How to build a hiring marketplace

The Primer 

First, you’ve got to prime your audience or members on the idea of a job board.

Before providing something, give it a tease. Whether it’s in tight knit Slack group, or to a large Twitter following, make sure the people really want it. In most cases, we find the reaction is overwhelmingly positive. In the end, the teaser serves more as a heads up that it’s coming than an actual survey.

The best way to do this is in many parts and across different mediums.

Continuously shoot subtle (or not so subtle) reminders that something new and exciting is on the horizon. 

Start Analog 

Some of our partners already have existing recruitment activity funneled through them before launch, but for those that don’t, we suggest integrating jobs into their content or their community.

Start a hiring channel, reserve slots in your newsletter for open roles, use the first minute of your youtube video to shout out cool opportunities— whatever it is, start practicing how you can best showcase jobs without sacrificing any authenticity. If anything, it should actually enrich the experience. You’re adding value to your audience, not noise. 

Simultaneously, tap into your network a bit. See if anybody is willing to pay for your highlighted jobs. Get a sense of how hot your market might be. We’ve had many partners who claimed to have no business interest prior to working with us, only to find out the only thing missing was the actual outbound request.

Launch Day

Once you’ve started pushing a couple of jobs to your audience and you’ve reached an “opportunity-market fit”— i.e. you understand what kind of roles they’re interested in, it’s time to launch the job board. You’ve graduated from the “pre-launch” phase. 

You’re going to want to utilize every distribution channel you have to reach the entire scope of your audience or members. Set the larger vision for what you’d like to accomplish with your job board and explain what problem it’s going to solve. Essentially, make it a big deal. 

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a viral tweet, a message in Slack, or a youtube announcement, you have to make people feel the gravity.

Make a stink about it. Your goal should be to drive a high proportion of your total audience on the day of launch. You want everyone possible to be familiar with the board and how it fits into your offering. It doesn’t matter if that stink is reaching 500 people or 50,000, as long as your community or audience is engaged. 

Keeping the Momentum

Now the fun part starts– you’ve done the work of setting your board up and launching, all that remains is hyping businesses up with frequent updates on the board’s success. At this point, your audience should be convinced, if not ingrained, to the board. 

There are a couple of ways to attract paying customers, one tried and true method is the sharing of success stories.

Publicly re-sharing good results make businesses feel more comfortable that they’re going to receive results themselves (duh). It’s an obvious one, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Word travels fast in the tech-sphere and we’ve seen these anecdotal pieces of evidence serve as really powerful flywheels of growth. 

Another great method is blasting out statistics. Share the traction you are receiving.

Ultimately, we find that most creators and communities are well-suited to run a job board. Anyone that has fostered an engaged group of people is viable. Whether you go viral every week, or you’re a small 1,300 person VC community, you can drive results for paying companies. 

What we’ve found so fascinating, since that initial launch with Lenny, is how many different types of customers can succeed. While we do intensive research into each partner to personalize a solution, the playbook for success ultimately remains the same.

Whether you want to become “the place” for product jobs like Lenny, spread awareness to amazing companies like Sahil, or do everything you can to help aspiring (and seasoned) product designers in you community like Femke. There is one thing that ties them altogether. 

They make businesses (and their audiences) really, really happy.