Career center networks offer associations the ability to show more job openings and expanded career development resources for members while placing their brand in front of a wider audience of potential members. Associations that join networks have higher performing career centers and generate more revenue — by 30 percent on average. However, some associations have reservations about linking up with a career center network out of fear that their brand and their revenue opportunities will be diluted.
We spoke with Tom Aley, group vice president, software solutions at Naylor Association Solutions, to debunk myths about career center networks and explore the realities associations should expect when they link their job board to a career center network. The main concerns he hears are:
1. Joining a career center network will result in the network being promoted over my association.
On reputable career center networks, the member associations’ brands are promoted over the network brand, Aley emphasized. Individual career centers retain the design, colors, fonts and logos of the association behind it. When the individual association is promoted over the network, visitors trust the site more and are more likely to return.
2. Joining a career center network will hurt my association’s membership recruitment abilities.
Another reason good career center networks promote the associations that make it up over the network itself is so associations can continue to be viewed as the go-to resource for a particular industry or profession. When the individual association is kept front-and-center through branding and domain, visitors know which organization is providing the value they are receiving.
3. Joining a career center network will decrease traffic to my association’s website.
Reputable career center networks allow an association to continue hosting their career center on their own domain. This way, visitors always know which organizations they are engaging with as they browse a network, and the network does not cannibalize an association’s job board traffic.
4. Joining a career center network will dilute my association’s revenue earning potential.
While some networks offer an economy of scale that dilutes the revenue an association could otherwise receive, reputable career center networks provide incremental value commensurate with the advertising and job posting packages associations offer their employers
and other sponsors.
5. Joining a career center will lock my association into revenue opportunities that don’t work for us.
A good career center network will permit flexibility when it comes to revenue potential. Career center networks offer job postings, display ads, site sponsorships and a combination of these for revenue earning vehicles.
6. Joining a career center network will attract website visitors who aren’t relevant.
By nature, associations are not job placement organizations but groups of people who gather to exchange ideas and become more skilled in their profession or trade. Most visitors to association online job boards are passive job seekers. They post their resume and use a career center’s resources, such as webinars or resume guides, but they aren’t actively seeking a job change until the right opportunity comes along. However, when the right opportunity surfaces, passive job seekers will act on it.
7. Career center networks can become too large for my smaller association to benefit.
Associations link up with career center networks to expand the career development resources and jobs visible to their members. As long as the network is limited to related industries with postings from employers interested in hiring the association’s members, a network cannot become too large for any size association.
Author Emily Nesterick is a corporate marketing specialist with Naylor Association Solutions.
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