3 Steps to Build a Job Board from ScratchMonday, September 04, 2017
Job boards play an irreplaceable role in the business world, connecting job seekers with companies looking to hire the right candidates. They could both benefit from setting up a job board platform where one could post the job opportunities online, while the other could respond to the posting information.
Therefore, in this post I will share some information about how to build a job board from scratch, hopefully helping you facilitate your job boarding process.
Choosing your niche
If you don’t want to create a job board that is cater to all kinds of jobs, which I don’t recommend for it’s hard to compete with others like indeed and monster, you need to choose your niche carefully as it greatly determines whether your job board would be successful or not. Going with a specific niche industry would make enter into the market easier and smooth. Job boards targeted to very narrow industries are more likely to be successful. For example, as a community for digital marketers, Inbound.org launched a Job Board on digital marketing and growth, which is amongst the most popular of its niche at the moment.
If you have no idea about how to search your niche, you could search that via different tools. Here I will show you how to do that. For example, you could use Google trends to search the trends of your target niche. Just enter the terms and the tool will build a graph describing the search trends in different periods. Then you could better judge whether it is a good industry to choose or not. Below is the term “digital marketing” I searched on Google trends.
Also, you could search the keywords with the web scraping tool to show how many related jobs had been published and how they describe the jobs, so you could have more ideas about your niche and make a better strategy. Below is the result from Glassdoor.com I got with the free web scraping tool Octoparse.
(For how to scrape data from Glassdoor.com, please check out Scraping job postings from Glassdoor.com.)
Building the platform
After you pick up your niche, you could start to build your job board site. If you decide to invest a huge sum of money and time into the site, and you are a technical guy, you could code yourself so you could have fine control over every aspect of the website like features and functionalities. If not, I would recommend you to use the third-party tools. The most common third-party platform is WordPress now. With different themes, you could instantly turn your site into a beautiful and functional job board. Also, there are a lot of plugins that could satisfy your specific requirements and performance. Using a theme or plugin based solution is much easier and costs less than developing it from scratch as you don’t have to be an technical expert.
Setting up the website is only a small part of building your own job board. Making it to the right audience and gaining more job postings is a bigger challenge. Without adequate exposure, it is very difficult to get job postings on your job board, and attract more candidate resumes. You could get jobs in 2 ways. One is to copy the jobs from employer websites and link back to them if job seekers apply. Usually they don’t mind. This could allow you to feed with the required data at the beginning. It usually could be done by using the web crawling solution, either with web scraping tools or web scraping service (refer to Web Scraping Service vs. Automatic Web Scraper: Which is the best option for web scraping? for more information). The other way is to backfill with other job aggregators like Indeed and monster. They will pay you the commission.
It seems not so difficult to build a job board. But the key to success is persistence. It could take one or more years to achieve a stable flow of revenue. So don’t give up too early, it’s definitely worth a try.
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