Does Your Job Board Need a Membership Package?

There are differing viewpoints on the wisdom of charging fees for membership packages on job boards.

Job board owners are constantly on the lookout for more streams of revenue, including charging per ad or charging for membership packages. But starting a membership package system on your job board could mean the death of it.

How can you tell if a membership package is the right next step for your online job board business?

Here are some considerations:

Who is your audience?

Using Google analytics tools, you should be able to discern a lot about your visiting audience, beyond who actually places the ads.

Once you sign up for their site, you can figure out what demographic is visiting your site, what they are looking at and what they are clicking on. This type of data can be helpful in determining exactly who is using your site and why.

Can your audience afford it?

If your job board is geared toward high end executives, and ads are generally placed by large corporations looking to fill gaps in their staff, then you can probably safely assume that your audience won't balk at the prices you set for membership packages.

If, on the other hand, the majority of your audience is unemployed adults who are on trying to find a job before their savings runs out, a membership package fee is likely to drive away many your employee subscribers.

This in turn will reflect on the overall job pool on your job board, and employers will be the next to leave the herd.

Can you avoid it?

If you're asking yourself “Is a membership package right for your job board?” as the article looks at, then you might not have any other revenue stream set up on your job board site.

If you can possibly avoid a charging a membership package fee, it might behoove you to do so.

Other streams of revenue should be considered. You should already have some advertising on your site, which can bring in some revenue.

Another option is to charge for premium services.

You could charge extra for featured ads, extra ad running time, and other features like banners and ribbons that would help an ad stand out from the rest.

Does your audience expect it?

If you have a corporate job board that is heavily weighted with executive positions, not having a membership package could count against you.

The fact that job seekers aren't being filtered out by having to pay to apply for jobs may cause there to be too many low-end, unqualified applicants that can pollute a company's HR candidate pool.

If you're running a job board where most of your competitors are charging for membership packages, chances are it's for a reason, and you should follow suit.

Membership packages remain a viable and acceptable way for job board owners to make money from their business.

As long as you're working for your audience and not against them, the best choice is what's right for your particular job board.

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.

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