Should Your Job Board Be Niche, or Not?

An estimated 20% of hiring takes place through online job boards, and 86% of job seekers report having applied to at least one job via job board over the preceding 30 days.

Going online to look for employment is the standard today.
Going online to look for employment is the standard today.

Job boards have been around since the 1990s, and the best job boards are still one of the most important means for job seekers to find employers and vice versa. With economic events like the dot com bust and the 2008 recession, job boards have had to evolve and adapt, and with the rise of social media and mobile devices, they have had to become more tech savvy to ensure that people and jobs are able to connect using the sites and devices used most.

Job boards range from huge general job aggregators to classifieds listed on Craigslist to highly specialized niche job boards. If you are considering adding a white label job board to your news website or your trade publication website, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of general versus niche job boards. Here are some points to contemplate.

General Job Board Advantages

The general job board has sheer volume as its major advantage. A general job board can address anyone from someone looking for part-time work in fast food to someone looking for a full-time job with benefits in healthcare. For sites that appeal to a broad demographic, a general job board can be advantageous, because there is generally something for everyone, and because huge job boards with their myriad employer listings are refreshed frequently. If there wasn’t an appealing job listed last week, there may well be one this week.

General Job Board Disadvantages

General job boards are not always the best job boards, however, because they can overwhelm users, and many employers avoid them for fear of being lost in the shuffle. If your general job board does not include a good way of narrowing down searches, job seekers may become frustrated and give up. Finally, general job boards have a lot of competition, from free sites like Craigslist, and from old school job-finding techniques like print classifieds.

Niche Job Board Advantages

Some of the best job boards are the ones focused on a particular profession or trade.
Some of the best job boards are the ones focused on a particular profession or trade.

Niche job boards may be designed to address job seekers in a specific geographical area, or those within a specific profession or trade. If, for example, you run a local news website, your niche job board may be designed for employers and job seekers in your immediate vicinity, though they may cover multiple trades and professions. If you run a trade publication website, your niche job board would include listings from employers seeking people in that particular trade or profession. Niche job boards are often the best job boards for these reasons:

  • They don’t overwhelm job seekers
  • Employers know they’re reaching the right people for their needs
  • Employers aren’t competing against a huge number of other employers
  • Job seekers have a ”home base” for looking at jobs or gauging the market, even if they’re not actively looking for a position.

Niche Job Board Disadvantages

Keeping a niche job board populated in a very specialized profession can be a challenge. Job boards need to stay fresh to compel people to come back and look again if they didn’t find something last time they browsed. With a niche job board, you may have to expend extra effort to bring in employer listings that are relevant to your target audience, but if you have a solid audience base and good traffic, you can often charge more for listings than you could with a huge general job board.

The best job boards for many news websites — particularly local and hyper-local news websites — and trade publication websites are often niche job boards. It’s a real gamble whether your local readers care about jobs in far-flung parts of the country, and if you’re running a website geared toward, for example, dental professionals, they’re probably not going to care to sift through hundreds of listings that are unrelated or only marginally related to their profession.

With niche job boards, you have a terrific opportunity to build and engage your website’s audience, while at the same time addressing revenue development with targeted recruitment advertising. At RealMatch, we’re ready to help you create the custom niche job board that can take your website’s traffic and revenue to the next level and beyond.

Photo Credits: stockimages /, Naypong /

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