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Steal these ideas!: a job board owner’s toolkit

When you’ve been writing about job boards and recruiting sites for 13 (!) years, you manage to cover a lot of ground. Sometimes good information gets buried in the past, while other information becomes obsolete. As many of my clients will tell you, I’m a big believer in looking at what other businesses are doing – and learning from them. You could shorten this by saying, “Steal this idea!”, but I don’t want to give this a bad connotation. Our business, political, and cultural history is full of folks who built on what others had done – for example, there would have been no Beatles without Chuck Berry or Little Richard. So let’s take a look at some of the useful tactics, techniques, and information you should have in your ‘ideas’ toolkit:

  • Lead nurturing: It’s a simple concept – but many job boards don’t utilize it. The idea is straightforward: using an email-based and data-drive software platform, send out targeted messages to prospects on a periodic basis. It keeps you top of mind, it familiarizes the prospects with your services, and it typically improves sales conversions by 15-35%. What’s not to like? Read the post here.
  • Build candidate engagement with content: Job boards and recruiting sites often tend to be transactional in nature – which means candidates come and go. What if candidates came and stayed? That’s the idea behind content marketing – and in this interview with Matt Lucas of JobMonkey, he explains how he leveraged thousands of pages of content into a thriving job board business. Hear the podcast here.
  • Branding is important: Most job boards are anonymous – you see them once, you forget them. Why? Because they’ve focused on traffic or parnerships or….anything but creating a unique brand. It’s been shown many times that a well-positioned and branded business is worth much more than one that isn’t. Another plus for job boards – candidates remember brands! Read the post here.
  • Friction is (usually) bad: Friction in job boards is basically this: making your services harder to use, rather than easier. Making your candidates go through 5 steps to apply, instead of 1. Making your employers call to buy, instead of using ecommerce. Now, sometimes you may want to slow down a process – but do it intentionally, not accidentally! Learn more here.
  • Maybe a resume isn’t the only way?: Employers are usually our paying customers – and the thinking goes that, ‘if they want resumes, then give them resumes’. Well…sometimes you may want to rethink that. A profile or an assessment may get closer to what they want – even if they don’t realize it. Listen to this podcast and this podcast to learn how two different recruiting businesses tackled the challenge of leaving a resume behind.
  • Revenue idea 1: subscriptions: Ever wonder how companies like LinkedIn, Dice, Indeed, and many others around the world grew to be as profitable as they are? One key ingredient is subscriptions. By encouraging employers to buy job board services on an annual or semi-annual basis, subscriptions provide both a convenience to the buyer (they can plan ahead) and the seller (they don’t have to re-sell every month). Learn more here.
  • Revenue idea 2: revenue streams, summarized: If you’re in start-up mode – or perhaps revamp mode -you probably want to take a long, hard look at which revenue streams you plan to pursue, and why. Not surprisingly, this topic continues to be one of the most popular in the Doctor’s collection. Read the original post here. 
  • Internalize the candidate: Job boards and recruiting sites have two audiences: candidates and employers. Trust me – if you don’t have candidates, you can forget about employers! But how, exactly, do you engage candidates? A critical piece of the equation is to understand them – and then learn to speak their language. How this can be done is the subject of this post.
  • The term ‘job board’ is meaningless: The term ‘job board’ is shorthand, the way ‘Kleenex’ and ‘BandAid’ are shorthand. It’s a easy way to describe a lot of different types of services. What is the key idea tying them together? They are all sites or services that connect candidates and employers. So don’t get hung on a term – just find a simple and persuasive way to describe your business. Read more here.

I could make this longer – but then the toolkit would become too heavy and unwieldy! What tool is missing that you would add? Let me know!

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[Check out JobBoardGeek, the Doctor’s podcast!)

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