Chicken or Egg?: Starting up a job board


Ten or fifteen years ago, starting a job board had become synonymous to printing money – employers were flocking to online recruiting sites, and competitors were far and few between.

Things have changed. There are an estimated 100,000+ job boards around the world, in every conceivable location, industry, and niche you can imagine. Social media also competes for the recruiting spend – and employers are faced with an ever-increasing assortment of options for finding candidates.

Nonetheless, each month new job boards appear – and succeed. They all face a huge challenge, however: how to satisfy both employers and candidates. Employers want candidates, candidates want jobs. Employers have jobs, but they don’t want to post them unless there are candidates. Candidates aren’t interested in the job board unless there are jobs.

It’s a chicken and egg situation. What’s a new job board to do?

Here are some core strategies that any new job board can use to get off to a winning start:

1) Go social: Be active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Establish a voice and presence for your job board. Post frequently, but make sure that your posts are useful. Use tools like WeFollow to identify other people you should follow – they’ll follow you back! Post a mix of jobs, career content, and information about your job.

2) Build content: Content marketing is critical for your marketing efforts. You should produce content that appeals primarily to candidates (after all, they make up 98% of your visitors!), and content that is focused on your particular part of the recruiting world. Salary surveys, career guides – you name it. Put it on your site, promote it in your marketing – and attract candidates.

3) Be creative: Unless you’re very unusual, you probably don’t have unlimited funds for attracting candidates – so spend it wisely. Set up a contest – and promote it via public relations and social media. Work with relevant associations. Your specific tactic depends on your niche – but be willing to do something different!

4) Be realistic: For most startup job boards, it will take at least 12 to 18 months before they see significant traffic – and revenue. Be patient and disciplined about your efforts – they will pay off!