selling it to potential employers, because the perceived value of the users would be higher.

Your thoughts?

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Richard

    Hi, I have recently launched http://www.just4medical.co.uk for the UK jobseeker audience. We contemplated having forums and discussions on the site and you know what, we wanted to keep things simple. Look on a job website for jobs. Look at Facebook for a chat and twitter for a Tweet. Let’s not get things too confusing for our audience. Perhaps once the site has many thousands of members that would be a good time to introduce new services.
    Regards @JobRich

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  3. Job Board Doctor

    Richard, Thanks for the comment. I have to respectfully disagree, though. Job seekers can find ‘just jobs’ just about anywhere. Unless you have jobs on your site that they can find nowhere else, you need to give them additional reasons to visit your site. One man’s opinion! – Jeff

  4. Rob Mason

    I agree with Richard. Part of the reason for launching http://www.Jobatronic.co.uk>Jobatronic was desire to be simple and uncluttered, driven by a belief that most other local (and national for that matter) job sites were bad user experiences, that offered too much clutter thereby making it hard for jobseekers to find jobs and recruiters to post adverts.

    But by the same token I take the point about giving another reason to visit the site. I guess that’s the challenge, particularly for a new job site.

  5. gigajobs.com.au

    I agree with both points of view.. Unless you have a specific niche that is not covered by a major job board then a basic jobs board would suffice, However when you are competing with large jobs boards that dominate.. then you need to give users reasons to come back.. Unique content, Features, etc.. My thinking is to have a simple job board with value features that make finding a job easy.

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