job boards

How to Scrape Data to Fuel your Job board/Job aggregator

Job Board vs. Job Aggregator

A job board and a job aggregator are two similar yet different businesses. Many people have a hard time differentiating them, but there are key features that tell the two apart. Job boards are essentially websites where employers post job opportunities for those seeking jobs.

Usually, a job board platform is able to connect employers and job seekers better by making it possible for both parties to create user profiles. A job seeker can post his/her resume on the site for potential employers to see.

A job aggregator, on the other hand, is a bit different. Also known as a Job search engine, a job aggregator is a site that compiles job postings from a wide variety of websites like a job board into one searchable online user interface. Job aggregators came up specifically to compete with job boards. On a job aggregator, job postings are listed from multiple sources, so it is easier and faster to find jobs compared to a job board.

If you are looking at starting a job board/aggregator website, then you must be ready to gather a substantial amount of data. Your website has to be fueled with fresh job data or you would lose your users. While you could struggle to do this manually, scraping jobs with a web scraping tool is much easier. That way, you can analyze job trends, track competitors, and also find leads (companies that would be willing to post jobs on your job boards).

But before you start scraping jobs, you have to know where to look. Your data has to be scraped from the best sources, otherwise, you would only get a sub-optimal result. After reading through the next section of this article, you would know where to scrape the best data. Do well to read through carefully.

Best Sources to Scrape Data from

1. Employer’s career page

This is the first and one of the reliable places to source for data. A company’s career page contains information about the company’s mission and goals. The page is created to raise awareness, and more importantly, to spark more interest in those looking to work with the company. More often than not, a career page would contain information about open roles in a company. And with a web scraper, you can easily get job postings on the page.

2. Job boards

The main goal of your job board/aggregator is to find job postings for your users. If jobs aren’t posted on your website regularly, job seekers would stop visiting your site. As a new job board, scraping jobs from other job boards is one of the easiest strategies to get jobs posted on your site is. So many big job boards are updated daily with jobs from different employers. All that is left for you to do is to scrape those jobs from these job boards.

3. Job Search engines

Job search engines like Indeed, Glassdoor have hundreds of open jobs listed in different categories. These big names have done the hard work of compiling job postings from so many employers’ career pages. All you have to do is to scrape the jobs you want from any job category. The web scraper organizes the data and presents the job titles, companies, Locations, Reviews, and Job Descriptions in a neat and well-documented spreadsheet.

4. Other Sites

Facebook, LinkedIn are also great sites for scraping jobs. Facebook has a job section where jobs are posted regularly by employers. The jobs are grouped based on location, job type, and job description. With a web scraper, you can get your hands on any of these data. Apart from Facebook, there are other websites where jobs are shared. Instead of manually checking through the job postings, you can compile everything with a web scraper.

Before offering our solution, we must point out the fact – web scraping jobs isn’t a smooth sail. There are some potential obstacles you should be well aware of. However, we wouldn’t stop at telling you about the obstacles; we would also go into details about the potential solutions to the problems.

Problems that come with Web scraping

Stay tuned, when you get to the last section, you would know Octoparse has been braced for these challenges.

1. Scraping jobs from so many sites

Scraping jobs from just one website isn’t going to give you the best result. As we already discussed, there are many sources you should scrape your data from. The obvious problem here is how to handle the heavy workload of organizing a whole set of crawlers to fit and work on each single websites. Without a solution, scraping jobs would be very stressful and uninteresting to those looking to compile job postings from many websites.

2. Keeping up with Websites’ frequent updates

Credible job boards/aggregators are usually updated daily and even hourly because there are always vacancies coming and going. This constant change becomes an issue because it is difficult to keep up with these updates. Just imagine that you have to start your set of crawlers every day or even every hour to get extract new job postings. Why bother if this can be done automatically with a web scraping tool.

3. Scraping so much Data could take a long time

A job search engine contains thousands of data. Scraping this large amount of data would most likely take a long time. What’s more, due to the volume of the data, a web scraper is likely to perform slowly. The web scraper would load and so much time would be spent crawling the website. Now, this is just for one site. Imagine if you were to go through the same process with ten different websites. 

4. Integrating Data from different sources into your database

Scraping jobs is one part of the task. Integrating this data into your website’s database is another part of the process that could be more tasking. It is not so easy to do on your own, and at most times, you would need the help of an expert. 

Without a solution to all the problems mentioned above, web scraping jobs would be a hard nut to crack. Well, thankfully web scrapers have found a way around these obstacles. To have a feel for how web scrapers solve these problems, we will give you a quick overview of what Octoparse does to deal with them.  

Octoparse’s Solutions to the Problems

Octoparse is one of the many powerful web scraping tools that takes user experience seriously. Therefore, it sees the need to tackle any issue users can encounter head-on.

First, with simple templates, Octoparse is able to guide users own easy ways to create crawlers. With dozens of ready-to-use templates to choose from, Indeed, Facebook and more, you can create a set of crawlers in quick time. That way, you can scrape jobs from multiple websites without having to go through the hard work of creating crawlers. All you have to do is to follow the templates. 

Keeping up with frequent updates on a website is another problem we talked about. Well, by setting up automated scheduled web scraping, Octoparse can automatically scrape job postings from different websites based on your schedule. Once you start your tasks, the crawlers will run automatically at certain interval to always scrape new jobs for you; thereby keeping your website’s job postings information updated.

Scraping large data too is made easy with cloud extraction. With cloud extraction, you can scrape data at high speed through the cloud. Compared to local web scraping, cloud extraction saves you a lot of local space if you are trying to extract a large amount of job data. Your data is saved to the cloud and can be accessed at any time.

As the data is renewed frequently, exporting and uploading it to your job system could become a heavy workload. Fortunately, Octoparse offers API connections that send scraped data and constant updates directly to your designated database. In fact, with Advanced API, you can manage your tasks and also export data to your computer directly.

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I am a digital marketing leader for global inbound marketing in Octoparse, graduated from the University of Washington and with years of experience in the big data industry. I like sharing my thoughts and ideas about data extraction, processing and visualization.