Business Overview

The search for a job has moved to the internet. A Pew Research Center poll from 2015 found that 79 percent of job seekers had searched online, and that percent has likely only increased since then. When people search for jobs online, they frequently look on job boards.

Online job boards list open positions that employers have. Unlike job search engines, job boards don’t usually compile listings by searching other websites. Instead, listings are entered directly by a manager or employer. This helps ensure that listings are accurate, relevant, and concise (i.e. no duplicates).

According to IBISWorld, the online recruitment sites in the United States bring in $4 billion annually and are growing at an average rate of 14.6 percent. For online job boards that find successful niches, there is plenty of potential available.

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who is interested in running a web-based business might like owning an online job board that’s related to a subject they’re interested in. Little technical knowledge is required, but it helps to be interested in a board’s field because part of the work involves building a community around the industry (see How to Keep Customers Coming Back).

What happens during a typical day at an online job board business?

A typical day running an online job board business includes confirming new listings, collecting new listing payments and responding to inquiries. Business owners may also need to review marketing campaigns. Confirming a listing takes 2 to 3 minutes. Finding businesses to post ads and running marketing campaigns can be time-consuming when a job board is new, though.

What is the target market?

An online job board needs between 5,000 and 10,000 monthly visitors who are searching for jobs to begin charging employers for listings. With this amount of traffic, employers will begin asking about placing listings because their listings will provide applicants. With fewer job seekers visiting each month, listings may not get any applications.

How does an online job board business make money?

The majority of an online job board’s revenue comes from selling job listings. Employers pay to post their open positions, purchasing listings either individually or in bulk packages.

SmartJobBoard reports that many job boards supplement this primary revenue with several additional sources of revenue: traditional ads (10 to 20 percent of revenue), resume access for employers (5 to 8 percent once established) and commissions from job search sites (less than 5 percent).

What is the growth potential for an online job board business?

An online job board business might remain a small site or it can grow to be a large site that has millions of visitors each month. Monster.com and CareerBuilder are two lager job boards. A couple of smaller boards are JournalismJobs.com and Problogger’s Jobs.