Growing Your Association Job Board

Professional associations often have their own set of challenges and advantages when it comes to job boards, so we’ve gathered up our best advice for them.

1. Own Your Board

At first this may seem ridiculous – of course it’s your job board – but for many associations the job board is thought of as belonging to your technology partner, or somehow outside of your core business. Regardless of how you run your job board or what technology powers it, it is your board–not your software provider’s. It doesn’t matter how it’s hosted or if you split revenue, it is your board and it serves your membership.

First of all: Ensure you are clear that this is your job board! One clue that will confirm you have the right viewpoint is your language – be sure to use the board’s name and not the technology supplier’s name. Once convinced it’s your board, then you’ll have the power to make it better.

The next step is to work with your organization to change their perception, and to see the opportunities your job board can offer you. And lastly, take a look at your job board’s revenue, its look and feel, and how well it serves your membership. What can you do to make it better?

2. Integrate, Integrate, Integrate!

80% of the associations we’ve worked with don’t leverage cross-marketing, or under-utilize it. Examine the opportunities you have to promote your job board’s brand.

Map out all of the “touch points” that you have with your members: newsletters, career advice, workshops/training, and in-person events are all opportunities to promote your job board and generate traffic.

For example, if your association offers mentoring, training, or career-related services, it’s a perfect fit to use your job board as part of those services.

3. Drive Inbound Traffic 

Does your job board have good SEO? Is it easy to find on your association website, or is it buried deep, more than 5 clicks to find it, hidden in with member perks? If your members Google the name, will they be able to find it easily?

There are a number of things you can do to encourage traffic and improve your SEO simultaneously. Content marketing is a great way to reach your members and sustain their interest by providing valuable content.

Re-broadcasting your blog posts, newsletters, videos, and other content on social media channels and groups can help your association and its job board maintain a regular presence in your members’ lives, increase exposure to your content, and create more value for members. (They may not visit your association’s website regularly, but they probably check their Twitter or Facebook feeds daily.)

4. Get Creative with eCommerce!

While the lifeblood of any job board is its candidates, you cannot ignore those that keep it running: your customers.

This is an area where your technology may limit you, so do your best with what you’ve got. That said, it’s time to change it up! Nothing gets your customer’s attention faster than something unexpected and high value. Look at your analytics and see what job advertising options customers typically buy together.

Why not try bundling combinations or multiples of them together at a discounted rate? Create new packages, promotions, special discounts, or flash sales to entice new customers and bring back old ones.

5. Think About Your Multiple Audiences

As an association, you have more than one audience to deal with, each with different interests and needs. Your have your membership at large, and that can include both job seekers and employers. But lumping different audiences together all the time and blasting them with the same message is unhelpful to both you and them.

Not all of your members are job seekers, and not all of them are employers, so speaking to them with the same message is ineffective and will drive them away. You’ll need to engage your communication team to create segments in your mailing lists and other communications so that you can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your message.

Don’t have a communications team? Then it’s time to invest some time in an email distribution platform. There are lots of recommended options with varying price points, and most let you try out the product for free. Do some research and give it a shot.


As always we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences from the association frontlines!  comment below or drop us a line on Twitter. If you have a unique scenario and would like some 1-on-1 assistance, Careerleaf would love to help out. Right now we are providing complementary job board assessments to help JB managers like you amp up their success.