Inside and outside: job boards have to work both places

It’s easy to do: you work and obsess over building the perfect job board, making certain that posting a resume is easier than sneezing – but then you forget about the world outside your site. Or you spend hours on backlinks, blog postings, and email campaigns, only to discover that your site just isn’t that easy to use.

Job boards have to function equally well both inside the site and outside the site. As a colleague once said, “You can build the best store in the world, but you’ll fail if no one knows about it.” Alternatively, you can put your store in Beverly Hills, but go bankrupt if you forget the cash register.

Inside the site, you should make it as simple and intuitive as possible for job seekers to find and apply for jobs. Resume posting should be a breeze, and you should make it easy for them to manage their applications and jobs. For employer, make it easy to buy and obvious to use. Don’t hide functionality.

Outside the site, your job board should be visible where the job seekers congregate. You should provide multiple paths into your site and plenty of reasons to go there. Your site design and structure should be SEO-friendly, and you should be aggressive in reaching into your audience’s world with surveys, polls, and other engagement techniques.

Yes, it’s a balancing act, and there never seems to be enough time to do it all. But if you keep the idea of working inside and outside your site at the front of your mind, you’ll be more successful. I promise.

Views: 81

Comment by Alasdair Murray on December 9, 2009 at 3:03pm
One thing you forgot - the content i.e. the job posts, should be of a decent quality. Cut and pasted job descriptions don't hold people's attention. The average job seeker will spend no longer than 22 seconds looking at your ad, often less. If the copy isn't alluring you have lost them. They have moved on to your competitors ad. I am amazed at how many recruiters don't see this as a priority and instead see the copy element of the recruitment drive as a necessary evil which they put off until the last minute. That or they simply regurgitate an old ad or continue to post up badly thought through, hastily thrown together, poorly written ads. First impressions count and 22 seconds is not a long time. Use it wisely or suffer the consequences - lost business and a bad perception of your organisation.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on December 10, 2009 at 12:07am
Fully agree with you Alasdair. Why we are still using newspaper style ad formats is difficult to understand. It is interesting to note the convergence in job boards to make it easier to search.

Jeff makes a valid point about the ease of use of these sites. Most of them can do with a serious overhaul.
Comment by Steve Dill on December 10, 2009 at 3:58pm
I appreciate your comments regarding job board design. At http://www.gorillamedicalsales.com , a leading health care sales job board, we have strived to make out site extremely easy to use for both the recruiters posting their medical sales jobs, as well as for the candidates registering to find employment. We have received favorable comments from both candidates and recruiters on our user-friendly board design.

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