There are a number of ways you can monetize a job board, whether you’re looking to expand your current job board or planning your new one. Either way, you may end up leaving money on the table.
Who this is for
This article really covers two groups of people:
- People who are already running a job board and are looking for new ways to monetize their audience
- People that are looking to create a job board and are looking for a plan to monetize their future audience
That seems to cover all bases.
What we’ll be discussing
The first thing we’ll talk about is knowing your audience. To create a product, you need to understand your user’s needs.
Next are ways to monetize your employer audience. Following that are ways to monetize your employee audience.
Finally, we’ll explain some general or other ways to make money from your job board.
Knowing your audience
Before you can start with the monetization process, you’re going to need to know what your audience needs or wants. You don’t want to spend time creating a full résumé creation course if your audience is at a senior level. They know what they’re doing now.
You should have an idea of what your audience is willing to spend money on. Do entry-level applicants need or want a résumé template? Probably. Do they want an ebook on common questions and answers at their level? Possibly. Do they want to have to pay to view job listings? Doubtful.
If you already have consistent traffic, you should be able to look into your analytics and see what jobs or articles are getting the most viewers. For instance, with my architect job board, I found an article about résumé templates that was popular so I made a résumé template to sell the audience. Afterward, I created a series of articles about creating résumés and used those to funnel readers to my templates.
Monetizing your employer audience
Monetizing your employer audience is much easier than your employee audience. Companies are much more willing to pay to find quality candidates.
Pretty apparent, based on the nature of the business. But you still have to consider the pricing of the job posts.
If your audience is small, you may choose to price your job lower in order to gain early adopters. A company isn’t going to continue posting on your job board if you don’t drive enough candidates to their listing.
As your audience grows and you start growing authority in your space, you can increase prices.
Depending on the software you’re using to run your job board you have the option to list featured listings. Usually, a featured listing is listed at the top of the list of jobs available, highlighted another color to stand out, and any additional bonuses you may offer. These are priced considerably higher than their standard counterparts.
Résumé database access
When you have a large database of résumés that is regularly updated you can offer access to that database to companies. You don’t want to offer this too early or you’ll turn off human resource departments. Many job boards choose to offer their database access as a monthly recurring cost which is great for knowing how much you’ll make once you know your churn rate.
Executive search or recruiting
A high effort, high reward option is to offer an executive search or recruiting option for companies. This is not something you can easily jump into. Recruiting is hard. But, once you have the skills and have the resources (your job board), it is an active way to make money.
Monetizing your employee audience
You have fewer options when it comes to selling a good or service to your employee audience. As previously stated, know your audience and what they’re willing to spend money on.
A résumé service is a common monetization option for job boards. Whether you’re an industry job board or location job board, you can try to do SEO to rank for keywords that will drive passive customers.
You can offer services like résumé writing, résumé rewriting, and résumé proofreading.
Less often, a job board will charge candidates to view or apply to jobs. You have to know your audience to understand if this is a viable option for you. Offering internships? Not likely. Offering unique offers like international roles or rarely open positions? More likely.
A great way to start selling a product with a more hands-off approach. Digital products for candidates include résumé templates and virtual training. If you have a job board for a specific industry and you’re worked in that industry, you can sell common questions and answers that interviewees would get in an interview.
General monetization methods for your job board
Some monetization methods don’t fall into the employer or employee category. Here are a few options for more general money-making.
Depending on the size of your audience, display advertising may or may not be a good option for your job board. You have to think about the user experience and if the income from ads is worth it.
Let’s say you get a $15 CPM (cost per thousand) page views. If you get 20,000 page views a month, that’s $300. Is that $300 worth more for you with the potential to not get return visitors?
An option, instead of going with an automated ad system, is to sell direct ads from companies. You’ll get a better rate and control placement. This could be as simple as including an advertising page and let companies send you messages.
Backfilling is using another job board like Indeed to fill jobs onto your page. If a candidate clicked over to their listing and applies, they’ll send you a commission for sending them. This can be good for newer job boards that don’t have consistent companies posting as it makes your job board appear more populated.
Partnerships, affiliation, or referrals
Say you know your audience wants a good or service, but you don’t want or can’t fulfill their need. You can for a relationship with another company to promote their product or service and they give you a commission when someone purchases.