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Building Online Job Boards

Launching job boards can be turnkey, but managing them isn’t.



By Bill Mickey
03/03/2008

Building a job board has become a no-brainer exercise for b-to-b publishers. Turnkey options are available that can result in a fully functional job board launch in as little as a month. Yet for all the ease in setting one up, publishers still need to pay close attention to the front-end functionality as well as actually selling and promoting the product. Like any e-media related asset, job boards require some dedicated care and attention.

Add Editorial Content

Hanley Wood currently has two job boards affiliated with their Builder and Architect magazines, and is in the process of rolling out two more. Kim Heneghan, the company’s online product development director, says that in addition to having the listings themselves, offering a wealth of related editorial content that surrounds and supports the listings is critical. “It provides more market information. It’s more helpful for the job searcher and it provides stickiness for the site,” she says.

The editorial content can come from your own archives or tools and resources can be pulled in from external sources—salary and geographic information from Salary.com, for example. “If you want to find out how much money you should be making or how expensive it is to live in a particular market, there are tools available to choose from,” says Heneghan, who adds that the vendor should be able to offer external content resources and pull them in to your site.

Robust Search

It may sound obvious, but search functionality is key. Job seekers have a variety of individual preferences when they’re searching for a job—title, location, company, and more—and any well-crafted job board should offer a prominent, robust and easy-to-use search function.

Instant Listings

Heneghan’s vendor plugged Hanley Wood’s job sites into a national network that instantly pre-populated each site with an abundance of listings. Currently, there are around 40,000 jobs available to search. Hiring companies pay a 30-day fee of $150 to post only on a Hanley Wood site, a 60-day fee is $200, or they can upgrade to the national network for another $150 for the 30 days or $200 for 60. Upsells include five or 10 job blocks, resume searches, and postings that are highlighted or featured in a premium placement. Companies can also pay extra to have their jobs listed in HW’s e-mail newsletters and pay a $60 CPM for run-of-site banner ads.

Sales

Builder and Architect each have one dedicated sales rep responsible for the job boards. Selling listings is not a full-time job, but the rep has added the sites to a larger group of print and e-media products to sell.

“You have companies that may come to the site and post jobs without ever talking to a sales person,” says Heneghan. “Those tend to be the smaller companies. The larger ones who already have a relationship with us will let us scrape their job listings from their corporate site or they may buy a block of ten positions—if they know they typically have that many open—and we bill them on a monthly basis.”

A Sampling of Job Board Vendors

This selection of vendors highlights two approaches to job board development: A custom, private-label approach, or a fully hosted, prepackaged solution that offers a revenue share arrangement.

Adicio
A full-service provider that offers a private-label solution that integrates with an existing Web site. Clients include Reed, Nielsen, and Folio: parent Red 7 Media.

JobTarget
Also a private-label developer, JobTarget, which has a client list heavily represented by associations, will custom-build a career center that integrates with the client’s Web site. Clients include American Marketing Association, Vance Publishing, and the National Association of Sales Professionals.

JobThread
The syndicated approach to job boards. You partner with JobThread by signing up for a free, turnkey, hosted job board. They collect job posts and syndicate them by market to their network of hosted partner sites. Partners participate in a 50/50 revenue split. Clients include Paidcontent.org, Slashdot, and Silicon Alley Insider.

Simply Hired
A vertical search engine approach to job boards. Simply Hired offers two products: A fully hosted job board that’s free and the partner company gets paid when a user clicks on a job ad; and an XML API that allows for greater customization and access to a 5 million entry database. Clients include CNET, New York Post, and GigaOm, among others.

By Bill Mickey
03/03/2008







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