Your job board’s future: should you offer CPA, CPC, or duration-based postings?

Your job board's futureWhen think­ing about your job board­’s future, you may be look­ing at the lat­est mis­steps by Indeed and Google’s move into recruit­ment mar­ket­ing and won­der: what do I do now? I mean, apart from wor­ries about a reces­sion that keeps play­ing hide-and-seek, an uncer­tain legal land­scape, and employ­ers first hoard­ing and then lay­ing off their work­ers?

Well, nev­er fear – the Doc­tor is here to give you a handy guide that will help you map your job board­’s future. Even if you don’t know what it is!

Step 1: What kind of job board are you? In think­ing about your job board­’s future, it’s impor­tant to have a real­is­tic under­stand­ing of the true nature of your job board. Are you a  site? An aggre­ga­tor? A  board? net­work of high vol­ume dis­trib­u­tor of traf­fic? Or some­thing else? There are many hybrid mod­els and per­mu­ta­tions in the indus­try – but at this , you need to decide at the very high­est lev­el what your iden­ti­ty is. How do your clients view you? How do your can­di­dates view you?

Step 2: What is the pri­ma­ry val­ue of what you pro­vide to employ­ers? This can be a lit­tle slip­pery. We all like to think that the clicks, appli­ca­tions, traf­fic, and so on that we pro­vide to employ­ers are the best thing ever. But the real­i­ty is that employ­ers buy ser­vices from job boards for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. For exam­ple, an employ­er may work with a small niche site because they need that spe­cif­ic type of can­di­date. Or an employ­er may want a thou­sand clicks per job, because they’re open­ing up a new store every 3 weeks. And so on. So what do you pro­vide? And what does that mean for your job board­’s future?

Ok. Got your answers? Let’s see how this plays out…

Exam­ple 1: You’re a geo­graph­i­cal­ly-focused gen­er­al­ist board – let’s call you Lon­don­Jobs, ok? You offer all jobs to all can­di­dates in the metro region of Lon­don. Kind of like Indeed with a bit of focus, right? The pri­ma­ry val­ue you offer employ­ers is: lots of can­di­dates in the Lon­don area, for employ­ers that seek such can­di­dates. You should offer: CPC and dura­tion-based post­ings. Why? CPC allows employ­ers to dri­ve traf­fic to their jobs at a rea­son­able price, and the geo­graph­ic focus gives your site an edge over the TotalJobs and Indeeds of the world. Dura­tion-based post­ings allow the mid-sized and small employ­ers to accu­mu­late appli­ca­tions at a fixed, pre­dictable price – and they don’t have to learn any new-fan­gled CPC thought process­es.

Exam­ple 2: You’re an aggre­ga­tor. This is easy – even thought it appar­ent­ly was­n’t obvi­ous for at least one aggre­ga­tor out there! Let’s call you Joe’s Ulti­mate Job Site. You offer CPA and CPC. Why? Your strength is high-vol­ume traf­fic and (hope­ful­ly) expan­sive reach into mul­ti­ple mar­kets. Both CPC and CPA require high-vol­ume traf­fic to stand a chance of pro­vid­ing good results for employ­ers. Offer­ing both prod­ucts employ­er decide which fits their needs – lots of clicks, or a small­er num­ber of (hope­ful­ly) com­plet­ed appli­ca­tions. For an employ­er that is con­fi­dent in how well they can con­vert a click into an appli­ca­tion, CPC lets them lever­age their at a low­er cost. For an employ­er that does­n’t have the capa­bil­i­ties or desire to con­vert traf­fic into appli­ca­tions, CPA does it for them. Hint: if you’re smart, you’ll include some type of screen­ing ques­tions on the CPA prod­uct!

Exam­ple 3: You’re a niche site with a nation­al or inter­na­tion­al audi­ence. Maybe you’re StreetSweep­er­Ca­reers. Your traf­fic is small but very focused, and you’re wide­ly known in the street sweep­er world. You offer dura­tion-based post­ings, plus a source and screen prod­uct. Why? First of all, you lack the traf­fic to make CPC a rea­son­able option – you just won’t make enough mon­ey on clicks to stay afloat! And although you could offer CPA, your employ­ers may push back against an unfa­mil­iar prod­uct – even as you strug­gle to dri­ve up the price on each appli­ca­tion. Dura­tion-based post­ings lever­age the focused audi­ence, allows employ­ers to both fill jobs and their ‘tal­ent pipeline’, and pro­vide a famil­iar and easy to use prod­uct for employ­ers (usu­al­ly pub­lic sec­tor) that are jug­gling a lot more than hir­ing. Source and screen also lever­ages your focused audi­ence while pro­vide a high­er val­ue CPA-like prod­uct: the employ­er spec­i­fies a cer­tain num­ber of ‘must-have’ require­ments for their desired can­di­dates; they pay you a flat fee for a cer­tain num­ber of these can­di­dates; you locate, vet, and con­firm that the can­di­dates are inter­est­ed; and present them to the employ­er. Kin­da like a recruiter, but with­out the high cost to the employ­er or the hire guar­an­tee.

Exam­ple 4: You’re a hybrid site, with a niche focus and a vari­ety of recruit­ing and non-recruit­ing fea­tures. Let’s call you Dia­mond­Cut­ter­Corner. As a com­mu­ni­ty site that also mon­e­tizes via the job board, you should offer dura­tion-based post­ings. Why? Same rea­son as #3. An excep­tion to this: if your traf­fic is high (say, 100K/mo. or more), you might con­sid­er CPC. Depend­ing on how impor­tant the job board is to your , you might also con­sid­er CPA or a source and screen prod­uct. You’ve got options – but only if your traf­fic is up there.

I could go on with more exam­ples – but hope­ful­ly you can see how the deci­sion works now. Know what you are, know your val­ue to the employ­er – and then decide. Remem­ber – these ser­vices are sim­ply ways that employ­ers use to con­nect with can­di­dates. Map out your job board­’s future with this knowl­edge – and be ready to change as your audi­ence does!

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