How a job board adds value to an Economic Development Organization's marketing team

Marketing teams across all organizations are focused on their brand image, helping to attract new customers and proving the value of what they are doing with metrics.

For an Economic Development Organization (EDO), it is no different. But an EDO marketing team also has the challenge of supporting three related, but different constituencies. They need to support:

  • The companies focused in their region (geographic or industry or both)
  • The population that may want to work for those companies, and
  • The organizations that fund the EDO (public or private or both)

So, EDO marketing teams are constantly seeking ways and quantitative metric measurement to support these three groups.

Having an EDO sponsored job board can be the very best way to help in this initiative. But many EDO’s make the mistake of forcing the companies in their region to be solely responsible for talent acquisition. This is a lost marketing opportunity and often violates the charter of the EDO. An EDO sponsored job board:

  • Helps the companies in the region,
  • Is a valuable asset for job seekers both inside and outside the region,
  • Is a recruitment tool for companies highlighting options to move to the region, and
  • Is a tremendous asset to the EDO itself in terms of metrics.

While many companies post their jobs on their company-specific website, there is no central source of curated jobs for the entire region. Individuals both inside and outside the region want a broad picture of what kind of openings are available. This can only happen through a centralized third-party sponsored job board that publicizes postings from the multiple companies across the region. The EDO can then curate the companies and positions that appear on the job board to reflect the critical aspects of their mission such as technology, health care, or manufacturing.

Job seekers contemplating moving to a specific region can determine if there are enough alternatives for them should their first job not work out. Also, companies looking to potentially move to an area want to be quantitatively assured that there is a sizeable pool of relevant talent available in a region. The current focus on Amazon's search for a second warehouse is a great example -- it would be absurd to think that Amazon is not actively searching local EDO websites to get a better feel of companies and talent in a given region.

Next, the EDO itself wants to collect meaningful data about its region and help justify its own existence. If an EDO directs companies and applicants away from its own website, to say Indeed or Monster, they lose user engagement. Having a centralized job board encourages people to register at the EDO website, creating a wealth of information for other marketing purposes like newsletters, training, and events. A job board also helps potentially double or triple website traffic, a key measurement criteria for most EDOs. A job board also allows the EDO to get better metrics on jobs in the region. And, most importantly, a job board helps the EDO to justify precisely how many jobs were filled in the region by job type. This can be exceptionally important to funders wondering about the accomplishments of the EDO.

There are other benefits to companies in the EDO region as well. An EDO-sponsored job board can offer capabilities like applicant tracking services (ATS), to help smaller companies who do not have an HR department and/or recuriting tools. It can help companies of all sizes better understand what jobs, and what characteristics of individual jobs are more or less attractive to job seekers since the job board can have like and dislike capabilities all the way down to the word level.

Many EDOs are reluctant to add a job board to their website because of the fear of additional cost and work involved. A good EDO-specific job board can be implemented in days and can be administered by staff without technical website skills in under an hour a week.

Jenn Cornell, VP Marketing at Ann Arbor SPARK, Michigan’s largest EDO, says:

Our job board (TrueJob) has been an incredible asset to our website. It’s an impactful driver of website traffic; the job portal was viewed over 300,000 times in the last year, more than double the traffic from the previous year.

How a job board can help your EDO marketing team

  • Improve traffic to your website (which you are most likely directly measured on)
  • Highlight metrics that can tracked and measured, such as
    • Job openings posted
    • Jobs openings filled
  • Identify and track new companies signing up and posting jobs
  • Provide quality marketing content
  • Improve brand awareness for the EDO
  • Improve brand value (e.g., help smaller companies with applicant tracking and help all companies with qualities of jobs that applicants like and dislike)
  • Be used as a central place to direct visitors or companies during promotional events
  • Show the breadth of companies and positions available as compelling content for potential new job applicants and/or job seekers considering moving to the area
  • Show total job activity and demonstrate that the EDO helps companies (an appealing way to attract companies considering your region)
  • Be used as a tool to collect contact information for other marketing events
  • Provide a way to promote success stories to share, such as:
    • Companies that found people to hire
    • Individuals that decided to move to the area

So, adding a high quality and EDO-specific job board has many benefits to the marketing department of an EDO. It can dramatically improve the EDO's image, improve the support provided to large and small employers, double the traffic to the EDO's website and provide invaluable metrics for the EDO to help secure more funding. It can serve as a creative way to capture more contacts that can be used for other marketing purposes and help the EDO's business development team “sell” the region to potential companies interested in the region. Choosing a job board that was specifically designed for EDOs requires little effort and provides tremendous value that can’t be provided by generic job boards.

TechTown Launches New Job Board

TrueJob is proud to announce the launch of a new job board on the Detroit TechTown website.

TechTown Logo

Visit the job board

The following announcement was distributed on January 23, 2018, highlighting benefits of the new job board.

Announcing our new Job Portal!

You asked us to provide connections to jobs with startups, small businesses and leading tech companies. Now we do!

Employers: Sign up for our new Job Portal to find top talent for your startup, small business or tech enterprise.

Job seekers: Our carefully curated Job Portal will provide a one-stop connection to careers with startups, neighborhood retailers and other businesses driving Detroit’s economy.

Don’t see what you’re looking for right now? Don’t worry! Our portal will grow as more companies join.

Posting and searching are free!

Visit the Job Portal here.

Macomb County Launches Job Board

TrueJob is proud to announce the launch of a new job board in Macomb County, Michigan.

Macomb County Logo

Visit the job board

The following press release was distributed on January 16, 2018, highlighting benefits of the new job board.

Macomb County Launches Job Board

New tool to attract talent for careers in targeted industries

In an effort to better serve the business development clients of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development by attracting skilled professionals to the region, Macomb County is featuring a new web application to promote career opportunities offered by top employers.

“Our purpose is twofold,” said John Paul Rea, director of the department. “We want to support the businesses that have enlisted our services as they seek out candidates for their open positions. Secondly, we want the world to know about the great jobs waiting for them in Macomb County, Michigan.”

The launch of the Macomb County Jobs Board coincides with the 2018 North American International Auto Show – a time when the world is watching the newest technologies in mobility be revealed.

“Macomb County is a great place to call home, and our companies are at the forefront of advanced manufacturing capabilities and digital innovation,” said County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “We want talented people from near and far to get excited about the inspiring and high-paying jobs our companies have to offer, as well as our enviable quality of life.”

The new Jobs Board is powered by TrueJob, Inc., an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company that developed their hosted job board software product to meet the unique needs of economic development organizations, chambers and trade associations that want to increase the strategic value they offer the communities they serve. A targeted social media campaign will help to drive traffic to the newly created website, especially to NAIAS attendees and followers from across the globe.

Corporate clients of the department’s economic development staff are eligible to post open positions. To learn more about posting a position or to view those currently available, visit

About the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development
The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development supports an environment where businesses prosper and people thrive. Its activities and programs are focused on stimulating the local economy through business retention, expansion and attraction while improving the overall quality of life for residents. The department specializes in providing services to businesses at all stages of development with a concentration on the high-growth industries of aerospace, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, defense, and homeland security. For more information, call (586) 469-5285 or visit

How to Improve Talent Attraction as an Economic Development Organization

One of the major jobs you have as an Economic Development Organization (EDO) is talent attraction. The ability of local companies to attract job seekers that will move or travel to your area to work is critical to your success. One way EDOs are attempting to solve this problem is by providing a job board on their website.

With this in mind, below we will outline a list of common pitfalls in choosing a job board as an Economic Development Organization, and a game plan for helping your market attract talent.

Common Pitfalls in Choosing a Job Board

Using Indeed and Monster instead of having a job board

It is critical to note that popular job sites such as Monster and Indeed do not offer the required capabilities you need for your EDO.  Not only do these sites offer no metrics, but they do not offer job curation to match the focus of the EDO, there is no private labeling, there are no training and support capabilities for the individual companies in the EDO’s sphere of influence, and there are no or limited applicant tracking capabilities which are essential to the smaller companies in the EDO’s region.

Building a job board from scratch, or using a plugin

If an EDO tries to build their own job board solution, they'll be recreating the wheel from scratch, and many critical job board features will be missing. The EDO will also need to be concerned about the user experience for the job seeker, which is especially critical if the EDO is trying to promote technology jobs. The applicants need to have proper job filtering and more advanced capabilities like liking or not liking postings so the job board can learn the applicant’s preferences and provide suggestions (a Pandora-music like capability).

And, most importantly, the site must have a clean user experience for both the companies served and the applicants.  A clunky site will turn off both constituents and make the experience a negative, rather than a positive one.

Any solution that does not do the above, is not simple to administer, does not have built-in training and support materials, or cannot allow the EDO to curate the precise jobs and companies that it is trying to promote within its region should be eliminated.

Not choosing a job board that shows them metrics and analytics to demonstrate their success

It is no longer acceptable for any EDO not to support the needs of companies and job seekers in their region.  It is a requirement.  When looking for solutions to this problem and evaluating job board alternatives, an EDO must list the key features required to make the initiative successful and the key metrics that it needs to track to show effectiveness. Any solution that can not automatically provide these key metrics should be eliminated.

For a list of example metrics that your Economic Development Organization should be tracking, check out our blog post: "Key Talent Metrics for Economic Development Organizations".

Economic Development Organization Gameplan to Help Attract Talent in Your Region

EDOs need to fully understand their needs before selecting a job board or when considering if their current job board is meeting their needs.  A job board that is specifically built for the needs of the EDO and can address the seven critical metrics mentioned in our last blog post can be the difference between a great job board and great service to the community, and a bad job board that provides poor service to the community.

Here is a game plan for helping your market attract talent:

  • Recognize that talent support is a must-have capability for your EDO
  • Make a list of requirements that you need your job board to have
  • Evaluate your current personnel and financial resources to understand the administrative capabilities that you can apply on a day to day, weekly, and monthly basis
  • Make a list of metric and analytic reporting requirements required for your job board
  • Use the decision criteria to select the proper job board
  • Talk to references (other EDOs) who have implemented the solution you've chosen
  • Understand the benefits of having an effective job board
  • Spend your funds carefully on things that apply to EDOs in general and your specific needs
  • Assign the right people to the administration and reporting of your job board and measure your success
  • Proudly publicize your results to funders and companies that you support

Proper talent management and acquisition can improve the image and value that you offer as an EDO.  It should not require additional personnel and should be cost-effective.  Knowing your goals and choosing a solution that will match those goals is essential to success.

An EDO can and must include talent management in its charter. This can be done easily and cost-effectively if proper thought is put into the process and the right partner is chosen to help with the implementation.

To learn more about how TrueJob can help you, contact us at or request a demo.

Key Talent Metrics for Economic Development Organizations


Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) serve a variety of needs in their communities. One of the most critical needs is helping employers find talent. Most EDOs can’t afford a full time talent administrator or recruiter. If they could, then the amount of available job opportunities and potential applicants would likely be either too great for one person to handle, or too small to justify a position. So, how can EDOs help their employer customers find talent?

The answer is to offer an intelligent job board that serves the needs of corporate customers as well as job seekers. Of course, this solution raises its own issues. First, EDOs typically do not have the resources to maintain a job board and to provide training and support to their clients. Second, EDOs need easy control of which companies and which jobs are posted on the job board. This is often referred to as “curation”. Lastly, it is critical to have the job board measure metrics that the EDO can use to show it has added value to its community.

EDOs serve three main constituents. The first are their funding organizations. An EDO, like any other organization, needs to show value to the organizations that provide funding. Second, EDOs must support the needs of the employers in their region. Finally, EDOs need to serve the needs of the job seekers in their region. These are the members of the community (as well as people outside the community looking at moving) considering employment with the companies that the EDO serves. Understanding, tracking and reporting (for example) how many employers utilize their talent services, how many jobs have been listed on their site, how many jobs have been filled through their site, and repeated use by the companies in their region is essential to this effort.

There are seven critical metrics that EDOs must track to show value to both corporate customers and funders of the EDO. Each of these metrics can be used to answer key questions for the EDO. The key metrics and questions are:

  1. Number of companies that have signed up for the job board (and when they signed up)
    • How many employers are currently posting on my job board?
    • What is their contact information?
  2. Number of jobs posted by those companies (and when those job postings were posted)
    • How many jobs have been posted on my job board? Are currently posted?
    • Which companies are posting the most jobs?
    • Where are the job postings located?
  3. Number of times a job has had someone click "Apply"
    • How many times have job seekers clicked ‘Apply’ on each job?
    • Which jobs have the most ‘Apply’ clicks? The least?
  4. Number of job applications filled out fully and submitted via the site
    • How many complete job applications have been submitted?
    • Which jobs and companies have received the most job applications?
  5. Number of times a job posting has been viewed
    • How many times has each job been viewed?
    • Which jobs have been viewed the most? The least?
  6. Number of jobs that have been marked "filled" by companies using the job portal?
    • How many jobs have employers marked as ‘Filled’?
    • Which companies have the most ‘Filled’ jobs?
  7. Number of job seekers submitting their contact information to the EDO
    • How many job seekers have submitted their contact information?
    • What is their contact information (e.g. for my newsletter)?

Without each of these metrics, the talent initiative lacks tangible results. It is critical to note that popular job sites such as Monster and Indeed do not offer these required capabilities to the EDO. It is also important that the job board platform you use makes it easy to view and export these metrics.

The TrueJob platform makes these metrics available as part of our analytics dashboard. You can either view data and graphs directly on your dashboard:


Or, you can export this data and view it in a program like Excel:


If you're interested in learning more, download our sample analytics dashboards and reports book here.