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October 05, 2015 Generalist vs. Niche: Which job board is best for you? Stephanie Mills, Communications Manager

Generalist vs. Niche: Which job board is best for you?

The digital recruitment market has a rich and diverse range of job boards to choose from for both jobseekers and employers. With such a bewildering range of choices available it can be difficult to decide which option best meets your hiring needs.

Job board platforms are becoming increasingly intelligent offering a broad array of services, increasing their usability and appeal to the wider community, not just those advertising or seeking a job.

This has however thrown up issues for many employers and jobseekers alike. One of the main conflicts emerging from the development of technology is which is the best job board to use, niche or generalist? There is a wealth of online articles and advice guides all containing conflicting advice on the subject.

Both genres of jobs boards have proven success within the recruitment industries, but which is best for you?


Niche job boards are platforms which only cater to one industry or sector, or even location. They provide relevant job vacancies for those jobseekers that have a clear defined career plan.

Many niche job boards often offer more to their users than just job vacancies. With the integration of more technology into job board software, niche job boards serve as a one stop shop for all employees within an industry whether they are job hunting or not. By adding features such as salary checkers, blogs and advice guides, these platforms serve to build working communities as industries change and grow. They often have strong social presences, which create and encourage engagement, forming a community for those wishing to develop their career as well as find a job.

Employers looking to advertise on a niche job board need to understand that applicant response will be reasonably low but likely more targeted. Niche boards attract smaller amount of candidates, as their specificity often rules out other candidates from using the site. However, they will also notice that the response will be of much higher quality. Candidates that use specific platforms are often in possession of much more relevant skills and experience to the sector and therefore the role.

Niche job boards are therefore the best option for recruiters looking to create small and targeted campaigns, saving valuable time on evaluating unsuitable resumes of candidates that have stumbled upon your vacancies through a string of unrelated search journeys.


Generalist job boards invite a wider range of job roles and industries and serve the wider job seeking community in particular, with advice on subjects such as interview etiquette and resume presentation. They often have a higher number of vacancies, industries and companies allowing jobseekers to base their career decisions on a larger number of variants.

A broader choice across a range of industries and roles, means a fantastic chance for jobseekers looking for a change in career, or looking to branch out and try something slightly different.

Generalist job boards allow jobseekers to evaluate their skills and experience in a wider context. By using skills based keyword searches, generalist job boards will allow jobseekers to uncover a range of different job opportunities which match the skills they have acquired.

With candidates on generalist job boards considering the value of their skill set more carefully, this means employers will see an influx of applications from candidates with a wider skill set. Whilst these skills may not match the job description exactly, the skills these candidates do poses are often transferable meaning employers have the chance to consider a broad yet relevant skill set, allowing recruiters the chance to diversify the abilities of their team.

Using generalist boards is a great chance to expose your company to a wide audience. Taking advantage of features such as company mini sites and featured employer options within these platforms can create great exposure for your company. Utilizing jobs by email opportunities will also increase your reach to a huge amount of passive jobseekers who do not necessarily use the site regularly or have not used it for several months.

So which is the best choice for you?

The first way to answer this question is to decide what exactly you want from your response? If you are looking for a large applicant response with a range skills and experience, to allow you to analyze all your options, opt for a generalist jobs board. If you are looking for very specific skills and experience and do not mind a smaller response rate, than use a niche board.

It is also incredibly important to check how much exposure your job vacancy will receive once posted onto your chosen site. How well known is the site, whether this is within certain industries or across the job seeking community. How a job board markets itself is a measurement of how many people will see your vacancy, and therefore determines the success of your application rate. Ask questions such as, do they have an email marketing scheme in place, are they active across social media networks? What are they doing to serve their community or industry?

Always consider the jobseekers' experience, the better time a user has on site the longer they will stay there, increasing the chances of your vacancy being seen. Always thoroughly research the platform you decide to use, this job board over all could be the first interaction a jobseeker has with your company, a positive experience is more likely to result in an application.