What is a Job Board?
Job board is an operation that converts web traffic into potential candidates. Whether it’s a corporate entity trolling for workers from its website, the Government building its recruitment ranks or a commercial organization looking for a foothold in the hiring business, job boards all convert traffic into potential candidates.
From a candidate’s perspective, a job board is a place to look for a job. From an employer’s perspective, it’s an advertising and publicity vehicle. The core conversion process involves matching traffic with hiring requirements.
Mainly, the bulk of the markets for potential candidates are local. As the workforce ages, it is increasingly likely to move. Although some 20% of the population will consider a move for a job (the number varies by profession), most people want the comfort and security of their roots.
Both Monster and HotJobs have focused their offerings so that the “local-professional intersection” is an increasingly important component of site functionality.
What are the main functions of a Job Board?
- Traffic Acquisition (From Branding to Individual Purchasing on Google)
- Traffic Retention (Keeping the Traffic/Candidate Relationships)
- Traffic Refining (Data Collection and Sorting)
- Product Design and Packaging (For Recruiters or other traffic purchasers)
- Customer Acquisition (Marketing To HR/Staffing Firms)
- Sales (Often Combined w/ Customer acquisition in Direct Marketing)
It can be confusing to tell the difference between a job board and a job search engine, but it's wise to know where the job listings you find online are coming from. Typically, in a cover letter, you'll mention how you found the job posting. Put simply; a job board is a website that posts jobs supplied by employers, whereas job search engines scour the web and aggregate job listings from job boards and employer websites.
How are Job Boards useful?
With job boards, companies have specifically listed their open positions and often accept job applications directly through the job board. Employers typically pay a fee to the job board to list their jobs on the site – essentially, the site warehouses resumes and sells employers access to them.
Monster, the largest and best-known job board, is a general board with postings across a broad range of industries. Indeed offers a wider array of jobs, including contract positions, work-at-home opportunities, summer jobs, and volunteer work.
How are Search Engines useful?
Indeed and SimplyHired are two of the most popular job search engines, and they collect millions of listings on their platforms. (Indeed is both a job search engine and a job board.) LinkUp searches through the websites of small, medium, and large employers without including input from job boards.
Niche job search engines, like Green Job Bank or JobsOnTheMenu, collect jobs from various industry or career-specific sites.
Boards vs. Search Engines
You will find a wider variety of job postings on job search engines because they contain listings from multiple sources. However, you may also have to look through duplicate listings and make sure the job vacancy is still available.
Also, targeting a broad job search can be difficult. If you search for a big company, you might get hundreds, or even thousands, of results. Adding parameters such as location can help narrow the results.
If you find an opportunity through a job board, you may have to register on that site, and some even require a fee to join.
What is the difference between job boards and job aggregators?
The difference between job boards and job aggregators is that job aggregators act like Google’s search engine--crawling hundreds, if not thousands of sites, to find open job listings, and displaying them in query results, using an algorithm to determine which appear first. Job boards, on the other hand, don’t proactively search for jobs being posted to the web on other job sites or on businesses’ career sites. Rather, they only post jobs on behalf of the companies who come to them looking to advertise jobs online.
However, outside this basic, and well-documented difference, job boards and job aggregators also contrast in the way they operate, both for the job seeker and those posting to these employment sites. So, we spoke with some of our in-house experts to determine for you, the real difference between job boards and job aggregators:
One of the major ways job boards and job aggregators differ is in their pricing structure. Normally, job boards sell individual job postings or job slots, while job aggregators offer a performance-based job advertising model. What this means for HR and talent acquisition professionals is commitment vs. flexibility. With job postings and job slots, HR and talent acquisition professionals must enter into a contract, which means committing spend to a vendor for a specified period of time--regardless of performance. However, with the performance-based advertising model, these professionals will be able to stop spending essentially whenever they want.
Job search optimization
Another way job boards and job aggregators differ, is in the way their search engines function. Since job aggregators use bots to scour the web for new jobs posted to job boards and career sites, they often pull more information from these job advertisements in order to provide the most accurate results. This means when you use a job aggregator, their search engine will search for a given job posting’s title, description, posting date, requirements, location and more to determine if the job fits the job seeker's query. Conversely, when a search is conducted on a job board, that job board is often relying on only job titles and locations to populate results for search queries, since they don’t need to worry about making sense of job postings not specifically intended for their site or audience.
When advertising jobs online, you’ll be directly competing with every other job posted to a given vendor’s site. When that vendor is a job aggregator, you can expect there to be greater competition, because aggregators normally pull in and list more jobs than job boards do. Why? It’s because job aggregators search the web and index jobs on their sites from a number of different places. Conversely, job boards rely on businesses posting directly to their site to populate their search results. This presents a bit of a double edged sword to the HR or talent acquisition professional looking to advertise jobs online.
Websites with more job advertisements (job aggregators) often draw in more job seekers because the perception is that it’s a “one-stop-shop” for job seekers and there will be more opportunities there because of that. However, while this might increase the reach and visibility of your jobs, it might also lead to more unqualified applicants. On the other hand, while job boards might not attract as many job seekers, they may attract more qualified job seekers. In part, this is because job boards tend to focus on niche professions, in order to attract these highly qualified candidates. Nonetheless, this dichotomy is a main reason why recruitment marketing experts always recommend that HR and talent acquisition professionals diversify the vendors they advertise their jobs with.