As part of Recruitment ADvisor's ongoing series to help job boards improve their brand to generate more revenue, I sat down with RealMatch Product Marketing Director Bart Bartolozzi to tackle some of the difficult questions from the RealMatch webinar 'Use Brand to Generate Job Board Revenue.' This article focuses on gaining market share in a crowded marketing place. One participant in the webinar asked:
For a new or emerging job board, what are the top 3 recommendations you can provide to expedite gaining marketshare in a saturated space?
Bartolozzi responded, ''This is challenge that requires both good strategy and hard work. If you are new entrant and there are a couple of established players, it does make it harder to build your job board foot print quickly. One of the strategic recommendations I would make would be to join and become part of a larger network of job boards. This network would then provide you access to an existing database of job seekers both in and around the local area - which is essential to getting off to a good start. This initial database allows you to market more aggressively to the employer advertisers in your market and also deliver meaningful performance for their job ads. We have also seen that new job board entrants into a market tend to sell, almost exclusively, on low price. It is critical to establish your overall value proposition for prospective advertisers - how you help them solve a need, how you do things differently than your competitors, what you do uniquely in the market (''help write the best job requisitions, provide better reporting data''), as well as the pricing advantages that you can offer.''
But what are the challenges?
''The biggest challenge to start off when you are in a saturated market or where you are trying to build market share,'' Bartolozzi continued, ''is competing with folks that have already built databases of job seekers. So, if you can tap into a network that can leverage local job seekers as part of that network and you become part of that network, don't worry about the fact that the job seekers are still owned and fundamentally coming from one of your competitors - because what you are able to do is leverage those job seekers to sell performance to your employers.''
''Additionally, another thing that you need to consider is that whether there is or isn't competition in the market, you must constantly find innovative ways to attract and build your job seeker database. This database is your biggest monetary asset and you will be able to leverage it for direct revenue through you job boards and indirect revenue if you are part of a network, because every time that you provide your job seekers to deliver on performance results and applications for network jobs, you will normally get additional monetary compensation for that and also continue to keep you job seeker database engaged.''
How can job boards improve candidate monetization?
He continued, ''Many job boards consider candidate monetization as an afterthought, but if you are effective in engaging job seekers, you can garner significant revenues from the database alone and without having to compete for employer- advertisers in an established or crowded market. So you can take an approach wherein the goal is to build a large job seeker database and then have this shared across your partner network, delivering candidates and get value back. Even if there is overlap in terms of tapping into your competitors' job seekers and your job seekers being able to provide performance for your competitors, you will continue to monetize your job seekers and leverage your competitors for job ads that you sell directly. This idea may sound contradictory to normal thinking when considering how to compete in a marketplace but this ''sharing'' is useful as a revenue stream and tool when you are starting to build your base in the market.''
But what differentiates me from my competitors to build my job seeker database?
Bartolozzi says, ''You need to establish an approach that is unique and different to acquire job seekers in a competitive marketplace. Normally, when there is an established job board, people know it as a go-to destination. You are going to have to probably provide job seekers something that pulls them in for other reasons, other than jobs, because if your job seekers are going to your competitor's site, more than likely, the local employers are going there to. You will not be able to sell employers on the fact that cheaper is better. They'll know that they have to pay a little bit more for those established job sites, and they will be willing to do that because they know that they have historically gotten performance and that there are job seekers there. Job seekers though, can be acquired by providing them additional benefits - resume review, cover letter writing, a different experience - job related content, rewards or incentives - referral bonuses, rewards for site utilization.''
Content is King
You need to be more than a job board if you are going to be late to the market and you need to have some reason for folks to visit you as a destination. We've started to see content become really valuable as a play, it not only brings in job seekers, but it also gets you enhanced results in search engines, because if you can constantly update your content you will get better SEO and so you won't have to pay additional dollars to market your site, your search engines and their algorithms will do that for you. So being able to provide a reason for job seekers to join you, on top of jobs, will be critical if you are late to the market and there already is established competition there.
Read the entire series on how to use your job board through branding: