Your job board or association career center might already be the shining star of your association’s offerings, but your success with it will always be limited by your association’s sphere of influence. And in a time when joining an association is considered a luxury by many professionals, your solitary job board might not be enough of a reason for that member to stay or that advertising employer to continue promoting through your organization.
Career center networks, however, can reinforce the value of membership and investing in services through your association. Joining a network introduces your members to more jobs that are relevant to your industry. Employers who advertise with your association gain more exposure to a wider, more diverse audience of job candidates. Both of these factors increase your association’s value proposition and revenue opportunities. Let’s explore three reasons why joining a career center network is a smart way to remain relevant among members and employers.
1. Gain more job advertising market share
While associations have the most desirable (and sometimes the largest) talent pools, their ability to reach all potential job candidates as well as employers in their industry is limited by geography, membership size and influence. However, by joining a career center network your association, plus others in your industry, can aggregate your collective influence to significantly increase the number of jobs you present to members and the number of candidates to employers.
A related perk of career center networks offering greater job market share is that association-centric career networks support the association community first and foremost. They’re not commercial enterprises like Indeed.com or CareerBuilder. On commercial networks, job listings and resumes from registered users are shared among participating job board sites, but the content is co-owned by the participating job boards and the main site, such as CareerBuilder. Furthermore, the main site’s brand – such as Indeed – and not the network member or association – is promoted to job seekers and employers.
In an association-based career center network, the individual participating job boards – sponsored by associations with their own unique brand and value proposition – stay front and center, so that each party knows which organization helped connect them with their new job or employee. The value of working with your association remains prominent in the exchange.
2. Improve your association’s value proposition to members and employers
Joining a career center network sets off a chain of membership value improvement that is a little like when you give a mouse a cookie. The small act of debuting your association’s job listings to a more diverse audience while introducing your members to a wider pool of available jobs results in ever-larger membership benefits. Career center networks improve your association’s value proposition by offering:
- More advertised job openings accessible through your job board,
- More members (and potential members!) pulled in to view those job openings,
- More residual traffic on your association’s main website,
- More visibility for the networking and learning resources your association offers, and the way it advocates for members and the profession, and
- A more compelling reason for job seekers to join your association and start enjoying professional development opportunities beyond a better job prospect.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners decided it was time to upgrade their job board and looked for a vendor that could connect them with other job boards through a career center network.. AAEP’s Director of Membership, Nick Altwies explains that being part of the Veterinary Career Network is “a huge value-add that saves our members money with a highly targeted product that costs half of what they would pay for posting jobs on other types of boards.” Plus, he adds, “Being part of a career center network really helps our members when trying to find someone in a tight job market.”
Association membership isn’t considered as necessary as it has been in past decades. Professional development funds aren’t as plentiful as they used to be, and the advent of online networking and social platforms has convinced some professionals that association membership is too much of an investment. So, demonstrating to job seekers and employers that membership in your association means access to the destination site in your industry for talent and career growth, as well as being part of a larger community, can be crucial to organization sustainability. Joining a career center network significantly increases the perception that membership in your association is, in fact, relevant to an individual’s career path and worth the investment.
3. Earn more revenue while remaining the gatekeeper of member data
In addition to better member satisfaction, a larger, more diverse job seeker audience translates into more money and improved relationships with your employers. Associations who participate in a network average 20 to 30 percent more in gross revenue than those who do not. Why? The potential for more candidate traffic to each employer-sponsored listing increases as jobs are pushed across the network. This creates more job exposure across multiple relevant boards, and exposes a company to a more diverse audience as their listing spans more sites within the network. The individual associations in the career center network earn recognition (and repeat business) from the advertising employee when they successfully hire a networked job seeker.
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) found this benefit to be true when it joined the National Healthcare Career Network. “The more sonographers that have jobs, the more patients can be taken care of,” says Jeff Dimon, ARDMS’ marketing and communications program coordinator. And the more revenue the association can earn by offering employers much wider exposure. ARDMS’ career center-related revenue has increased by 55 percent thanks to new sales from their participation in a career center network.
Working with a career center network is easier than posting the same job listing to multiple sites. Employers benefit from the ease of one post/one payment distribution. And with more potential candidates reached through the network, they experience a much higher success rate at finding the perfect candidate. In short, you can deliver increased employer ROI by joining a career center network.
Advertising revenue from display ads or sponsored content also stays with the association when participating in a career center network. Commercial job networks keep the ad revenue they earn from clicks and conversions. Individual job boards do not receive anything. But in a career center network, advertising secured by individual associations stays on their job board and so does the resulting revenue. It’s a matter of giving credit where credit is due: If your association secured the ad sale, you get to keep the revenue from that sale.
Finally, because your association’s sponsored listings remain your own even when shared with a career center network, all activity that happens on those listings is recorded within your association’s online analytics. You retain the activity and the record of it. This allows your association to prove to employers that broadcasting their listing through your organization is a smart use of their hiring funds.
Check out these association career center networks to see some of the synergy associations are already taking advantage of: