Online Career Centers Provide More Than Jobs

Capitalize on virtual job boards to cross-promote related products and services and become a trusted source for helping members advance their careers.

Last week the online dating service launched a new recruitment service for employers and job seekers. Hiring managers in search of a certain aesthetically appealing employee can peruse the site’s 750,000 “good-looking” members for potential job candidates. Organizations can also post open jobs on the site that existing BeautifulPeople members can search and apply to.

Despite potential legal ramifications—the site cannot accept job postings from businesses incorporated in Washington, DC, for example, because it violates the district’s Human Rights Act—the site is capitalizing on a marketplace of shared resources.

It is this intersection of careers, learning, and professional development that really helps members to see increased value from a career center.

Association online career centers can offer similar, less superficial, mutual benefits for both members—in all stages of career development—and their bottomline.

Not only can career centers provide job listings, for example, but they can offer information on certification and credential programs, education courses, salary surveys, professional mentoring programs, and other association products and resources, Christine Smith, FASAE, president and CEO of Boxwood Technology, Inc., an online career center provider, told Associations Now.

In one example of cross-promotion, Smith advised republishing content on career-related topics from an organization’s publications on the career center’s website.

“Feeding those articles, or excerpts from those articles, to the career center adds relevant content and can contribute to increased publication subscriptions,” Smith said.  “It also helps create a strong impression for users that the association is an invaluable career resource when that information is available in one place.”

The same can be done with education. Cross-promoting an educational course in a particular industry with related job listings can help illustrate the value in taking that course.

“It is this intersection of careers, learning, and professional development that really helps members to see increased value from a career center,” said Smith, who also recommended using social media to help promote jobs and maintain relevance.

“Auto-tweeting job postings real-time from your association’s Twitter account is one example that keeps members engaged and keeps you in front of them providing valuable information,” she said.

Career centers are often one of the most trafficked sections of association websites, Tristan Jordan, vice president, marketing and partner relations and JobTarget, a virtual career center provider, wrote in Associations Now.

Successful online job boards can drive traffic to an association’s website, attract new members, and increase nondues revenue, added Jordan, who offered several best practices, including:

Make the benefits of membership clear. Similar to what Smith advised, illustrate the benefits of membership to nonmembers by promoting related products and services.

Don’t shortchange yourself. Price your job board appropriately, especially if you offer access to hard-to-reach talent.

Host career fairs at your annual meeting. These events usually result in significant increases in career-center usage by both employers and job seekers for at least three months following the meeting.

Market and prioritize SEO. To help market your career center, you can offer coupons or free job postings for new employers. Meanwhile, optimizing search engine rankings could add at least 10 percent to your sales, Jordan wrote.

Have you implemented a career center at your association? What benefits have you seen?

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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