Don’t Panic! Careerleaf Offers Workopolis Niche Network Support and Advice from a Canadian Perspective

With the announcement of the sale of Workopolis to Indeed’s parent company, Careerleaf’s thoughts are with the Niche Network Partners, many of whom worked with our own VP of Revenue Operations Jonathan Page when he managed partnerships for Workopolis, as they deal with the uncertainty caused by this announcement.

Jonathan is directly supporting current partners by telephone and email to support them at this challenging time.

We have heard from WNN partners that other white label job board providers are aggressively pursuing them for quick technology transitions. However, Careerleaf is advising WNN partners not to panic, but to take quick actions to mitigate uncertainty. Here are the 4 areas, we recommend you concentrate on.

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User Experience for Association Career Centres

Professional associations are finding that keeping members active and engaged requires digital tools and platforms that help them connect and access resources on any given day, all year long. A little over a month ago, Tim Ebner outlined some basic elements of user experience for the Associations Now blog to help associations develop good usability on their websites.


For your online career centre, there are several areas that can become points of delight or points of frustration for your membership as job seekers. I’ve listed three such areas below, and talk a little bit about how to decide what’s right for your association. Consider those UX elements Ebner discussed as you think about the following areas of your association career centre. 

Job Search

Job search is a very broad topic when you consider that a person’s job search might begin with a search engine, a chat with a friend, or even by browsing the web without the intention of job searching. However they may end up on your association’s job board, it helps to remember where they begin. 

If your job content is members-only and requires them to log in before they can browse opportunities, search jobs, or manage their profile, make that step as seamless as possible. If they already have some kind of account they need to login to in order to access your other reasons, it’s worth investigating Single Sign-On solutions that will mean they only need to remember one set of login credentials.

 If your job content is free and open to the web for members and non-members alike, find ways to work in the name or your organization throughout your job board’s content. This can give non-members more context for your role in helping them in their job search and what your organization’s mission is overall. If you offer extra perks or benefits for members, be sure to use them as an enticement for members to login and take advantage of those benefits. 

Applying for Jobs

The way your members would prefer to apply to jobs may have nothing in common with the way employers would prefer to receive job applications – and that’s one of the reasons this part can get tricky. 

The majority of job seekers don’t want to jump through hoops to apply for a job. Something simple and straightforward will pretty much always win in their eyes. Employers, too, would like a simple and straightforward process, but they tend to ask more information of candidates up front to save themselves time. 

Your organization could potentially set down a policy for how job applications should work for employers and candidates, but it may require some research and compromises for both parties. Requiring employers and candidates to use your job board’s internal application system may help you gain more insight into how many people get hired through your career centre, but many employers may insist on using their own ATS or email/pen-and-paper/spreadsheet system. 

One thing you can do is gather feedback from employers and candidates in your industry and your association, and share it with the other. If your employers don’t realize they are contributing to a poor user experience for your association and a poor candidate experience for their organization, it’s worth sharing your knowledge and advising on ways to improve.

What Happens Next

You might not always have much control over how employers run their hiring processes, but you can think about how your members can stay engaged with you as a resource not only for their job search but for career-related knowledge and resources.


It’s generally wise to let the user control when they do and don’t receive things like emails and notifications and how often they receive them. Encouraging job seekers to set up their own job alerts so they can make sure they hear only about jobs that are relevant and interesting to them can be a great way to keep members engaged with your job board without pestering them. 

Bear in mind that some people regularly browsing your jobs may not be applying to everything in sight, but instead keep tabs on what opportunities are out there and apply more selectively. For this type of member, content about the substance of their work, career path planning, and skill development may be a more relevant way to keep them engaged.

User experience is inclusive of digital and non-digital interactions with your brand as an association and can overlap with the experiences your members have with employers who advertise with you on your career centre. Thinking about how members find themselves searching for a job on your website, how applicants and employers interact, and how you stay in touch with those actively and passively looking for career opportunities can all factor into the usability of your association career centre.

Choosing a Job Board Set-Up for Associations and Publishers

Deciding on the best way to integrate a job board into your current website can be a struggle for associations and publishers who are starting or rebooting a job board to generate revenue and provide value for their members or readership. We’ve outlined below three different ways you can set up your organization’s job board, as well as what types of scenarios make sense for each one.

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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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Association Job Boards for Non-Dues Revenue Streams

Membership-based organizations tend to rely heavily on the dues or fees that members pay to join and access the benefits offered by such associations.

Membership fees can vary greatly, depending on their niche or industry, and on whether the association is a for-profit or non-profit organization. Non-Dues sources of revenue for associations also traditionally include events or conferences, sponsorship, selling or reselling education/training courses, fundraising or donations, and grants.

Online career centres or job boards also prove to be effective at generating revenue while adding value for both members and industry partners, and help associations stay true to their mission.

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Reimagining your Professional Association as a Recruiter

I think bamboo is a fantastic material. From construction scaffolding, human edible food, and entire luxury houses, the grass has been employed in an endless variety of ways through some creative reimagining of what the material was and what role it could play.

The human brain does, in fact, act oddly when faced with different assumptions and frames. Simply asking a question in a different way, or considering a different perspective can derive a different result. Consider the following based on Kahneman & Tversky’s often cited study:

An outbreak threatens to kill 600 people. There are two possible courses of action:

  • Program A will save 200 people.
  • Program B has a ⅓ chance of saving everyone, and a ⅔ chance of saving no one.

Now, imagine the same scenario, but different options:

  • Program C will kill 400 people.
  • Program D has a ⅓ chance of saving everyone, and a ⅔ chance of saving no one.

All four plans theoretically deliver the same result – save 200 people – but 72% of those surveyed would choose program A over B (certainty instead of risk), yet 78% would choose program D over C (risk instead of certainty). The dramatic difference can be accounted for the way A and C are framed – one is positive and one is negative.

So for professional associations out there looking to do more for your membership and increase revenue: it’s time to reimagine your organization…as a recruiter.

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