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  • Thinking about designing your own job board?
    By on March 19, 2019 | Comments Off on Thinking about designing your own job board?  Comments

    I have spoken to a number of people over the years who have made a certain big mistake when they launched their site. They paid a web design firm with no experience building job boards to do it.

    Needless to say, these firms tend to build sites that are not quite optimized for job board usage. They miss certain things like the proper way to create job posting workflows or they make the e-commerce checkout process too long. Sadly, they contact me after the fact when the damage has already been done.

    In many of these cases I wish they had contacted me first because there is a certain way to design a job board to appeal to both seekers and employers. For instance, the ability to post a job and clearly identify where/how to do that is often buried in many of the custom built sites I see. A job board design, especially its homepage callout to employers needs to be front and center.

    Posting and paying for a job is the most important thing when it comes to user experience. Second is your job seeker onboarding. Design it poorly and you lose out on money. You have to make it dead-simple-easy for employers/seekers to do business with you. These little design best practices add up to big problems if you ignore them.

    So before you go and pay a web design firm to build your job board, think long and hard before you write a check. There are plenty of job board software vendors who can build your site faster and more cheaply than a firm who has never done it before. Job board software vendors are experts at what they do. Not all are created equal but some of my favorites like Webscribble, Madgex, Jobiqo can get you launched quickly right out of the box.

    Even the off the shelf services like Jobboard.io and Smart Job Board do a great job. As long as you are willing to live with a more “templated” design, they will serve you well. They do everything you need a job board to do.

    If you are about to launch a job board you need to first prove that a market exists for whichever niche you are targeting. Unless you need something totally unique out of the box prove your concept first with an existing vendor. If you every outgrow it you can always build your own later after gaining some experience in the online recruiting world.

    I’m not saying you should never hire a design firm to build, just be careful about that selection and make them show you how they will optimize it for your potential users.

  • Making Your Job Description Pages More Scannable
    By on February 18, 2019 | Comments Off on Making Your Job Description Pages More Scannable  Comments

    The look of job description pages across job boards and applicant tracking systems hasn’t changed much since jobs were online. They are generally full of text and way too long.

    But I think its time for job publishers to come up with some new designs that make them more “scannable” for the web. I’m not talking about radical changes, rather ways to make the text more readable as people scroll through it on their phone or laptop.

    Recently I discovered one firm that takes a “lean” approach to posting their jobs online. CyberSN is a staffing firm for the cyber security industry. Their lean job postings are some of the shortest I have ever seen. Just look at how easy these are to read. They break down the job to the bare essentials and instead of bullet points use graphical percentages to break up the responsibilities.

    And there is data to backup what they are doing. According to LinkedIn, job postings that are 300 words or less get 8.4% more applies.

    It makes sense. No one likes to read on the web so you have to display text in short bursts, that a user can quickly scan. I think job boards can learn from what CyberSN does. One idea would be to use light colored backgrounds to create box like elements that break a job description into scannable chunks like the example below. Horizontal lines are also a good way to do this.

    It’s a visual web, do your users a favor and make your jobs more eye catching.