How Do Job Boards Make Money? Your Complete Guide in 2023
Marty Aghajanyan | January 06, 2023 (updated) | 10 min read
According to the most recent statistics, the job board industry in the USA alone is worth around $14.7 bn. While some significant parts of that number belong to house-name job websites such as Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, etc., various niche job boards have emerged during the past couple of years, generating a considerable amount of revenue.
But how do niche job boards make money and capture a share of that $14.7 bn?
Below you’ll find some of the most profitable strategies job boards use to generate income and which ones you can implement on your job board.
1. Charging for Job Postings
The number one method job boards use to make money is by charging employers for job postings. What employers expect back in return is the number of applicants they are happy with. So, the more qualified applicants you bring, the more you can charge employers per job posting.
Many job boards show the number of applications employers will receive through their service on their pricing page. This is a smart way of giving employers an idea of what they’ll be getting in exchange for money.
For example, the RemoteOK job board charges $600 per job posting and guarantees a minimum of 200 applicant views. And if a job announcement doesn’t hit the original mark, they boost it to ensure that the client will get the promised amount of views.
How much to charge for a job posting?
There are some factors that can help you decide how much you should charge employers per job posting, such as:
- The number of applicants: As we have already mentioned before, the more applicants you bring to the employers, the more you can charge them per job posting. If your job board is still a small one, you might not be able to have 20 job seekers apply for specific job openings, so the amount of money you’ll charge for a job posting might not be as much as $600 per job posting.
- The demand for talent: The bigger the demand for talent is, the more important it is for employers to find a qualified candidate so they are ready to pay more money to hire a professional faster. For instance, the demand of data scientists is projected to grow by 36% until 2031, however, there is a little shortage of available data scientists. This is why a single job posting on related job boards is around $530.
- The average salaries in the niche: The average salaries of the jobs employers post on your site. This is one of the most significant pointers you will get as to how much money employers are willing to spend on a job announcement in that industry. For instance, if you have a job board with the IT niche, you will be able to charge more for a single job post than a job board with a security guard job listing since the average salary in the former market is higher.
- The quality of the applicants per job post: General job boards might have a bigger number of applicants for a job post, but not all of them will be qualified applicants. They can provide even around 40 applicants, and only 10 of them might be suitable for a particular job opening. On the other hand, a niche job board might have a smaller number of applicants for a job post, but since it’s a website for a specific industry, the majority of them will have the necessary skills for the job, and so the employers will find the candidate they are looking for more easily.
In general, we’ve seen niche job boards charge, on average, $10 – $30 for each application. So, if your job board can bring 20 good quality candidates for a job posting, you should be able to charge around $200-$600 per single job posting.
Complementary to charging employers for posting job announcements, job boards can charge to make a post more visible on their website. This way, a job board can capture additional revenue from employers who are willing to pay more and get more applicants.
In general, we recommend creating multiple posting packages on your website so employers can choose what fits their needs and budget the best.
Here are some common ways we’ve seen job boards boost a job posting:
Featured job postings, which usually are pinned on top of the job listings, and/or are highlighted with a different color. This way, they are more visible to job seekers and get more applicants.
RemoteOK, for example, features sponsored job postings on their home page by highlighting them with a different color, which, according to them, brings 2x more views than normal job postings.
Promoting job posts through social media is another way to boost it if you have a sizable audience on social media.
Let’s check the example of GirlBoss. Their standard plan starts at around $300, however, if an employer also wants them to promote a job posting on their Instagram account with 1.8mln followers, they need to pay $550.
Email marketing for job postings is the last but definitely not least option on our list. Besides being a way to boost a job posting and earn money from it as well, it’s an option to keep the job seekers in your audience engaged.
In short, the more exposure you give to a job posting, the more applicants it will get, therefore, the more you can charge for your services.
3. Resume Database
Besides being a means for job seekers to find the job they are looking for, job boards also help employers find candidates themselves. Collecting the resumes of their users and giving employers access to the database is one of the most used practices to generate income.
Employers are eager to get this feature since they can search through hundreds or thousands of resumes and source candidates through the database. It will fasten the process of finding the professionals with the necessary skills that they need.
Usually, granting access to the resume database is included in a subscription plan and is billed monthly or annually.
Monster, for example, charges $300 per month to allow employers access to 100 resumes. However, if you’re running a niche job board with a smaller resume database you can give employers access to your full database and charge just as much or even more money since you’ll be offering candidates that are mainly in their targeted niche.
Note that due to privacy concerns, it is important that job-seekers consent to having their profile publicly available to employers. Many job boards give job-seekers the option to either set their profile private or public, however, most will choose the public option to make themselves available for potential job offers from employers.
4. Pre-Screening Applicants
Sometimes, job boards also earn additional income by offering to handle the entire recruitment process for their clients. Services can range from simply conducting surface-level candidate screening for clients to going all the way and giving clients a shortlist of candidates to interview, reducing the time they’ll have to spend on the hiring process.
For example, Dynamite Jobs, a job board launched in 2017 and initially targeting the remote job market, states that they are more than a job board now since they also offer pre-screening services. So, besides posting a job board on this website, employers can also have their suitable candidates assessed and even interviewed for them by the Dynamite Jobs team. In case an employer turns to them to do initial candidate interviews for them, they will need to pay Dynamite Jobs around $5,500.
5. Programmatic Job Advertising
Before finding out how your job board can generate income through programmatic job advertising platforms, let’s understand what exactly they are.
Programmatic job advertising platforms promote the job postings of employers and recruiters across different job boards and charge them for it. Job boards that promote those postings get paid by those platforms for each click or applicant they bring.
The amount of money job boards will earn from advertising platforms depends on the industry and other factors, but mostly the price per click is around $0.1-$0.5.
This can still be a good money-generating model for newly released job boards that don’t have good branding for employers to post jobs directly on their website but have enough traffic that they want to monetize.
What we have noticed happen in some cases, though, is some job boards import so many job postings from those platforms that they ruin the user experience on their website. This is why it’s important to at least choose and import job ads that are relevant to your niche.
How to integrate your job board with programmatic job advertising platforms?
They normally provide an XML feed to job boards, with which you can automatically import those job postings. If you’re using jBoard, here is a Help Guide with which you can learn how to set up your XML jobs importer.
6. Banner and Google Ads
A job board is a website, after all, and just like any other website, it can sell space on its website to Google Advertisers. However, this is usually not the main business model of job boards and is considered more of a last resort or an additional source of revenue for beginners. Google Adsense can prove valuable for job boards that are struggling to acquire clients yet receive a lot of traffic from blogs and the job postings they import from other websites.
There is not much of a difference when it comes to advertising with Google Adsense on a job board, as opposed to any other regular website. So if you’re interested in how to monetize your job board with Google Adsense, you can see how from Google itself.
7. Employer Branding Services
In high-competing markets, it’s important for companies to make a name for themselves, so they can reach their potential applicants.
This makes a golden opportunity for job boards to help companies that try to build their branding and earn additional income from it. Employer branding services can range from writing articles and making videos, to coming up with social media posts about the employer. For this to be compelling to employers, a job board must have a big audience.
A successful job board that does a great job at this is BuiltinLA. They mainly concentrate on connecting tech companies based in LA with talented candidates. Today they offer to help established and start-up companies showcase their culture through their stories, and attract potential employees.
The ninth and final most common way job boards monetize their website is through subscriptions. The premise is that the services discussed earlier in the article can be compiled into different subscription plans.
This works best with employers that constantly have hiring needs and are looking for packages with more favorable conditions. For job boards, the primary advantage is that the payments will be coming in more consistently, which will make your job board business more stable.
Today, it’s possible to generate income by running a job board business. However, the amount of money you’ll earn mostly depends on your website traffic and the quality of the candidates that you’re able to provide employers with.
With this article, we wanted to show you the most common approaches we’ve seen job boards use to monetize their website. You can choose the ones that suit your business model and niche the most.
Job Board Monetization FAQ
How to start a profitable job board?
After you create your job board, you’ll need to concentrate on having enough traffic so that later you can generate income from it. The most common ways to get traffic are optimizing your job board for SEO, and/or building a community to which you can advertise your job board.
Are job boards profitable?
Absolutely! If a job board has enough traffic and can get employers quality candidates, then they will be in demand as long as employers have hiring needs (*wink* forever *wink*).
Can I make a passive income from a job board?
Yes, technically, you can. In fact, some of the options above are a way for you to make a passive income, such as ads, etc. However, if you’re an already established job board, you need to take care of your marketing to make sure your traffic doesn’t disappear.
How much money can I make from a niche job board?
Most of the time it depends on your traffic. We’ve seen some job boards make around $200 per month by selling only one or two job postings, while some like RemoteOk, make around $110K by selling 159 job postings a month.