The ABC’s of Choosing a Great Niche Job Board

The best Niche Boards have strong focused traffic and great customer service

How do you choose a great niche job board? With a reputed 40,000 employment-related Web sites available, it’s not easy. On the surface, many of them possess important elements to serve your company well: a catchy name, job listings, a promise to find the best job seekers.

But dig deeper and you'll see that not all job boards are created equal, says Don Firth, the founder of the job board alliance Some will do a much better job of helping you fill openings quickly and inexpensively. They possess superior technology and customer service, not to mention a strong track record of helping companies and job seekers find each other. “If you're going to spend money on Internet recruiting resources, why not ensure you're making the right decisions?” says Mr. Firth, who is chief executive of two member organizations, and is the largest site for the transportation and distribution sectors while is the leading source for retail jobs and candidates on the Internet.

The NicheBoards group encompasses 12 Web sites, each serving noncompeting, specific industries and professions. These job boards receive a combined 3 million visitors per month and post more than 100,000 jobs. Says Mr. Firth: “You want to ensure that the job boards you work with have a large and targeted audience. That will enable you to get the most value for your money.”

By following a few basic principles below, Mr. Firth says you can make your selections with confidence.

Start with the Leaders. rates leading job boards in terms of traffic. NicheBoards member is ranked as the top diversity job board, while other associates,,, and are among the top 10 niche job boards out of the 40,000 job boards on the Internet. is ranked as the leading job board for the human resources profession, for the post-military and for the telecommunication industry.

Check the hits: The Web site ranks every existing Web site based on monthly visitors and popularity. This should only be used as a guideline, as it is based on a sampling of Internet users. An Alexa ranking among the top 250,000 Web sites is good for a very specialized niche job board, such as," says Mr. Firth. Any niche job board inside the leading 125,000 sites means the Web site is receiving a decent volume of traffic.,,, and ranked among the top 125,000 Web Sites. Other NicheBoard members range from the 12,000 to 100,000. If a website has an Alexa score of more than 500,000, it likely is not attracting much traffic.

Look for endorsements: Check to see if the job board includes success stories from companies in your industry. In addition, well-respected organizations such as CareerXRoads and Weddle's have a good overview of the job board market. Seeing their banners on the job board is another tip-off that a Web site is providing a quality product. “HR executives and those people responsible for recruiting budgets talk to each other,” says Mr. Firth. “Great Web sites develop great reputations.”
Find the customers: Who’s using the job board? Major companies take a sophisticated view of job boards. They won’t stay with one long unless they’re getting results. See who’s listed on the Web site. Is this job board providing your competitors with their leading talent?

Consider the source…of traffic: How a job board receives visitors can be just as important as the volume of traffic. To wit, respected trade organizations and trade publications strike agreements with niche job boards that meet their standards. A link on their Web sites, agreements and alliances indicate that they think enough of a site to funnel job seekers there.

Play the Board: If a Web site is user friendly, it’s a good sign that it’s doing something right. It shouldn't take more than few minutes to post a job or make changes. Then put yourself in a job seeker’s shoes. See if the job posting and other helpful information is easy to find. Job seekers are unlikely to stay with a job board that makes them work hard or leaves them confused.

Assess the value of Free Job Postings. This is the first sign that a job board is trying to break into the industry. It usually means that the job board has limited number of candidates and needs your jobs to build up their traffic. If the board is well designed and focuses on your industry, it may be worth a try. But otherwise, time is valuable.

Measure the customer service: You’re more likely to shop at a store with knowledgeable, attentive sales people. Follow the same principle when you’re job board hunting. Great Web sites answer phone calls and emails promptly and politely. They know their products and pricing. Long response times or uncertainty suggest a seat-of-the-pants operation. “We want to make the best possible impression right from the start,” says Bill Gaul, founder of NicheBoards member, which serves military personnel looking for civilian jobs.