How to Create a Job Board:
Your Complete Guide in 2023
Marty Aghajanyan | January 10, 2023 (updated) | 23 min read
If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to create a job board without overwhelming challenges, then you’re at the right place.
There are over 50K job boards on the Internet, each of which has a different purpose, such as generating revenue, providing value to their audience, improving a company’s branding, increasing website traffic, etc. However, no matter the purpose of a job board, all of them require some knowledge and effort to start and grow them.
How to Build a Job Board: 6 Steps to Get Started
We have made a complete guide to how to create a job board from A to Z, and by the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to easily start building and growing your platform.
Step 1: Choose the type of job board you want to create
Step 2: Select a platform for your job board
Step 3: Choose a domain name for your job board
Step 4: Fill your job board with jobs
Step 5: Optimize your job board for SEO
Step 6: Launch your job board
Let’s get into more detail about each of these steps and learn all about the dos and don’ts of creating a job board.
Step 1: Choose the Type of Job Board
As mentioned above, every job board has its purpose. By deciding what job board you want to start and the features you need to reach your goal, you will also be able to choose the right tools for your platform.
Based on our experience of providing a platform for hundreds of job boards, we’ve listed the six most common types of job boards along with the functionalities they usually use most. Check out the list below to decide what type of job board you want to create.
Job Board as a Business
Most job boards aren’t a part or an extension of a business, they are a business by themselves. The majority of these businesses identify a niche in the job board market where there is still room for them and build their platform around it. You can choose a niche based on a specific industry, geography, or job-seeker demographic. A good example of this type of job board is AirlineJobs, which is focused on the aviation industry and has over 40K related job posts.
Here are the features we’ve seen job board businesses use most:
- Monetization: The most important feature for such type of job boards is, of course, having advanced monetization options that can help you generate more income from your job board. You can do that by offering several services to employers, such as pay per single job post, job posting packages, access to the resume database, or subscription packages that can include all the options above.
- SEO: Before the monetization step, you need to have enough traffic on your platform, and the best way to do it is through search engines. This is why it’s important for this kind of job boards to use a platform that provides good on-page SEO (good page speed, ability to change the meta titles and descriptions, auto-generated Sitemap.xml, Google Jobs integration, etc.).
Email Alerts: To retain a user base, you need to set up email alerts to notify job seekers of new opportunities and constantly engage them. An email list is also a huge asset that boosts your ability to bring in candidates for your clients. In fact, the bigger your email list is, the higher you can charge employers per job posting.
Job Board for Associations
The main goal of association job boards is to have an additional source of income through advertising employment opportunities to their community members. Non-dues revenue (revenue from any source other than membership fees) can help associations maintain and improve their finances.
Based on the purpose of association job boards, here are the three common features for them:
- Monetization: To improve your non-dues revenue, you need as many effective monetization options as possible.
- Professional Members Database: By collecting the resume of your members, you can build a database and help employers find candidates for certain professions. By doing so, you’ll also be able to generate income by charging employers for access to the database.
Email Alerts For Members: When it comes to association job boards, all roads lead to the features that can help you monetize their platform. By collecting the emails of your members, you can constantly engage them by advertising jobs through email and charging employers for the service.
Job Board for Staffing and Recruitment Agencies
The addition of a job board to staffing and recruitment agency websites can significantly boost the exposure of clients’ open positions, as well as bring in new potential candidates that can be added to their database.
To make the most out of their job board, recruitment agencies usually look for these features:
- Resume Database: A must-have feature for these platforms to collect the resumes of potential job seekers in one place and later use it when looking for a candidate for a specific role or simply charge employers for giving direct access to the database.
- Email Alerts: This is an additional way for staffing and recruitment agencies to contact the candidates and advertise the jobs suitable for them.
Customizable Forms: Since many recruiters need to collect specific information about candidates, you need to have customizable forms which you can modify according to your preferences.
Job Board for Schools and Universities
Many schools and universities take it upon themselves to create their own job board, to direct their students to relevant internships and job opportunities. With enough depth, such a job board can go as far as having separate categories of employment opportunities for each of their provided programs.
Some of the functions we’ve noticed this type of job boards use most are the following:
- Student Profiles: Many school and university job boards prefer to have a feature with which students can register in the system and fill out their profile information. Also, based on the profile data, later employers can search for students suitable for specific positions and contact them directly. This way, students who are not actively looking for a job will also get noticed by employers, increasing the potential number of students who will find a job through your platform.
- Advanced Reporting: Since the main goal of educational institutions is to help students find opportunities, it’s important for you to have proper metrics to see how it’s performing. The metrics this kind of job boards usually care about the most include the number of students applying for a job, the number of students using their website, etc.
Email Alerts For Students: With this, school and university job boards can automatically alert the students whenever a new job is posted on their portal. As a result, more students will see the new postings.
Job Board for UGC Marketing
With SEO and digital marketing becoming increasingly creative in the ways they seek to target potential customers, job boards have become a brilliant example of user-generated content marketing (UGC marketing) done right.
Businesses can use job boards as a way of building a user base that matches their customer profile, and instead of monetizing the job board through selling services to employers, they monetize it through marketing their own products and services to them.
This kind of UGC marketing is mostly common for SaaS companies, who target job seekers in the same industry they sell their products.
For these job boards, bringing in a large number of relevant visitors is far more important than attracting employers as clients. In fact, many such job boards might not even charge employers for job postings, and the features they usually want to have the most include:
- Automatic Job Scraping and Categorization: Since the main goal for this kind of job boards is to attract professionals in a specific niche, you first need the right content. The most effective way to do it without wasting time and resources on it is by automatically scraping jobs from other websites and categorizing them.
- SEO Tools: SEO plays a huge role in job boards for UGC marketing since it allows you to reach a wider audience. To achieve the desired result, you need to have the ability to edit the meta titles and descriptions, integrate Google Jobs, auto-generate Sitemap.xml, etc.
- Email Alerts: Through this feature, you can connect with your audience and potential employees and notify them about new job openings in their company. You can also use this to promote your brand, services, or products, as well as send them their newsletter and latest announcements.
Job Board for VC Firms
Everyone knows how crucial the workforce is for organizational success. Not having the right team is among the top 3 reasons why startups fail, and that might explain why venture capital (VC) firms have a vested interest in making sure their portfolio companies have an easier time finding the talent they need. Starting a job board is one of the ways VC firms seek to support their portfolio companies on the talent acquisition front.
Having one collective job board that hosts job listings from all portfolio companies can boost exposure for these vacancies. Based on our experience with venture capital job boards, here are the most common features that we’ve seen them use most:
Automatic Jobs Aggregation: Many VC firms have hundreds and even thousands of job openings across all their portfolio companies. Constantly aggregating all these jobs and updating them is too time-consuming and feels like a full-time job if done manually.
To avoid unnecessary complications, you need to automate the process. And this is why the most important feature of these job boards is the automatic jobs aggregation, which will allow you to easily import jobs from portfolio company career pages into your job board without wasting your time and resources.
- Talent Network: VC job boards do help connect portfolio companies with talented candidates that are looking for a job. But what if the candidates are not actively looking for a new position? In comes the talent network feature, through which VC firms can collect the resumes of their network. Later, you can give access to their companies to find professionals with the necessary set of skills from their network.
- Email Alerts: This feature helps venture capital firms notify their talent network about the new positions in their portfolio companies, leading to a higher number of candidates applying to their job openings.
Step 2: Select the Technology
After identifying the type of job board you want to start and the functionalities it needs, it’s time to choose the platform for your job board.
There are four common options to choose from, and each of them has its own pros and cons. Check them out below and select the option that matches your resources, time, and budget most of all.
Job Board Software
Using job board software to create a job site is the most common practice in the list.
Built mainly for this purpose, good job board software have all the functionalities you need, such as monetization, job scraping, SEO tools, email alerts, resume database, job seeker accounts, Google Jobs network integration, and more…
Moreover, setting this all up and getting your job board ready to run will take no time with a job board website builder since the features are specifically built for job boards, and all you need to do is just configure them based on your needs.
In short, this is a perfect option for those who don’t want to waste their time and budget on hiring development teams to create a job board and want to focus on marketing and growing their job board.
✅ Advanced features: Including job scraping, SEO tools, resume database, email alerts, and different monetization options.
✅ Support: Job board software platforms are specialized in this field, so they have all the answers to your questions, especially if it’s about their platform. In case of any technical issues and requests, you can contact the support team and get the information and help you need.
✅ No extra costs: With this, you get an all-in-one solution that includes job board hosting, maintenance, and all security updates. So, there’ll be no need to spend additional money on new features and updates.
✅ No coding: Since every aspect of your job board can be configured in UI, you don’t need to have any technical background and skills to set up your website.
⛔ Costs more than a website builder: Because job board software contain more advanced features that are specific to job boards only, they usually charge more to justify the cost of the implementation and maintenance of the advanced features.
⛔ Limited customization in terms of design: Although you’ll be able to edit the main style elements of your job board, you won’t have advanced design tools to drastically change the existing themes. So if you're looking for something over-the-top creative, job board software might not be your first choice.
- Starting cost: $0
- Setup time: 1-5 days
- Monthly expenses: $125-$425 (depending on the package you choose)
If you feel as though job board software would be the best solution for your job board, it’s important to mitigate the above-mentioned limitations by choosing the right vendor. Make sure that the design of the job board is to your liking and that the vendor is actively improving the software and adding new features to the software.
Besides, not every job board website builder has the following benefits mentioned above, so before choosing a platform, make sure you know exactly what functionalities they’re offering.
You can also use website builders like Webflow, Wix, and Squarespace to start a job board. Unlike job board software, website builders don’t offer functionalities that are specific to job posting sites. Instead, you can build a job board using the templates they offer and customize them according to your brand.
If you’re looking for a way to quickly create a simple job board that doesn’t need robust monetization, job scraping, or candidate database functionalities, then a website builder can be a good choice for you.
✅ No coding: No coding is necessary, however, you’ll still need some knowledge about the platform to be able to set up your job board.
✅ Themes: Offers a large variety of themes for all kinds of platforms that you can customize according to your branding.
✅ Manages the technical part: Handles hosting, maintenance, and security, so you won’t need to worry about the technical aspect.
⛔ No Google jobs integration: Your jobs will not be displayed on Google Jobs, and as a result, you will lose the potential traffic from that platform.
⛔ Learning curve: Considering creating a job board is not as easy as creating a basic website, you will need some time to learn how to configure the website builder.
⛔ No professional support: Even though you’ll be able to receive general support for the technical part of your job board, it will be limited since they’re not specialized in job boards․
⛔ Limited user experience (UX): Normally, website builders don’t offer smart data saving options, so users might need to upload their resume with every application because it won’t be saved.
⛔ Limited features for job boards: Since these platforms are not mainly made for job boards, there will be some important features missing, such as job scraping, resume database, employer and job seeker profiles, targeted job alerts, etc.
- Starting cost: $0
- Setup time: 5-20 days (depending on your experience with the tool)
- Monthly expenses: $9-$300 (depending on the integrations you will use)
As an open-source content management system, WordPress hosts 43% of all websites. It offers a variety of ready-made templates which you can customize according to your preferences and set up a unique platform.
By setting up WordPress plugins, you will be able to add almost any functionality to your job site. However, will also need to add some paid extensions to be able to have the features job boards offer on their platform, such as application forms, a resume database, job alerts, etc.
✅ Various themes: Offers a large variety of themes that can be customized.
✅ Wide range of plugins: Has over 50K plugins that you can adopt to your platform.
⛔ Needs a developer: Although starting a simple website on WordPress might seem easy for a beginner, you might need some coding experience or a developer’s help if you’re starting something as complex as a job board.
⛔ Complicated updates: You’ll need to constantly update your job board created on WordPress, which might be challenging since the new updates might come with issues of their own, resulting in unplanned technical difficulties, such as taking you back to the default mode of your website.
⛔ Slow speed: Some themes contain a lot of unnecessary generic codes, which will slow the speed of your job board, decreasing your traffic as a result.
⛔ Security issues: Since WordPress is an open source platform and is wildly popular in the market, it’s a target for many hackers. And once someone finds an issue in a plugin or WordPress core, it will also affect all the platforms using it. This is why you will need to constantly monitor the installed plugins to make sure there are not any newly discovered vulnerabilities in them.
- Starting cost: $1000 - $25,000 (including developer time and plugins cost)
- Setup time: 2 weeks - 3 months (depending on the complexity of your project and how much custom code the developer will need to write)
- Monthly expenses: $200-$1000 (including developer’s time for maintenance, security upgrades, and server cost)
Starting From Scratch
However, if you feel like none of the three options mentioned above are suitable for you to create a money-making job board, you can start it completely from scratch.
To do this, you need to have enough coding knowledge and experience or hire a developer(or development team) to build the job board for you. Besides costing more money, starting a job board from scratch is also time-consuming and a never-ending process since you’ll also need to follow the market to constantly update your job site with new features.
So before taking this route and spending your money, time and resources, make sure there is not already an existing job board software option that can solve your task. And if you don’t find a solution that can help you out, only in that case it makes sense to spend so much energy on starting a job board from scratch.
✅ Fully customizable: Since you’re making a job board from scratch based on your own coding, you can fully customize it according to your preferences and based on your developer’s skills.
✅ Wide variety of features: You can implement custom features according to your needs.
⛔ Experience is needed: Need to hire a developer or have coding experience.
⛔ Time-consuming: Building it from scratch will take way longer than all the options above.
⛔ Expensive: This will be way more expensive compared to other options.
⛔ New features from scratch: Will need to create features from zero.
⛔ No support: You will need to handle potential performance and security issues yourself.
- Starting cost: $10,000 and more (depending on the size of the project and how much you pay your developer)
- Setup time: 2-4 months (depending on the complexity of your project and how many custom features the developer will need to implement)
- Monthly expenses: $500 and above (including developer’s time for maintenance, security upgrades, and hosting costs)
Step 3: Choose a Domain Name
Once you know what type of job board you want to create and which platform you are going to use for it, it’s time to come up with job board name ideas and register a domain. Choosing a domain name is an important step you should take cautiously since it’s the first thing website visitors see and get ideas from. Therefore, it’s better to choose a short option that will also give an idea about what your job board is about, such as RemoteOk.com, AirlineJobs.com, TechSalesJobs.org, etc.
However, most job board name ideas you might come up with might already be taken, so don’t start building your brand around an idea without checking the availability of the domain with online tools like GoDaddy.
Root Domain vs Subdomain
Consider whether you need a subdomain like jobs.you-rwebsite.com or a completely new domain like job-board-name.com. This depends entirely on your goals and what you want to achieve with your job board.
We suggest opening up under a subdomain if:
- you already have a recognized brand
- your website has a good search engine ranking and sizable traffic,
- the job board isn’t the most crucial part of your business/organization.
This is important to consider because if you already have the main domain, by opening a subdomain for your job board, you’ll be able to automatically transfer some of your SEO rankings to it instead of having to build the job board domain authority from scratch.
Top-Level Domain Name Ideas for Your Job Board
To give you ideas for your job board’s Top-Level Domain(TLD), we took 5,000 different job board domains and analyzed their TLDs. This resulted in this beautiful graph:
As you can see from the above graph, 56.3% of the job board domain names that we analyzed have a “.com” TLD and 23.5% are country-specific, such as .ca, uk, .com.au, etc…
If your job board is targeting only a specific location, we recommend going with that country’s TLD. If it’s global, no doubt .com is the most trustworthy top-level domain. But in case you can’t find a domain with .com, here are some other common TLDs: .org, .net, .career, and .io (great for job boards that are tech-related), which can be an excellent choice for a job board.
All in all, TLDs don’t affect your SEO performance, so it’s not a life-and-death decision. You can choose the one good for your pocket and go along with it.
🤓 Fun Fact
From the 5,000 job board domains that we have analyzed, 44% of them have the "jobs" word in their name and 7% have the "careers" word.
Step 4: Fill Your Job Board With Jobs
Okay, so you have a clear idea about your job board and what functionalities you need to have on your platform, the name of your platform is decided too, and now it’s time to fill your website with content. But wait, because you’re a new job site platform, what employer is going to trust you with a job post?
This is why you need to import jobs from career pages and other job boards because if you don’t have any content, you won’t have any traffic.
So, why do you need to do it before launching your platform? Let’s say you’re going to an ice cream shop and it looks really tempting from the outside, but once you’re in, it’s empty, and there’s nothing you can get. Wouldn’t it be disappointing? The same goes for a job board. If a job seeker finds your job site and clicks on it in hopes of finding what they are looking for, but if there are no jobs, they will exit the session, and as a result, you’ll lose traffic.
Let’s take a look at another situation. What if you enter the same ice cream store, and instead of ice cream, they have hot chocolate? Sure hot chocolate sounds okay, but it’s not what you’re looking for. Again, you’ll exit the store, but this time you’ll also feel deceived. To avoid losing traffic because of irrelevant content, you need to import job posts mainly related to your niche.
You also need to constantly update your job board with new content to stay relevant in your niche, and once you collect enough website visitors and have the necessary monthly traffic, you can start posting paid job posts and earn money.
You can import jobs into your job board manually. However, it will take a lot of time to do it. That’s why we’ve created no-code scrapers that will automatically import new jobs for you. If you decide to go with jBoard, you can automate this by simply providing the URL of the career page from which you want to periodically import jobs.
Step 5: Optimize for SEO
Now that you already have imported jobs on your platform, it’s time to use them and the rest of your website pages to increase your traffic. To do this, you’ll need to optimize your job board for SEO by organizing and tagging your website pages based on job type, category, location, etc.
For instance, if you have a design niche job board, you should have enough data about the jobs to be able to automatically generate web pages like ‘graphic design jobs in Canada,’ ‘part-time graphic design jobs,’ ‘part-time graphic design jobs in Canada,’ etc. This way, you will have more relevant content with which you can compete for long tail keyword searches on Google. Additionally, you can check out this article to read more about how to optimize your job board for SEO.
Step 6: Launch Your Job Board
After completing the steps described above, your job board will be ready to be launched and help you reach your goal. However, you should remember that the launching step is not the end of it. To get your desired result, you’ll need to continually grow your platform. Sure, if you’re using innovative job board software, you’ll get the latest feature updates of the industry automatically, but you’ll also need to know how to use them to your advantage.
Starting a job board is not a walk in the park, however, it can be a simple task if you know exactly what you want and what tools you need to realize your vision. By following the steps above, you’ll be able to easily figure out how to build a job board and operate it without any overwhelming challenges.
If you’ve decided to start a job board with an all-in-one solution, you can give jBoard a try, which we created to make the whole process of starting a job board effortless and quick while maintaining high quality.