Some of the most effective job boards don’t focus on jobs alone. Instead they concentrate on building a strong community, often on a platform of quality content. Media Bistro, a content rich community site which also moonlights as a job board for media professionals, is a case in point. Of course, it sold for $23 million.
In Australia, Artshub is taking a similar trajectory. What started in 2000 as a simple email newsletter morphed into one of the most established niche community sites in the country. By providing relevant content and catering to the needs of the creative community it is able to create a thriving hub where like-mined individuals can connect, and ultimately look for jobs.
As far as we are aware, it is the only job board which successfully charge a fee to candidates (for access to jobs) and employers (for posting jobs) alike. Though we are not sure about charging for content as a long-term strategy, Artshub members doesn’t seems to mind. Instead, the site has gone from strength to strength, reaching an estimated 50,000 creative professionals and 600 plus organisations. Recently they branched out to the UK and US.
In a time when job board software can easily be bought off-the-shelf, quality content and a singular focus on connecting and catering to the the needs of a particular community is a recipe for success that can be mimicked. For the smaller job boards in Australia, it may well be a good strategy which can insulate them from the threat of cannibalisation by the larger generalist job boards, or from a possible economic downturn.
The series so far: