By Brian Smith, Communications Specialist
An association’s mission is to serve members, and right now, your members might be experiencing the need for new employment.
In our recent webinar with Web Scribble’s Marketing Director Dawn DiLorenzo, she shared a jaw-dropping fact: Indeed’s data has revealed a 35% drop in its 7-day average of job postings year-over-year. With that in mind, Dawn urged associations to think beyond job boards.
So, if a job board alone isn’t enough for your members, what service(s) can you add? One suggestion is to implement an online career center where members can post their resumes, share job opportunities or gain career advice from your association. It can also serve as the central hub for members to interact, share content and manage industry resources.
To help get your online career center off and running, here are a few pieces of advice association managers can immediately implement to engage with and serve members, all while growing non-dues revenue.
Create Membership Profiles & Develop Career Paths
The first step to setting up your online career center is to know your target audience. Find out which personas make up your membership. Are they in the C-suite? VPs? Managers?
Next, find out how members use your association’s website. What’s their average session length? Are they registering for events, forums and virtual happy hours?
If you can, survey members to discover what they need or common issues they have during their job search or quest for career development. The responses will allow you to map out several “career paths” to share with your members based on their title, salary, top skills, relevant jobs, descriptions, course certifications, event registrations and more. Here’s what Dawn said is often requested for inclusion in an online career center in member surveys:
- Real-time data on industry hiring trends
- Open jobs, clear role descriptions
- Easy search and application process
- Useful strategies for job searching and career development
- Networking opportunities like virtual meetings, happy hours, member forums and training/credentialing
Crafting a Plan: Who Updates Your Career Center?
Once you’ve developed membership profiles and career paths based on member feedback, it’s time for the next step. Dawn suggests you delegate responsibilities to your colleagues by answering the following questions:
- What do you want the online center to do?
- Why do want the online center to do that?
- Who will own it? (i.e. ”Which staff member or team will be site administrators?”)
- What are the necessary steps you need to take for this project to be successful?
- How you will measure success or failure of this project? How will you evaluate areas for improvement?
- Do you have a sales team to keep job ads fresh?
Like any element of a website, the career center will require regular updates. With a plan in place, your association will keep the online career center from being underutilized.
Have Relevant, Frequent & Personalized Communications
Speaking of something being underutilized, you’ll want to build a strong marketing strategy around your online career center. Whether it’s your association’s social media accounts, newsletters or blogs, you will want to provide job seekers relevant and frequent communication about job openings in their industry. Remember, they want to be the first to know and the first to apply.
Additionally, consider how you can advertise job alerts on social media (Dawn says that larger images with minimal text is best – work to get their attention first, and share the information later).
This can also be a great time to re-engage with your association’s partnership network. Ask if there are any potential opportunities to cross promote. Perhaps you can provide partners the opportunity to advertise job openings in your online career center.
Lastly, associations are now communicating with members via a digital recruitment guide. You can print physical copies to hand out at your association’s annual conference (once we’re all hosting in-person events again) while promoting it on your other communication channels to reach a larger audience. You can provide links in the digital version that direct members to the proper organizations they need to get in contact with. (Pro tip: If you’re sharing this guide at an in-person event – encourage attendees to download and share the guide through your mobile app).
Leverage Systems to Grow Non-Dues Revenue
Associations are always looking for better ways to serve members. At the same time, staff members are continually tasked with discovering new ways to grow non-dues revenue.
An online career center is a powerful tool to help association members in the hunt for a new job or career path. It will also provide your association with the user data that will help your association further develop member and non-member personas and discover what information is important to them. Lastly, there’s that added benefit of generating additional revenue by charging organizations to post openings on your career center.
Interested more in learning about online career centers? Download our webinar The Expert’s Guide to Growing Member Engagement and Revenue With an Online Center