Pretty much every industry has luxury brands – fashion has Chanel, Gucci, D&G, and more. You’ve got Lexus, and Mercedes and BMW and Jaguar with cars. There are high-end carpets, shoes, droids, cameras, foot insoles, etc.
No doubt, some of these elite brands can invoke elite price points because they create better products, but I think most folks would also agree you pay some premium for ‘the name’. Case in point? Compare the price of a plain white T-shirt and a white T-shirt with Armani printed on the front.
Believe it or not, the same can be said for job boards! Now, don’t get me wrong, big brand boards often deliver reasonable results, but you’re certainly paying for ‘the name’ in these cases as well.
More specifically, these big brands are safe bets in the way that they’ll likely generate some candidates for your job and they won’t do malicious things with your sensitive data. However, just like the aforementioned luxury options, they are not the best overall value and they tend to increase their pricing at higher than market rates, or at least at rates that are more expensive than the ‘wholesale’ market.
They then justify their higher prices by pointing to unique “benefits”.
Some job boards will preach they have a more sophisticated audience, or other demographic differences. This is true to a degree, but as there are no filters or gates that people need to pass through to apply to a job on these kind of job boards, in reality any Tom, Dick or Harry could find the job and apply as often as they like! So there’s no real way for these big brand boards to guarantee a certain kind of audience.
Other boards may claim to have better SEO strategies or may punt the fact that they have a strong, high-class brand presence, but don’t over-buy into this hype.
And just remember, if someone is buying a Superbowl commercial to boost their brand equity, someone has to pay for that ad space. Yes, this commercial may bring more candidates, but someone definitely has to foot the bill too – and that person will be you if you buy a posting!
When looking at a board, I would recommend to not be overly concerned with the brand. Instead, test out a few boards that are sensibly priced (see how to review job boards) and make some purchases – see which boards work out for you best from a performance standpoint. If that means Monster is your board, or if that means ‘Jack’s job board’ is best, stick to what works.
Lastly, don’t buy into the notion of ‘niche’. While there is some merit to the idea, just keep in mind a ‘niche’ board may or may not do better than a ‘general’ board. Niche just means one thing, ‘niche’. It does not mean ‘better’. Try one out if you’re really excited by it, but don’t buy into their marketing.
And with all the money you save on job boards, you might as well buy yourself something nice – though you still may not be able to afford that BMW.