There are literally thousands of jobs boards out there of all different profiles. Many brand themselves as ‘specialty’. Some call themselves ‘niche’. Others claim they have a geographic focus. And still more try to edge out the competition with quirky names.
From a job poster’s perspective, it can all seem so confusing, especially as there are more and more new boards cropping up all the time.
Needless to say, when it comes time to cut through the noise and choose one platform or another, you need a sound evaluation process to put into play. My advice? Don’t get caught up in the hype—everything should boil down to results. Oh, and use these five tips to size up job boards successfully.
1) Reduce your risk. Some job boards thrive on convincing employers to buy a single post priced at several hundred dollars. They charge the same fee regardless of the number of applicants the posting generates, and accordingly, recruiters who shell out to meet these high rates risk spending big and leveraging small returns. On the other hand, job boards that work on performance-based pricing, such as cost per applicant (CPA) or cost per hire (CPH) job boards, are far less risky as they guarantee some sort of return for your dollar. Do the math before you buy into a flat rate board’s ‘sales pitch’ and make sure you’re maximizing your spend.
2) Crunch the numbers. Use traffic-estimating sites, like Alexa.com, to determine approximate traffic of a job board. If you are considering posting to a new job board, first compare their traffic with other high-performing boards you are more familiar with. For example, if Job Board A is twice as costly as Job Board B, but has half the traffic – Job Board A isn’t likely to be a good buy.
3) Understand ‘backfill’. Most job boards partner with others – simply because it’s almost impossible for a single board to sell millions of postings, but they need millions of jobs for their candidates to search across. If there is a job board on which you desperately want to promote your posting, check on the board – you might already be there due to a purchase you’re making elsewhere. Of course, working directly will result in your job posting receiving better real estate, but often it’s not worthwhile to pay the direct cost. If you stick to the larger job board aggregators – like Indeed, Jobs2Careers, Juju, in most instances you will also appear on niche boards. Flat rate boards like Monster, CareerBuilder, etc. also have large syndication networks.
4) Research rank. Do a relevant search on Google for your open position and geography and see which sites rank well for the search. That is a great indicator of which boards will have traffic for that specific job.
5) Negotiate. If you have done your research through Google and Alexa and perhaps looked at some review sites, and you don’t think the rate requested by the job board is fair, let them know and ask if they can give you a ‘test’ posting or two. Most often the board can negotiate pricing dramatically in exchange for a trial. Beware, some job boards will send supplementary traffic for posters in trial vs those in contract – so take that with a grain of salt. The end goal is usually to negotiate a larger bulk contract with your preferred flat rate boards. These contracts can come with very favorable per posting discounts, but approach them cautiously and make sure you are signing terms that allow you to back out if posting results do not meet the market’s (or your) expectations.
Hopefully some of these high level guidelines are helpful. And keep in mind, to be confident in your boards – you have to try out a few. If you do a post on a board and get great results, that’s fantastic! But that doesn’t mean you can’t get even better results elsewhere. Test, test, test….cautiously and wisely.
And if you need more info about figuring out both what job board is right for and what posting promotion strategy is right for you, download the second free eBook in our business leader’s guide to hiring series, ‘Creating a Mighty Job Posting Strategy’.