In my recent survey of readers, several asked for more information about what I actually do (other than write these blog posts, I suppose). I do cover a bit of this on the website, but I thought I’d make it more specific. So…what follows is a sampling of what this job board consultant has done over the past several years:
- Site analysis: I’ve reviewed dozens of sites, going through every single public page from both the job seeker and employer point of view. I test every link, register myself (I’m quite possibly the most registered job seeker in North America), and do everything in my power to bollix the software. I look at the employer offerings and compare them to others in the field, I look at the page structure for SEO, and by the end of it all, I usually have 20 or more pages of comments, thoughts, and recommendations about how the site could do a better job for employers and job seekers. (And how can you tell I’m a job board geek? I like doing this!!).
- Products and pricing: I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking at hundreds of job boards – getting a feel for the most interesting and innovative revenue models. I use that knowledge when I look at a client’s line up of products and services: how those are priced – and how they match up to both direct and indirect competitors. I identify products that the client could be offering but isn’t. And I help them figure out if they’re leaving money on the table. Sometimes the end result is ongoing incremental improvement in revenue – and sometimes it’s bigger than that: a recent client told me that one recommendation of mine had generated an extra $5ooK in the past 6 months. I should have charged a percentage!
- Sales and marketing: It’s the lifeblood of any job board – and it just happens to be both a passion and specialty of mine. Over the past 5 years, I’ve created new marketing plans for both established sites and startups, reworked a sales compensation plan for a job board sales team, and laid out a step-by-step sales process for new salespeople. I strongly believe in the effectiveness and value of the consultative sales approach, and (as you know if you read the blog) believe that marketing automation systems can really improve the overall sales effort.
- Software: In the past 10 years we’ve seen an explosion in job board software offerings. That makes deciding what to do about your software a challenge. I work with clients to figure out which package – if any – is best for their needs. Sometimes a custom solution is the only way to go.
- Strategy: At some point, any successful job board will reach a fork in the road – and sometimes an outside perspective can help. I’ve assisted job boards in deciding about acquisitions, changing or overhauling their revenue strategy, moving into new markets, and even deciding to go out of business. I’m lucky – I’ve worked with startups, small and mid-sized boards, networks, and very large boards – including several multi-national sites. I try to give my clients as many options as possible when thinking about their strategy for the future.
- Research: Sometimes a client just wants more information – about competitors, about the market, or even about alternative business models. In addition to job boards, I’ve provided research and back ground to venture capital firms, companies that were considering entering the job board market, and companies that were considering the acquisition of a job board. I watch for trends in revenue, models, expansion, and contraction. (And, of course, many of you have helped the job board community by contributing to our annual surveys – so thank you!).
- Miscellany: Oh yes, there are some other things that aren’t as easily categorized: creating content via blog posts, white papers, and webinars; speaking and facilitating at conferences; providing industry perspectives to the press; and helping job boards prepare themselves for sale.
Yes, eclectic is really the word for the job board doctor world – and it’s great! I love the challenge, and I hope you’ve found this tour interesting.[Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.]