I spent just under a year and a half running Qualified, a niche job for recently qualified accountants in Ireland.
If you're thinking "recently qualified accountants in Ireland" sounds like a VERY narrow marker... then you would be 100% correct! However, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Narrow/niche markets can be much easier to get a foothold in, particularly if you have some sort of unfair advantage that will give you initial traction with either supply (recruiters) or demand (job applicants).
The size of a market is an important factor to consider before launching a job board. But it's not the only consideration.
In this post I'll outline some factors to consider when picking a niche for your nocode job board.
Note: if you're looking to start a job board business, you might be interested in my "Modern Job Board" template that's available to purchase on the Bubble template store. It's designed to be a "ready-to-go" template, meaning you can get up and running very quickly (only minor configuration required - see specific steps here). It's built entirely with no-code so if you do want to make a few changes you can do so easily and quickly with a bit of Bubble knowledge (or you can hire someone to do it for you).
Now, back to the factors you should consider when picking a niche for your job board business.
Linkedin is the dominant force in the recruitment industry, particularly when it comes to "professional" jobs. With Xm users, it's no wonder LinkedIn is often seen as the only game in town by recruiters. And truth be told, for a lot of industries like finance, consulting and engineering, it really is the best way for recruiters to post jobs and get high quality applicants.
But that's not necessarily the case for every industry. There are a number of very successful niche job boards built for industries where many employees / job-seekers will not even have a LinkedIn profile.
For example, ranchwork.com is a job board that serves the ranching industry. This is not an industry that is dominated by polished LinkedIn profiles. This is a good thing for ranchwork.com. There is not a multitude of obvious options for recruiters to choose from when posting a job ad.
The job board industry is incredibly competitive. At the global level, you have billion-dollar companies like LinkedIn and Indeed who are household names among recruiters and job-seekers.
It would be incredibly difficult to compete with these giants head-on and I would not recommend trying to.
Most countries/ regions will also already have a national jobs aggregator that acts as a one-stop shop for all industries (eg irishjobs.ie). It's also going to be pretty hard to compete with these "national champions" who will often have a strong brand and a great SEO profile.
What is more likely to succeed is carving out a narrow niche at a country level or a very narrow niche at the global level that makes your job board valuable to a really specific cohort of job-seekers / employers.
For example, weworkremotely.com is a job board that helps predominantly tech employees find remote roles. I would argue that "remote tech" jobs is probably even too niche for a global level and would suggest going even narrower for your job board.
An alternative route would be to choose a niche within a certain country / region. For example, japan-dev.com helps English-speaking software developers find jobs in Japan.
The revenue your job board can generate will be a function of 2 factors:
The salary of the position people are advertising for will heavily influence the first factor. People are willing to pay much more for a job ad for a 200k per annum developer vs. a 40k per annum junior marketing hire.
Another thing to note is that recruitment agencies will often be paid a percentage of the first year's salary of an employee that they place with an employer. This can vary by industry, but 10% - 20% would be a good rule of thumb when assessing agency fees. So if an agency is going to get 40k for placing a developer vs. 8k for the junior marketing hire, they're going to be MUCH more willing to splash out for an ad on your job board.
The second factor affecting your job board's revenue will be the quantity of job ads you can sell. The higher the turnover in an industry, the higher the need will be for companies to he continuously recruiting and the greater the opportunity for your job board.
For example, coolworks.com is a job board targeted at the seasonal work industry (think ski resorts, farm jobs and camp jobs). These aren't the highest value positions around, but there is typically a high turnover rate which increases the opportunity for coolworks to sell ads.