Job Boards and Job Aggregators

For industry veterans, it can be difficult to remember a time when recruitment marketing was still new and the differences between job boards and job aggregators was trivial when it came to advertising jobs online. However, as the space continues to grow, more HR and talent acquisition professionals will want to advertise their jobs online to drive more applicants to their open positions, build talent pipelines, and generate greater ROI through talent acquisition–making the distinction between the two vendors types all the more important.

Unfortunately, we still face a knowledge gap in the recruitment marketing space.

For instance, while there are a number of blogs out there claiming to detail the difference between job boards and aggregators, almost all focus on simply one issue: The source of jobs.

The (obvious) difference between job boards and job aggregators

Simply put, the difference between job boards and job aggregators is that job aggregators act like Google’s search engine–crawling hundreds, if not thousands of sites, to find open job listings, and displaying them in query results, using an algorithm to determine which appear first. Job boards, on the other hand, don’t proactively search for jobs being posted to the web on other job sites or on businesses’ career sites. Rather, they only post jobs on behalf of the companies who come to them looking to advertise jobs online.

However, outside this basic, and well-documented difference, job boards and job aggregators also contrast in the way they operate, both for the job seeker and those posting to these employment sites. So, we spoke with some of our in-house experts to determine for you, the real difference between job boards and job aggregators:

  • Pricing models: One of the major ways job boards and job aggregators differ is in their pricing structure. Normally, job boards sell individual job postings or job slots, while job aggregators offer a performance-based job advertising model. (Read more on The 3 Most Common Ways to Advertise Jobs Online here.) What this means for HR and talent acquisition professionals is commitment vs. flexibility. With job postings and job slots, HR and talent acquisition professionals must enter into a contract, which means committing spend to a vendor for a specified period of time–regardless of performance. However, with the performance-based advertising model, these professionals will be able to stop spending essentially whenever they want.
  • Job search optimization: Another way job boards and job aggregators differ, is in the way their search engines function. Since job aggregators use bots to scour the web for new jobs posted to job boards and career sites, they often pull more information from these job advertisements in order to provide the most accurate results. This means when you use a job aggregator, their search engine will search a given job posting’s title, description, posting date, requirements, location and more to determine if that job fits the job seeker’s query. Conversely, when a search is conducted on a job board, that job board is often relying on only job titles and locations to populate results for search queries, since they don’t need to worry about making sense of job postings not specifically intended for their site or audience.
  • Market competition: When advertising jobs online, you’ll be directly competing with every other job posted to a given vendor’s site. When that vendor is a job aggregator, you can expect there to be greater competition, because aggregators normally pull in and list more jobs than job boards do. Why? It’s because job aggregators search the web and index jobs on their sites from a number of different places. Conversely, job boards rely on businesses posting directly to their site to populate their search results. This presents a bit of a double edged sword to the HR or talent acquisition professional looking to advertise jobs online. Websites with more job advertisements (job aggregators) often draw in more job seekers because the perception is that it’s a “one-stop-shop” for job seekers and there will be more opportunities there because of that. However, while this might increase the reach and visibility of your jobs, it might also lead to more unqualified applicants. On the other hand, while job boards might not attract as many job seekers, they may attract more qualified job seekers. In part, this is because job boards tend to focus on niche professions, in order to attract these highly qualified candidates. Nonetheless, this dichotomy is a main reason why recruitment marketing experts always recommend that HR and talent acquisition professionals diversify the vendors they advertise their jobs with.

At the end of the day, understanding the real differences between job boards and job aggregators is important to executing against a well-developed recruitment marketing strategy. While both vendor types have their own lists of pros and cons, a successful approach to advertising jobs online is reliant on your ability to leverage both to meet your recruitment goals.

Having trouble juggling advertising your jobs on both job boards and job aggregators? Sign up for a demo today to learn how Recruitics can help you better understand and optimize your recruitment marketing strategy.

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