Big job boards make one central claim: they’re big. They have lots of candidates in their resume database, heavy Internet traffic, and great exposure for your jobs. Your employment site can’t compete with a big job board not because of functionality, but because of visibility – big boards offer bulk, and with bulk, comes the promise of some quality.
Recruiters tasked with posting jobs, however, have another option: niche job boards. What makes a “niche job board?” Niche job boards are defined as having some degree of specialization in their candidate focus. Dice, a focused technology job board, is a good example of a niche board (albeit one of the largest, most highly visible niche boards.) Niche job board owners target HR generalists and recruitment professionals within a particular vertical, geography, or industry. Their argument is simple:
If you recruit Cracker-Makers, why not post on Crackermakerjobs.com?
Because recruiting is such a high-value transaction, the recruiter might think this is a good idea. After all, a couple of hundred bucks isn’t much compared to a lucrative Cracker Maker placement, or to a corporate recruiter, the cost of lost cracker production during the job search.
However, there is very little thought usually put into this niche job board transaction. How do we really determine the value of a niche job board? Besides trying it out, what are the upfront questions that we might try to get answered?
Niche Job Board Qualification Tips
- Google rank: Check out how the job board ranks in Google, not just for Cracker Maker Jobs, but for some related terms – cracker manufacturing, etc… Also type “site:crackermakerjobs.com.” That tells you the number of pages that Google knows about. Bigger is generally better.
- Check how many jobs they have posted. You want to see a number of real posted jobs, which would imply a degree of job seeker traffic as well. You want to see not just jobs from around the Internet, but their own natively posted jobs.
- Ask for traffic stats just for fun, which the job board owner will probably not tell you.
- Ask how the job board promotes their service through job search engines. See if you are getting free promotion on Indeed and SimplyHired, for example.
- Ask how they market their job board. If the job board owner of abctownjobs.com buys a highway billboard near ABC Town, you can bet they have a good amount of candidate traffic from ABC Town. If the job board owner stumbles on the marketing question, they probably don’t do any marketing – which doesn’t mean good things for their candidate traffic.
- Ask for client references.
- Ask to buy a CPM banner advertisement instead of a regular job posting. Many tiny job board owners won’t want to do this, because CPM ads are tracked by real traffic. Your job posting might receive a couple of stray pageviews – this isn’t worth a few hundred dollars.
- Look for content – you want to see original content and resources for the community that the job board is for. For example, if you see a bunch of articles about cracker making, an endorsement by the cheese lobby, and a quiz about your favorite cracker designs, it’s a safe bet that passive cracker making candidates are perusing the site once in a while. You want to see added value – is the niche job board a real resource for the job seekers it serves?
Some niche job boards dominate their fields of job search and make great options for job posting. However, there are a lot of job boards that really aren’t much more than keyword rich domain names. If you ask good questions and do your research, you can pick niche job boards like a pro – saving your company money and keeping your recruitment marketing dollars flowing to the most efficient sources.