What is a Job Board and How Can it Improve Your EDO, University, or Trade Association



Unlike a job search engine that looks at job postings throughout the Web, a job board is typically more focused on a particular type of job, a certain location, or an industry.

These are some key features of a job board:

  • Jobs specific to a location, industry, etc.
  • Application process to allow posting on the job board
  • Little to no duplicate or unrelated job postings

The audience for job boards differs depending on the purpose of the job board, but can include:

  • Those in a specific job market or industry
  • Job seekers looking for work in a specific area
  • Employers looking for talent close to their location
  • Employers looking for job seekers with experience in their industry
Economic Development Organization (EDO)

Job boards are the perfect tool for EDOs who are looking to promote jobs focused on the area they serve. A job board is a resource that will support the EDO’s many stakeholders. The advanced analytics available with an on-site job board can prove your EDO’s worth and lead to more sponsorships and funding. An on-site job board can also increase website traffic and encourage economic growth in your region. To see how a job board can work for your EDO, read about how Ann Arbor SPARK almost doubled their application clicks and more than doubled their conversions after implementing an onsite job board.

Schools and Universities

Schools and Universities have specific target audiences and stakeholders to keep in mind. Their goal is typically to help students and alumni find jobs locally and fill open positions within the university and surrounding community. By utilizing a job board instead of a job search engine, schools can create a targeted list of employer and job seeker opportunities for their stakeholders. This will increase website traffic and aid the university in reaching their employment goals.

Trade Associations

Trade associations can also benefit from utilizing a job board to address stakeholder needs. The basic function of a trade association is to create a network of people in a similar industry and to grow their industry. A job board can help accomplish those goals by allowing industry employers to post jobs in a place dedicated to the industry, while also aiding job seekers looking for specific positions within the industry. An on-site job board can even have the potential to increase your trade association’s revenue by optionally charging employers to post jobs.

For more information on the essential functions of a job board, discover the Eight Requirements of a Job Board. For more information about implementing your own EDO, University or Trade Association job board, request a demo.

Market & Drive Traffic to your EDO Website

As an Economic Development Organization (EDO), you sometimes have limited resources to work with to market your organization and bring in benefactors and sponsors. In this post, we'll give you a few ways to utilize low and no cost tools you probably already have to drive traffic to your website, and stretch your marketing budget.

Marketing Methods

Marketing Strategies have changed drastically in the last decade and they continue to move toward an inbound (content marketing, social media, etc.) versus outbound (advertisements, cold calling, email campaigns, etc.) marketing strategy. With the rise of the World Wide Web, it has become increasingly easy for consumers to find the information and products they want without the help of outbound marketing strategies. So, instead of persuading consumers to purchase their goods, marketers are producing content relevant to their target audience; getting the consumers to come to them.

Inbound marketing will generate the most bang for your buck according to the 2017 State of Inbound Survey by HubSpot. Organizations surveyed were almost four times more likely to see a return on investment using inbound marketing than outbound marketing. So, how can your EDO utilize inbound marketing strategies with your current resources to make the most out of your marketing budget?

Marketing Tools

By Utilizing your website, social media, and search engine optimization, you can drive traffic to your economic development organization and develop the economy in your area.
Dedicate a page or pages to helping entrepreneurs, employers, and job seekers learn more about your community
Provide resources for entrepreneurs, businesses, and job seekers
Promote your pages and information on social media channels

Supporting Entrepreneurs

Your website can aid entrepreneurs by being a resource for all types of new businesses. The best way to decide what types of resources entrepreneurs need is to create an entrepreneur persona and list their challenges, questions, and interests, then write about them. For example, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has several resources for startups including an entrepreneurial opportunity that includes the following:

  • Funding opportunities
  • Manufacturing assistance
  • SmartZone network
  • Technical Education Centers
  • Business Connect

By placing these resources on a dedicated page you will increase visitors to your website and persuade new businesses to start in your area! If you’re interested in learning more about EDO entrepreneur programs check out Fitting Small Businesses and Startups into your Entrepreneur Development Program.

Supporting Existing Businesses

You want to see your local businesses succeed, so, provide them with materials and information that can help them on your website. Another example from the MEDC is their ‘Grow’ page which includes the following:

  • Finding Talent
  • Accessing Capital
  • The Pure Michigan Business Connect
  • Incentives and Taxes
  • Core Industries
  • International Trade Service

Once you have pertinent information for existing businesses to help them grow, promote the page as a one-stop shop for growing their business on social media. This will build trust and position you as a resource for all things business support.

Supporting Job Seekers

Supporting job seekers with information helpful for them will also develop your region. Take a look at Ann Arbor SPARKs resources for job seekers:

  • Talent Blog
  • eNewsletter
  • Onsite Job Board
  • Jobseeker Profile and Resume

These offerings will support the area businesses by sourcing great talent to fill their open positions as well as your website traffic. Job seeker tools are essential to growing your region, as they allow local companies to find candidates, people to move to your region, and generate more impact for your organization. A job board, for example, can have a huge impact: after implementing a job board on Ann Arbor SPARK, an economic development organization in Michigan, traffic to their site nearly doubled!

If your region is thinking of implementing a job board, click here for a demo or read about the Eight Requirements of a Job Board we identified from working with Economic Development Organizations like yourself.

Fitting Small Businesses & Startups into your Entrepreneur Development Program

Economic Development Organizations face many challenges in achieving their goals. Many EDOs struggle to allocate their limited resources to all of their target audiences, including job seekers, existing companies, new organizations, big businesses, small businesses and startups. While it’s difficult to address every audience with one program, it is sometimes possible to incorporate more than one audience at a time. For example, small business and startups may share many of the same qualities and therefore need similar programs.

It can be difficult to distinguish small businesses and startups, but it’s important to understand the differences to ensure you’re giving each the best aid possible and in turn, helping you reach your economic growth goals.

Small businesses typically operate within established fields and the business owner typically has a good amount of experience in that field. Startups however, are brand new, generally in technology related fields, and often are selling a product that’s never been seen before. Each organization comes with its own set of unique challenges and problems that your EDO can help solve.

Small Business Needs

According to an Economic Strategies Information Brief by urban.org, small businesses already have experience in their field and their main areas of concern are how to run the business smoothly and how to finance their endeavors. This is where an EDO can help the small business succeed. Small businesses will need tools and resources to get their business started and continued support and resources throughout their first few years. Many Economic Development Organizations have websites to show those interested in starting their own business what it takes to start a business, how to plan and run a business effectively, and a short pitch explaining why they should start a business in that particular EDO region. The goal for the EDO is to be a guide and supporter of the small business and to encourage growth and job opportunities in the area. These resources will also be useful for startups who may need help figuring out how to create their business. The EDO website could be targeted at both.

Startup Needs

Startups are significantly different from small business, not only in their newness but also in their potential to grow. The same article from urban.org states that technology-based startups have a significant growth opportunity, which can bring a boom of economic development and jobs to an area. However, startups face the need for significant funding and often don’t see income right away, which makes them high risk. Many EDOs are launching accelerator programs for startups to coach and train the organization to pitch their ideas effectively and work through their startup venture, which can help the startup succeed. These resources can also be helpful to small businesses who are interested in getting external funding.


By providing web-based supporting materials and training programs to your small businesses and startups, you can expect to see an increase in your overall entrepreneurship development. As these organizations grow they will create more jobs and a positive economic impact.

As the startups and small businesses you support grow, one of their biggest challenges may be finding great local talent to fill key positions. Your organization can help meet this need by providing a high quality, curated list of local positions on a job board that is part of your website. To help understand the needs of your stakeholders, including small businesses and startups, download the 8 requirements of a successful job board ebook, so you can properly select a job board that fits their needs. https://truejob.com/resources/ebooks

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