The mention of the word ‘job offer’ or ‘job posting’ more often than not takes your mind to a job board, careers webpage on a company’s website, or job aggregator site, and perhaps the fact that firms post such jobs for people to apply. These job postings contain job data, e.g., the job title and description, company’s contact details, required skill-set, and location.
While these job postings mainly advertise vacant positions for potential employees, companies also use these job search data for several reasons. This article will detail the uses of job data from the companies’ perspective, a departure from the conventional focus on employees and individual job seekers.
Why is job search data important?
Uses of job search data
Companies rely on job search data for these reasons:
- Staffing companies require job search data to ensure their databases are up-to-date.
- Firms use the job data posted on job boards to identify companies that require their services. Thus, through the job data, they gain leads that they can use to pitch their services.
- Job aggregator websites rely on newly uploaded job data to ensure their sites are as current as possible. Job aggregator sites function as a hub for job ads. Visitors get to search for jobs, thereby making them a search engine for job postings and ads.
- Companies monitor their competitors through the jobs they post. Thus, they gain insight into the compensations and benefits such firms offer potential employees with the job data. The insight gained can help the monitoring companies realign their strategies and hiring processes to attract skilled talent.
- Companies can use the job search data for analysis purposes to develop trends about the job market.
- The job search data can provide information about the existence of the service in a particular location. For instance, if a job posting consistently appears on the job board advertising an opening in a given city or town, this could indicate a supply gap with regards to the advertised services. The information can help a company determine if it can set up shop in that location.
Benefits of job search data
The benefits of job search data center around the generation of revenue for any company. By continually updating their databases, job search data build a reputation as the go-to sites whenever people are looking for new job opportunities. Pulling visitors translates to additional revenue from ads displayed on the sites or commissions paid by companies.
Similarly, companies that pitch their services upon sighting job ads on boards can successfully land lucrative contracts, thus increasing their revenue. The same can be said about using job search data to determine whether setting up shop in a particular location is a worthwhile idea – it will help grow the company.
Indeed, job search data is readily available on the internet. But, did you know that you can easily access it thanks to automated web scraping?
Web scraping job postings
Web scraping refers to the process of extracting data from websites. There are two forms of web scraping:
- Manual web scraping
- Automated web scraping
Manual web scraping
Manual web scraping means copy-pasting. It is an ideal data extraction format if you are working with a few websites and want to harvest a small volume of data, perhaps a few sentences or figures. However, using manual web scraping to extract data from job postings would use up too much time. Simply put, it would be inefficient and ineffective. Web scraping job postings requires the automated tools of data extraction.
Automated web scraping
Automated web scraping is preferred when you wish to crawl numerous websites and harvest large amounts of data continuously. The fact that there are multiple sites where you can find the job data makes this option even more appealing.
Web scraping job postings can be done using in-house tools or scrapers sold by service providers. To use the former, you or a member of your team should have a technical background. On the other hand, service providers who offer ready-to-use tools charge depending on the number of websites from which you intend to extract data – the more the sites, the higher the charges.
Nonetheless, the benefits of web scraping job postings outweigh the costs of using scrapers. Furthermore, the fact that you will continuously retrieve data from multiple sites makes this option all the more appealing. But always keep in mind that job aggregator sites and job boards have in-built anti-scraping tools to safeguard the information contained therein.
For this reason, whenever you are web scraping job postings, it is advisable to use extraction tools alongside proxy servers. Proxies will change your IP address frequently, thereby helping you avoid IP blocking, an anti-scraping technique. In this regard, proxies promote seamless and smooth web scraping.
If you want to dig deeper into the topic, you can read the article here about using web scraping for job data collection.