What is a Job Board Aggregator and How to Build One
October 07, 2022 | 9 min read
Today it’s almost impossible to imagine the recruitment industry without job board aggregators. They are one of the main ways to connect job seekers with potential employers due to their high monthly traffic and variety of job posts.
But wait, what is a job board aggregator, how do they manage to have such high traffic, and how can you successfully build one yourself? Stick around to find out the answers to all these questions!
What is a Job Board Aggregator?
Job board aggregators are search engines for job posts. They scrape job posts from different job boards and career sites and present them to job seekers on one platform.
Job board aggregators normally link to the website or job board they are scraping a job post from, directing the user to the initial source.
Since the imported jobs usually reach thousands and even millions of job posts, most job aggregators have a handful of filters to make it easy for job seekers to find what they are looking for.
Job board aggregators allow filtering the job posts based on the posting date, job type (full-time, part-time, contract, etc.), category, location, and many other factors.
In short, you can think of job board aggregators as Google but only for job posts.
The Difference Between Job Boards and Job Board Aggregators
Job boards and job board aggregators have several key differences, even though both are created to connect employers and people who are looking for a job.
Job boards are websites where employers and recruiters directly post job ads for free or for a certain amount of fee, depending on the job site. Meanwhile, job aggregators are search engines that scrape those job postings from different websites and job boards, presenting them on one single platform.
However, a platform doesn’t need to be purely a job board or a job board aggregator. In fact, most popular job boards have started off as job board aggregators and are still using aggregation to scrape more job ads. Here are some examples of job boards that successfully used job board aggregation to grow their traffic and revenue.
Indeed, for instance, is the biggest and the most popular job board out there. Starting off as a job board aggregator in 2004, the platform kept aggregating jobs from other websites to grow its audience before attracting employers who were ready to pay for a job post.
Even though these days Indeed is a famous job board platform and employers are eager to pay for a job post, it is still scraping jobs from different websites to have more content and traffic. Today Indeed has 250 million monthly visitors and a large database of 225+ million resumes, generating over a billion dollars in annual revenue.
Unlike Indeed, LinkedIn has never positioned itself as a job board aggregator; however, it initially used job aggregation to fill in the gap of the missing content in specific locations and categories.
Today, LinkedIn has over 350,000 jobs worldwide and around 40 million job seekers searching for jobs on this massive job board every week.
Another great example of using job board aggregation is Remote Ok. It started as a niche job board aggregator and was scraping only remote jobs from accredited websites.
After reaching the necessary monthly traffic, Remote Ok started to charge employers for job posts, offering to make them stand out amongst aggregated jobs on the platform.
Later, when there were enough paid job posts on Remote Ok, the platform completely stopped aggregating jobs from other job sites, becoming a job board with original posts.
Launched in 2015, Remote Ok made only $266 during December of the same year, and now, as of 2022, it’s making $61K per month. Looks pretty good for a business run by one person!
So, if you want to start a business as a pure job board, at the beginning of your journey, you will still need to do job scraping by importing fresh vacancies from company and other related websites. This way, you can build your audience and later attract employers who are ready to pay for a job posting directly on your job site.
How to Create and Grow a Job Board Aggregator
Just like many other online businesses, building a job board aggregator is not the end of it. To get the desired result and make money from it, you will also need to keep developing and growing it. Here are some tips that will help you to build and grow a successful job board aggregator:
Choose a Niche for Your Job Board Aggregator
Just like job boards, job board aggregators, too, can be general and specific. In fact, niche job board aggregators are more appealing to employers and job seekers since they are more filtered and built for a certain crowd. Besides, it helps a platform to stand out in the market and not struggle while competing with the giants of the industry.
So, you can choose a good niche for your job board aggregator, set up the necessary filters, and scrape jobs from only related websites. As a result, your platform will have a better chance of showing up during related search queries and not get lost in the endless sea of job posts.
Scrape Jobs With That Niche From Reliable Websites
Choosing a niche for your job board aggregator doesn’t mean you can scrape related jobs from any job board you find. It’s crucial to choose legit and trustworthy job sites and employer’s career pages, so the imported jobs are valid too. This will help your job board aggregator earn the trust of both the people who are looking for jobs and the employers who are looking for candidates.
Optimize Your Job Board Aggregator for SEO
The most common way for a job board to receive high traffic is through search engines, and this is especially relevant for job board aggregators.
For example, according to Ahref, Indeed has around 83.7M monthly traffic from Google alone, LinkedIn has 6M, while Remote Ok has 151.9K. But how did they reach these results?
Let’s check the LinkedIn Jobs example and see where their 6M traffic is coming from. If you take a look at the screenshot below that we took from Ahrefs, you can see that only 20.3% of their traffic comes from their main LinkedIn Jobs page, while the bigger part of their traffic is divided between their 1M+ pages.
Taking a closer look at the list, you will notice that the other 1M+ pages that bring traffic to LinkedIn Jobs are mostly categorized by location, industry, and type of jobs. So they have a better chance for Google to position those pages on the first page of SERP (Search Engine Result Page) for people making queries with the relevant intent to find, and therefore bring them more traffic.
This proves how important the categorized pages are for a job board to significantly increase the traffic it receives. Hence, it’s crucial to have more pages besides the homepage and organize the pages by job type, category, location, and so on to attract job seekers with matching search intent.
Keep Importing New and Relevant Jobs
For a job board aggregator to stay relevant, it’s important to continuously import the latest updates of your sources. You can become the go-to source in your niche by filtering and first showing the fresh and newly posted job updates.
How to Monetize a Job Board Aggregator
In general, job board aggregators can use almost all the monetization options that job boards do. However, based on our experience of hosting hundreds of job boards on our platform, here are the most successful monetization options we have seen:
Charge for a Job Post
The most common way to monetize a job board aggregator is to charge employers for posting jobs directly on the platform. But since your job board is aggregating a large number of job posts, you need to make the paid job posts stand out among the scraped ones and have more applicants.
Most job board aggregators feature paid job posts by pinning them on top of the page, highlighting them with a different color, or both at the same time.
Charge for Ad Space
Like any other website with enough audience, job board aggregators can also rent some space on their website to Google Ads, banners, etc. This business model is not as popular since the generated income is less, and it also reduces the quality of user experience. However, some new job board aggregators use it as an additional source of income when they don’t have enough original job posts.
Charge for Resume Database
Once your job board aggregator has enough traffic, you can start collecting the resumes of the job seekers visiting your website. Most job sites suggest their visitors create their accounts on their platform and upload their CVs to have a better chance for potential employers to find them.
After collecting the database, you can charge employees for access to the resume database on your platform. This is exactly how Indeed managed to collect a database of 225M CVs.
But you don’t need to worry about numbers and collecting millions of CVs: as a niche job board aggregator, even a database of a few thousand CVs in your niche will be enough to charge employers for a monthly subscription to access your database. This is because, in case of niche job boards, the audience is more precise, and for example, two or three thousand CVs are enough for an employer to find a suitable candidate in that niche.
Do Programmatic Job Advertising
Last but definitely not least, another legit way to earn money when your job board aggregator doesn’t have paid job posts is partnering with programmatic job advertising platforms.
You are a job board aggregator scraping jobs from different sources anyway and have enough traffic per month, so why not work with platforms like Appcast, import jobs from their network, show them to your visitors and earn money for every click or applicant?
For instance, by collaborating with Appcast, you can earn around $0.25 per job click and $6 per applicant or more, depending on your niche or the job you’re advertising. This might sound like a small amount of money, but if you have a big audience, then the earned income through this might be pretty satisfying.
Aggregating jobs is a necessary step every job board goes through before finding its place in the market. It allows them to have the content they need, as well as grow their audience before attracting employers who’ll be eager to pay for a job post.
To create a job board aggregator, you might need to hire a developer or even a development team to create the scraping feature, start importing jobs from different job boards and career pages, as well as to categorize the jobs automatically.
If you want to save your time and resources and focus more on growing your job board, you can use jBoard, which will allow you to easily build your job board aggregator without coding and within a few days.