Whether your career center is a long-standing feature or a recent addition, there’re always opportunities for enhancement. With constant technological improvements, it’s important for your association’s job board to stay updated and competitive.

If you goal is driving non-dues revenue from your association career center, focusing on increasing visitor traffic and usage should be your priority. We’ve seen our fair share of high-performing career centers, and they all have some features in common.

Here are 5 best practices to focus on to enhance your job board.

Career centers not only help members with their careers but also make your association more appealing to potential members, hence driving a steady stream of potential members and advertising partners to your association.

However, if they can’t actually find your career center, they (and you) won’t reap the benefits.

The solution is to improve the discoverability of your career center, whether it’s on your website or in Google search results.

Here’s how:

1. Optimize for SEO and create industry content

The starting point of most job searches is Google. If your association’s job board appears as one of the first search engine results, users are more likely to click on your board and find a job through you. But how do you ensure your career center appears at the top?

There are many aspects to consider for SEO, but if you’re just starting out, prioritize these three elements:

  • Leverage keywords in your page and job listing titles: Aligning the keywords used on your site with the phrases that job seekers might use when searching for positions will increase your chances of ranking on Google.
  • Integrate your listings with Google for Jobs: This will enhance the visibility of the jobs posted on your board in Google searches. And Niceboard does this for you automatically.
  • Generate content around your niche: In addition to including keywords in your job listings, create content around common search terms. For instance, if your association caters to architects, the job seekers you want to attract might search for “first job in architecture planning”. Your blog post titled “How to find your first job in your architecture planning career” will appear for this search, leading the job seeker to your job board.

2. Advocate for a prime spot on the website

To maximize traffic, it’s important to link to the career center directly on your website. Ideally, you don’t want it nested too deep under multiple menu items or displayed just in the footer—few visitors will see it that way.

Yes, it might be challenging to secure a prime spot on your website, but it will be one of the main ways to drive visitors to your career center, so it’s worth advocating for. Once your organization has invested in a job board, it’s only logical to try to get as many people as possible using it and benefiting from it.

If you need to convince your board or other senior stakeholders, you can use similar arguments we outlined in this article on getting board approval for a new career center.

Another excellent option is embedding a job widget on your website, showing a preview of jobs and resources you provide.

Association career center best practices-job-widget-associations
Example of a job widget embedded on a main website

3. Utilize social media & other advertising channels

Social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, are a quick way to drive more prospects to your job board and increase its reach. A great way to start is by posting all job listings on social media as they are published to your board. Ideally you can automate this with your job board provider (as you can with Niceboard).

If you have more time to invest in social media, you can post career advice and highlight job seeker success stories. Testimonials of successful members finding a job or employers filling a role through your job board are powerful marketing tools to use on social media, emails, and advertising materials.

Always link back to your job board!

Include advertising options in media kit

You likely have an advertising or media kit for companies looking to get in front of your targeted member audience. Advertising options on your career center and job listings on your job board should have a prime spot in it.

Whenever you’re talking about sponsorship options, don’t forget to include your job board and link to it.

Some channels to consider featuring your job board are:

  • membership emails or specific job alerts emails
  • welcome emails listing member resources
  • staff email signatures
  • surveys
  • events and conference communications

To make your career center even more attractive to employers, you can include demographic data of your audience, different pricing plans for job listings, and highlight metrics such as # of resumes/job seeker accounts, # of job board visitors, # of filled roles, etc.

With Niceboard you can easily see your most important KPIs on your dashboard to report to employers and your board.

Association career center best practices-analytics-associations

4. Leverage in-person events

Events not only increase the visibility of your career center, but they also provide additional opportunities to your members and employers to connect with each other.

Your existing career center can help you organize and recruit sponsors for your career fair. It can also be used to advertise the event before and after to drive more visitors to the actual event, for example through emails highlighting attending employers and speakers.

Another great idea is moving your online job seeker or employer account registration to your offline event. Onboard your audience on your stand, explain the benefits, and offer job newsletter signup.

Take the topics you talk about on your career center blog, and make them live presentations. You could host a speaker series that gives career advice specific to your industry, for example interviewing advice, updates on required certifications, and salary insights.

5. Add new non-dues revenue streams

In addition to helping your members up level their careers, your career center should be built to generate non-dues revenue for your association.

There are several ways to make this happen:

  • Charging employers for job posting: the main revenue source of your job board is sales from employers posting jobs on your board. A way to make this even more profitable is offering different pricing plans with upsells such as priority placement or additional advertising of the role on your channels.
  • Selling access to a resume database: this allows employers to actively search through your pool of candidates, including their resumes. And your job seekers will benefit by being approached with suitable roles without any work on their end.
  • Offering advertising spots: from banner ads directly on your job board to stands at your career fairs, and sponsored industry guides, your advertising options to offer to employers are endless.

If you want to improve your association’s career center, start by implementing these tips, step by step. And in case you’re looking for a new provider, Niceboard has the capabilities to implement all these best practices with our modern and intuitive software.