There are countless examples of societies, associations and (yes) publishers who have made a real hash out of their career offerings over the last decade.
Content = Audience= Advertisers=Revenue
You can’t simply build the website and expect it to look after itself. The first thing you need is a comprehensive selection of relevant jobs and career resources. This is not an easy thing to achieve and involves building relationships with potential employers of recruitment consultancies in advance of your launch date. Many organizations use career networks for this purpose – but over the long term this is counterproductive (see my related blog post here). In addition to this, you will also need relevant and tailored Career articles and advice, webinars etc. Only once you've gotten these basic building blocks right should you consider launching your site.
Build a Careers Brand not a job board!
Careers are at the heart of membership organizations and it is a key reason why many people join in the first place! Remember this when producing your careers offering. Building a strong Careers brand can allow societies to understand, engage and build their audiences. A list of job postings tagged onto a society website just isn’t going to cut it.
With Google’s latest penguin updates it is more important than ever to leverage every tool at your disposal. Your careers domain should piggyback off your existing website (e.g. careers.societywebsite.org), the platform should be fully optimized for onsite SEO and you should make full use of all your existing web properties, social media and any partnerships to provide you with as much of an edge as possible in search engine results. This should be your number one audience-building priority.
Careers are central to your value proposition and this should be reflected across all of your web properties. Relevant job adverts should be fed from your Career Center through to all the relevant content that the organization produces and though all social media accounts. Its a great way to engage users, consolidate your audience and collect data about potential new members.
Pay Per Click campaigns
Though this requires marketing budget, it is a highly targeted method for building a quality audience, particularly for learned societies. Sponsoring very specific terms such as “Membrane Protein Scientist jobs” is going to ensure that you are paying for the right kind of audience. Running a PPC campaign well is an extremely involved task, if you don’t have the expertise in-house – outsource it.
Future proof your platform
The best way to do this is to choose a partner that specializes in career centers and will keep your platform up to date technologically as part of the service. Your site should also be fully ‘responsive’ to ensure compatibility with the multitude of devices jobseekers now use.
Quality over Quantity
Of course, a combination of the two is ideal, but audience quality is paramount. Make sure that you use the most targeted marketing resources at your disposal to attract the most qualified audience. This will keep your advertisers coming back and provide a much greater benefit for your society.
Undervalue your proposition and you’ll have trouble further down the road - there is nothing advertisers hate more than a rate increase! Over-value your proposition and you’ll fail to attract them in the first place. Do your research, take advice and get this right early.
Many recruiters and employers now use a range of multi-posting systems, applicant tracking systems and database management tools. It is essential that your career center is compatible with these. If you get this wrong, advertisers won’t be able to track the return they see from you and are much less likely to advertise. A great self-service payment system, with built ‘upsell’ functionality is also well worth the investment. It will save on time and resources.
Focus on building an engaged audience - by providing the most useful resource for career oriented professionals you will also be providing the most useful tool for your advertisers. Get this right and the revenue will be a byproduct.
- Career center networks- why are societies and associations still using them
- Supporting the career enhancement of society and association members
- How are societies using social media?
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