Integrating Print and Digital Recruitment Ad Sales

Newspapers and magazines belonging to regions with smaller populations or that publish on niche topics have in some cases had a difficult time bridging the gaps between their traditional print circulation and the digital realm.


When it comes to recruitment advertising sales, it’s a big deal to transition from employment classified ads to a job board branded to your publication. There are three main areas around which the change may be focused – the experience of your customers, your internal sales processes, and the experience of your job seekers.

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Local SEO for Regional Job Boards

Something many businesses that serve a particular geographic region take advantage of when it comes to their Search Engine Optimization is local SEO.

If you live in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan and search for “pizza”, it’s not very helpful if the results you get are for restaurants in New York. That’s why search engines try to deliver results that are relevant to your location as well as your search terms.

So, if you make great pizza in Moosejaw, how do you reach local potential customers? Okay, I know if you’re reading a blog on a job board software provider’s website, there’s a chance you run a job board or a recruiting business and are not in the business of making delicious pizza. (That said, if you’ve found a market for pizza-related employment and you’re thinking of starting a job board…call us!)

Below I’ve gathered some tips and resources for bolstering your local SEO and ideas on how to handle some of the challenges that online businesses may face.

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Attracting Younger Members with Association Job Boards

Many professional associations have found their membership growth stagnating when it comes to young professionals. The so-called “millennial” generation, who in 2017 are now roughly between ages 20-36*, may perceive membership-based organizations as “old school”, as well as being too expensive, having low value, and lacking in technology and curation.

Some context that may explain their views on associations is that most millennials have had a rough start to their lives as adults. Many began their careers during the Great Recession, facing periods of unemployment or underemployment, low wages and wage stagnation. Add to that the unprecedented weight of student loan debt most young professionals are carrying, and it’s not hard to see why millennials are reluctant to spend money to join organizations if they don’t see an obvious return on investment.

But millennial professionals are highly educated and accustomed to using digital technology, and while they earn less money than previous generations, they do want opportunities to network, to further develop their skills and training, and to discover new job opportunities. Due to the lack of economic stability during their adult lives thus far, most millennials can safely assume working in a great number of jobs over their lifetimes than did older generations. Put these facts together, and it seems millennials could really benefit from membership in professional associations – if you can convince them it’s worth their money.

So how can associations connect with millennials and be perceived as having value?

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Convincing Great Talent to Join Your Job Board

In the recruiting industry, there is frequent debate about passive vs active candidates. A passive candidate is someone who has a job, and isn’t really focused on finding a new one. They may occasionally look for jobs or apply, but they’re not as absorbed in the activity as someone who is an active job seeker. An active job seeker might be unemployed or trying to leave a job they don’t like. They’re applying to jobs regularly, and are always on the lookout for opportunities.

There is the perception that passive candidates are better, perhaps because their current employment implies success in their role. On other hand, a passive candidate who can be lured away from a job they’re content with could be just as easily lured away from the employer you recruit them to join. An active job seeker may want the job more, and work harder to keep it.

However you feel about recruiting passive or active candidates, a job board needs both.

By now, you should be familiar with the chicken-and-the-egg game of simultaneously attracting both talent and customers to your job board. Last week I talked about finding the right balance of original content to make your job board unique and valuable enough to be useful to job seekers and develop good SEO, a crucial element of attracting job seekers to your board.

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SEO Marketing Cheat Sheet for Job Boards [Infographic]

Search Engine Optimization is never going to truly be a “set it and forget it” tool for getting traffic to your job board or turning up on the first page of Google search results.

Ideally, search engines like Google and Bing want web search to be a meritocracy. Websites and pages that are relevant to the words or phrases you search for and have proven themselves to be valid and valuable should be what rises to the top.

Websites new and old have challenges in managing their SEO, often for different reasons. Old websites usually struggle with updating or cleaning up the structural and technical components of their site’s content, design, and its organization. New websites usually struggle to figure out how they can be unique and valuable enough to differentiate themselves from existing sites, and build up credibility.

There is a view, which stems from the early days of SEO, that making a website turn up on the first page of search results can be achieved simply through technical tricks and hacks. Google, in particular, is known for its evolving search algorithm – the way Google applies your search terms to look for appropriate search results today is not the way it worked last year, five years ago, or ten years ago.

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Status of Facebook Jobs: It’s Complicated

Facebook started out in 2004. I joined in late 2005. Only college and university students could sign up back then, and you could only register using your school-assigned email address. Now we might refer to it as a closed social network, with subnetworks of people who add each other as “friends”. Later on, high school students were allowed to sign up, and then eventually the world at large was welcome on Facebook.

Naturally, most of the user-generated content on Facebook during those early years was posted with the assumption that only chosen friends would ever clap eyes on it. Messages on your Facebook wall (now your timeline) and selfies (taken without the advantage front-facing camera on your phone) were the norm, along with pictures of friends hanging out, partying, and making dumb faces.

If you’ve watched The Social Network, you can no doubt imagine that all sorts of social drama was acted out on the platform, and you’d probably be right. Facebook was responsible for popularizing “it’s complicated” as a relationship status, after all. On the other hand, it was also common to change your vital stats for fun – Antarctica as your hometown or relationship status set as “married” to unlikely match, platonic friend, or favourite food.

I’m not taking you down Millennial Memory Lane for no reason, mind you. The context of Facebook’s history and evolution is important to take into account when evaluating the social media platform as a recruiting tool, since now it’s a place to look for a job.

Back in November, TechCrunch reported on Facebook’s upcoming Jobs feature for company pages, and now it’s here. Let’s quickly review what we know about Facebook Jobs:

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Your Job Board Branding Checklist

Whether you’re starting a new job board or you’re giving yours a fresh coat of paint, it’s important to think about your branding.

For some people “branding” just means a logo and a name, but it can encompass a lot more than that. Visual graphics and their placement, as well as messaging and content all contribute to the brand of your job board or recruiting platform.

The following list may cover more (or less) than what you really need, but it should help guide your process. If you already have everything you need, let this list help you to organize it all into a cohesive branding package that makes it easy to use your branding as you create new content and promotions.

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Job Board Revenue Models for Publishers – Part 1 of 2

Last week we discussed what online publishers with job boards today look like, as well as what particular advantages and disadvantages they may have in the job board industry.

Online magazines, blogs, news and media websites have a variety of options for using a job board to generate revenue. Some of these revenue models are dependent on their technology solutions, the presence of print publications, and internal business structuring. Of course, not every publisher job board will fit neatly into these categories, and you may see your business reflected in more than one.

This week we’ll take a look at the Job Page/Hands-Off Model, and the Print Sales Companion model.

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Outbound Phone Campaigns for Job Boards

There are so many cases where a problem can be solved with a simple phone call.  Wondering why an employer posted one job on your board last year? Find yourself wishing you could help that new company from the news with their hiring?

Just pick up the phone.

That’s a phrase I have often heard from Careerleaf’s own CEO, whose recruiting and entrepreneurial background has given her many opportunities to test out her own advice. A quick conversation over the phone can be an incredibly effective way to qualify your employer or recruiter customers, build relationships with them, and solve problems.

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Your Guide to Email Marketing for Job Boards

Over the past two weeks we’ve talked about ways that job boards can use outbound marketing to generate business. We touched on email marketing, but it’s a subject that deserves a blog post of its own.

Job boards can use email marketing to engage existing job seekers and customers, or to reach out to new ones. Email marketing can be as simple as sending out an email to a large number of people waiting for a response. Or you can get more complex with segmentation, automation, and A/B testing.

In this post we’ll talk about a few areas worth learning about as you get your email marketing started, including anti-spam laws, available tools, automation, A/B testing, campaign goals and optimization.

Keep it Legal

Anti-spam laws vary depending on your region or the region of your target market: Wikipedia has a list of email spam legislation by country available, so check it out.

You may need explicit permission from someone before adding them to a mailing list, or you may be limited in how often you can contact a person or business with whom you have not had previous contact. In most circumstances, if it’s not mandatory, it’s still a best practice to always allow an email recipient to opt out by providing an unsubscribe link or instructions in the email.

Tools for Email Marketing

There are lots of tools out there to help you along your quest to use email marketing, many of which are free. Here a few worth checking out:

  • MailChimp is great for newsletters and maintaining mailing lists, it’s free for sending email to less than 2,000 contacts, and its paid features include automation and A/B testing
  • AgileCRM combines customer relationship management with automated email campaigns, among other sales and marketing tools.
  • Yet Another Mail Merge takes advantage of Gmail and Google Sheets to email contacts and track things like who opened them, who clicked, etc.
  • MailTrack adds a checkmark in your Gmail on every email that has been read

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