Free Job Board Demos? It Happens In The U.K.

NORAS logoImagine 70 or so of the largest job boards in the U.S. volunteering to disclose their site demographics and user details and have all the data made available to the public? For free. Identifiable by job board.

Not going to happen, I agree.

But in the United Kingdom, that’s just what has been happening since 2002. Coming together as the National Online Recruitment Audience Survey, dozens of the job boards there participate in an annual survey that profiles their users, segmenting them by industry, occupation, age, income, job-hunting behavior, and more; 40 categories in all. The data is combined with traffic information from each of the participating job boards.

This month NORAS will report the results of its October-December 2009 survey which collected data from the users and owners of 70 of the UK’s job boards, double the participation from the previous survey.  These include such major UK job boards as Fish4Jobs, GuardianJobs, and eFinancialCareers, the Dice-owned site.

The results allow recruiters and employers or, for that matter, anyone, including the competitors, to see, for instance, that and have the largest percentage of users who are CEOs or company owners at 12 percent and 11 percent respectively.

Because of the sample size you can do cross-tabs. Those are the nifty refinements that make it possible to see which sites have, say, the largest number of CEO/owners between 25 and 34. (Which turns out to be eFinanciaCareers, though it happens this is a category where the sample size is too small to be statistically certain.)

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The value of having data like this is readily apparent. As the NORAS site itself explains, “Using NORAS you can target the right online audience, increasing applications from relevant best-fit candidates, while reducing irrelevant and time-wasting applications. NORAS is the route to maximizing return on investment and making online recruitment as efficient and effective as possible.”

In the U.S., you have to sleuth out such information for yourself. Big customers can get data directly from the major job boards. Most of the bigger job boards have some demographics information available publicly. However, it’s nowhere near as detailed as the NORAS numbers, nor do you have the added assurance that someone other than the board itself has vetted the data.

You can buy traffic data and some demographics from one of the analytics companies such as Nielsen, Hitwise, or Comscore. If you want free data, your alternative is to use a site like or Alexa or Quantcast, all of which have significant limitations.

Otherwise there is no counterpart in North America to NORAS.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.