Want to know the secret to building a successful niche job board? All of the elements that publishers spend time and money on while building their jobs boards — web design, search engine optimization, and monetization strategies, to name just a few — are far less important than the quality of the job listings on the site.
That’s right. Before publishers can expect to attract an audience to their niche job boards, they’ve got to bring in companies with quality listings.
Attracting employers to a niche job board is a task that’s easier said than done. Hiring managers have an overwhelming number of options to choose from when they post job openings online. Most start with posting job listings on their own company websites. But close relationships between hiring managers and publishers can lead to certain job boards getting exclusive postings or early information about positions that are opening up in the near future.
Building a successful niche job board relies on a publisher’s ability to publish postings that job candidates can’t find anywhere else. Publishers need their job boards to become the go-to sources for the latest job information in whichever niches they cover.
Here are the best strategies for attracting companies to your niche job board and ultimately building a profitable website.
1. Find out which companies in your niche are hiring, and where they post their listings.
The specifics here will vary depending on which niche your job board aims to fill. For example, city magazine’s job board will have listings from different companies than a healthcare publisher’s job board. Regardless, the basic strategy remains the same. In order to attract top employers to a niche job board, you need to start by figuring out how those employers are currently advertising their employment opportunities.
Browse other job boards in your same niche to get a feel for which companies have listings, and take a look to see whether those listings are free or paid. Figuring out which companies are paying for premium listings is a smart first step to take before reaching out to potential advertisers.
Pay attention to how much competing niche job board websites are charging for premium listings, as well. In order to compete, your job board will need to have competitive rates and loyal following of readers.
2. Build connections with hiring managers at top companies in your niche.
Once you have a sense of which companies or recruiting firms are placing the most premium listings on niche job board websites, you are ready to start making personal connections. Reach out via email or telephone to the hiring managers at those organizations and let them know about your job board. They will be interested in how much traffic your job board generates and your audience demographics. For example, a law office would only want to post paid listings on a job board that’s read by professionals in the legal profession. (We’ll dig deeper into how you can attract readers in targeted demographics later in this article.)
Have a spec sheet with current advertising rates ready to send to interested hiring managers. You may also want to put together some data on the effectiveness of niche job board websites in helping companies reach passive job seekers and the return-on-investment (ROI) that companies see when they advertise on niche job board websites compared to more general online job boards.
3. Make your readers a selling feature.
It’s virtually impossible for a niche job board to generate more website traffic than a general job board, like Monster.com or Indeed.com. That’s why we never recommend that publishers with niche job boards promote their website traffic without plenty of information about their audience demographics and the quality of candidates they can deliver.
When reaching out to hiring managers and recruiting firms, always emphasize the targeted nature of your niche website and focus on the credibility you have established with professionals in the industry you cover.
If your website is new, it might be a smart idea to focus on growing your audience before reaching out to companies with information about premium job listings. Connect with the creators of online communities relevant to your niche.
For even more ideas, check out these articles about building a successful niche job board: