Job Boards have played an important role in the lives of job-seekers for a long time. Their online presence helps candidates from any location browse through job listings and apply to their preferred jobs at any time of the day. In the post-COVID era where company-restructuring and lay-offs have become a norm, both fresh graduates and those with experience are turning to job boards to find the right job.
While recruitment for some positions like software developers has moved to other platforms like coding websites, job boards remain the single source of jobs for candidates from diverse backgrounds. No matter which industry a candidate is from or the level of experience they have, job boards usually cater to all. Even with the advent of other hiring formats, Job Boards remain the starting point of the job-hunt journey for most.
The Perfect Job Board
While the words “the perfect Job Board” may sound like a myth, there are a few basic features that every job board must incorporate. Some of these are:
- Make the UI easy to use
- Offer multiple filtering options
- Provide an Updated Job data feeds
- Cover a large number of companies and positions
- Provide add-on services like CV builder
While the interface and usability and add-on features or paid services do come in handy, almost all the other factors depend on a single thing – data. The better the job data feeds at hand, the faster it refreshes, and the greater the number of sources it aggregates data from– all would come together to either make or break your job board.
Where to get Job Data Feeds from?
Before you start deciding which tool you want to use to enrich your job data feeds, you need to determine which sources you want to get your data from. In case you are targeting a niche domain or group, you will need to find all the top websites that the members of these groups use.
Making a list of websites that list jobs that fit your specifications is a good idea. But you should also try to take into account other websites like competitive coding sites or educational sites that run a highly targetted job data feed.
In case you want to take into account individual companies, you could start with companies in your target domain that fall in the Fortune 500 list. You can also start with the biggest names in the industry that you want to target. You can narrow down the list to companies that hire through their own “career” page.
A lot of hiring is also happening through social media websites today. One can see individuals posting hiring requirements on websites like LinkedIn every day. These posts remain in a raw textual format, and only those who come across the posts organically can use the opportunity by shooting a mail or sending their resume. Such data may be challengingto collect, but as hiring-trends continue to show that companies are leaning towards such new-age hiring strategies, such alternative data sources may also need to beconsidered.
How are you Populating your Job Board?
Populating job boards can prove to be a time taking the task, especially for niche job boards or media websites that run a separate job section. Even if you plan to offer a small set of job listings that cater only to a niche sector or domain, you need to get your data source right. This can benefit your job seekers and also make your data stream easier to maintain. There are some common ways in which mid-size or smaller job boards populate their data:
1. Manually Populating Job Data
While this may seem like a cheap solution for smaller job boards focusing on a niche, this comes with other costs. You will either need to allow the work of updating job posts manually to the business team members or a back-office employee. In either case, there are chances of errors creeping into the data. Since the posts will be created manually, there’s no way of knowing when they are no more relevant, have expired, or have been filled up. While you may have a process of discarding redundant posts once a week or so, this may still cause a lot of applicants to browse expired job data feeds.
2. Writing Code
If you already have a few developers in your team, you may attempt to write some code to scrape job listings from different websites. This too can have certain drawbacks. In case the developers in your team have a primary job of maintaining your website and adding new features as demanded by users, the scraping tasks can get degraded to a lower position on the priority list. This would, in turn, cause delays in adding new websites to your job-data scraping list. The other aspect is maintainability. Since websites change their user interface at frequent intervals, much time will have to be devoted to handling such changes. These, along with maintaining the infrastructure and debugging other errors can prove to be a herculean task in the long run.
3. Using Free DIY Web Scraping Tools
DIY web scraping tools can be simple to use and can benefit companies that do not have a separate tech team. The business team will still need to learn the basic knick-knacks, and your scraping efforts can always be marred by some constraints and limitations that usually come with these. Also, you cannot automate the entire process using such tools. You will still need to run the tool at fixed intervals and plug the data into your business workflow.
4. Paid Web Scraping Software
These usually require monthly or yearly subscription fees to be paid. The amount remains the same irrespective of the number of websites that you scrape. Your team will still have to go through a learning curve and edit the scrapping configurations for each source website separately. Any constraints that you face may be fixed through patches or updates but may still take some time.
5. Automated Job Discovery Tools
Automated Job Discovery Tools stand a mile apart from any other solution that Job Boards can use.
They are a one-stop solution that:
- Scrapes data from a list of sources you mention
- Handles changes in source websites automatically
- Can normalize and clean the data based on requirements.
- Provides you with the data in the format and storage location of your choice so that integrating it into your existing system is a breeze.
- Usually, bills you based on the volume of data that you consume only.
Where does JobsPikr come in?
The primary requirement for creating an excellent job board is being able to aggregate job data feeds from different sources. These jobs should be tagged to geographical locations, job profiles, roles, and industries. JobsPikr helps Job Boards by providing a customizable job feed and analytics solution.
You can fetch both active or historical job data based on your requirements. This would save a lot of time and effort for Job Boards or Media Agencies that need to backfill job data manually. You can also save yourself the trouble of data wrangling or integration-efforts along with the infrastructure setup. Unlike other data scraping tools, JobsPikr has been built specifically for a niche crowd that requires job data as a continuous feed.