Step by Step guide to building a job board using web scraping

By Admin @October, 25 2021

step by step guide to building a job board using web scraping

It may be interesting to look at setting up your own job aggregator site. Not only is it a fun project on understanding how to collect data from across the internet, but it can also be a nifty little income generator should you be able to crack it.

 

How to start building a job board

To begin with setting up your job board, it helps to define the kind of jobs which the board will present to anyone visiting it. Ergo, curation. It’s always preferable to prepare a niche job board. Which is focused on a particular industry, or type of jobs. Not only will it improve your SEO and drive traffic toward you, it will help in creating a stronger proposition for the type of job seeker you are targeting.

To begin building your next job board, there are several ways you can go about it. If you are a hands-on developer, then getting your fingers flying over reams of code may come naturally to you. To us mere mortals, it may be more efficient to rely on the different tools available to put together a well-run job aggregator.

On one extreme is a generic website CMS platform such as Wordpress. With its large library of plug-ins and add-on modules, you can implement pretty much any functionality you may want. But with all this flexibility comes a boat load of code tweaking. So unless you are comfortable with programming in general, and specifically working with HTML, CSS and related web technologies, it will be quite difficult, and time consuming, to get your WordPress job aggregator up and running.

At the other end are ready made job board software. If your expertise is completely unrelated to IT, or do not have access to even moderately capable IT resources then this alternative would be the best approach. Products such as TrueJob or SmartJobBoard are ready to deploy options, which for a monthly fee take over the entire headache to execute and maintain your niche job board.

The middle path is made up of no-code app platforms. While these require some understanding of software applications at a conceptual level, they often do not mandate hands-on coding expertise. This option works well for someone with a software product idea, and a working knowledge on how software works. She can quickly put together a functioning application, in a much shorter timeline than coding the job aggregator, and without dependencies on external technical resources. 

We will now look at how to put together a quick job board application in your niche using a popular platform called Webflow powered by webautomation.io’s web scraping pre-defined extractors to extract the job data

 

Step 1 – Design the UI/UX of the Job board

 

Before building the job board you have in mind, it’s important to think through how you want the portal to look. It’s not just about design elements like colours, fonts and themes. A possibly larger part is the design of information flow on each page. Using tools such as wireframes, which help to visualise how information will be presented on each page, including the relative dimensions of various elements. 

 

Graphical user interface

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Webflow has a library of themes, as well as ready to use job board templates. Once you have a broad idea of what your job board should look like, you can start exploring this library.

Step 2 – Sourcing jobs

 

For a job aggregator to serve its primary purpose, it needs to be able to access a ready database of relevant jobs. For eg: Use Airtable to set up a database of jobs. An example of a similar table is given below

Graphical user interface, application, table, Excel

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But manually feeding in individual jobs can quickly get very tedious and there’s a strong chance that you or your team can fall behind and listings start going stale.

 

A web-scraping tool like webautomation.io’s ready to use job scrapers on sites such as Monster.com or Dice.com can come as a god-send. Or if the site you want to use is not available then build a custom scraper using the easy to use interface. Below is an example of the fields picked up from a job listing on Indeed.com by webautomation.io’s ready to use Indeed.com web-scraper:

 

Graphical user interface, text, application, email

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Step 3 – Linking with Job Board

Using an integration gateway such as Integromat, this table can be integrated with the Webflow based Job board portal. Therefore, any changes in the list of jobs are reflected automatically on the portal. A simple schematic of such an integration can be seen below

 

Diagram

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And Voila, your niche job portal is up and running. And now to actually get it in front of people.

 

Step 4 – Getting people to visit

 

Now this is always tricky. If you have access to a captive audience who were looking for exactly such a thing then your task is far easier. Otherwise you will need to hustle a bit to get the job board in front of people. Not to mention optimising the SEO of the site’s content to ensure that those looking for the jobs you have listed see your site within the first 5 organic search results.

Ideally, you want to incorporate different approaches as part of an initial launch plan, as well as ongoing traffic growth activities. Your launch plan can incorporate elements such as:

 
  1. An announcement message, both on a blog as well as sent out to relevant individuals

  2. Social media build-up

    1. This can take the form of a countdown message plan

    2. It can also integrate with a contest as social media is an easy medium for people to participate, and can also help build an audience you can promote to for further updates on the job board

  3. Build a buzz

    1. Have press connects? Some influencers who may talk about your initiative? These are valuable connects which can be leveraged to help your site get off on a bang.

    2. At the very least, put together an attractive press release about the upcoming launch and send it to all relevant online and offline publications. As they say, any publicity is good publicity.

  4. Pound the pavement. There is no substitute for good old one to one marketing and networking to ensure that relevant companies post their listings on your board, and that the right set of potential applicants are made known about the opportunities they can apply to.

 

Step 5 – Getting your dues

 

Getting to what all the effort was for, turning a profit. Based on the nature of your job aggregator, the audience it has and the niche it excels in there are these options available to you:

 
  1. Ads – Become part of various affiliate programs which will place ads on your website, and pay you based on the traffic which encounters these

  2. Premium listings – Once the job board has a respectable number of applicants accessing it, companies can be charged for premium listings which will be displayed more prominently and possible even promoted, thereby increasing the applications they receive

  3. Job hunt support – For applicants, they may be able to use services such as resume building, interview preparation, or even something as mundane as keeping track of new job listings and ensuring that applications are sent to relevant jobs in a timely manner.

 

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