Jason - great topic. I think there are still people out there that think if you buy a good domain, and put some "technology" behind it you'll have success. I call it the "if you build they will come theory." I tell everybody I speak to that the key to a successful job board is JOB SEEKERS. If you can attract job seekers you can build a successful job board business. Entrepreneurs are great at getting partners and often great at selling products/services to other businesses (B2B) - but don't understand job seekers (B2C).
Here are my thoughts on getting job seekers in competetive market:
* Niche - you should have a solid niche and a solid understanding of that niche. Geographic niches count.
* Partnerships - affiliate with other organizations that already have job seekers in your niche. Chamber's of commerce, professional associations, blogs, other media. Don't forget that the world does exist offline - so involvement with event based organizations and newtorking groups is also helpful.
*Content - First make sure you have good "job content" that means you have to start with jobs before you have job seekers. Some technology providers include this with their services (JobTarget does, of course). You cn also add "backfill" from sources such as Indeed. You also need to consider non-job content relevent to your chosen niche. Certainly blog content works and rss feeds, etc. but work with experts in your niche, masters of the domain, to contribute - they wll because they need exposure too.
*Unique Benefits - Job seekers are just like you and me (sometimes they are you and me) - theydon't have time to look on every board, to post their resumes on everyboard, to respond to every email, etc. So attract te seeker with unique benefits - for example JobTarget uses an annonymous resume bank - meaning all of the spamers aren't looking at my email and contact information and I can approve the employers I want to communicate with. There are other ideas out there - but you should figure out how to stand out in the competitive enviornment.
* Design - The technology providers often do not provide your site design (some do) - make sure your site is driving the behavior you desire. Get candidates to complete a profile for example - make sure that it is easy to find, and that the benefits are explained well. They won't spend the time if they don't know the benefits. Seperate the job seeker and the employer aspects of your site. You have two audiences - make sure you speak to them differently and seperately.
I could go on and on...but I think these are some good general starting points.
One way is to organically grow into a job board. Grow the community first, see what they're looking for, then fill that need. You already have over 10,000 members here, and clearly job posts as they are now are working. This solves your traffic problem, as you know people will be here. Many of these other job boards start up with no community backing, and no significant traffic. Having a core base of traffic to begin with justifies your posting fee.
Combine that with some good PPC and organic search campaigns to drive additional traffic and your hr focused job board here could be hugely successful. Keep your posting price low, as Craigslist does and you won't lose people due to sticker shock. :)
Good luck, this seems like an ideal way to monetize this site and for all that people get from it, I can't imagine anyone would object.
The words SEO spring to mind.
I would suggest before even putting the detail up and making it look as flashy as your new porsche that you sooo desperatley want .
It is an overlooked issue , we have been designing job boards for over 10 years now and those guys that say " $50 and well will guarntee you 1st place on every major search engine " are so far off the mark you may as well go down the pub and spend it there !
I totally agree with Chris on consistency .
If you spend $10,000 on a job board you may find that you may need to spend at least another $10k to get it singing at the top of the charts.
The question is where do you want your job board to be in 3 years time ?