Job Portals And Their Business Models

Revenue SourceDescriptionAdvantagesDrawbacksExamples
Job PostingsEmployers pay to post job openings on the platform. This can include various pricing models, such as pay-per-posting, pay-per-click, or subscription-based plans for unlimited postings.– Direct revenue from businesses looking to hire talent – Potential for recurring revenue with subscription plans – Encourages a wide range of employers to use the platform– Competition with other job portals for employer listings – Need to maintain a large pool of job listings to attract job seekers – Balancing the pricing structure to accommodate businesses of all sizesLinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster
Resume Database AccessEmployers subscribe to access the job portal’s resume database, allowing them to search for and contact potential candidates. This is often offered as a premium service with advanced search filters.– Additional revenue stream from employers seeking qualified candidates – Provides advanced tools for employers to find suitable candidates – Encourages employers to actively use the platform to fill positions– Balancing accessibility to job seekers’ resumes with privacy concerns – Ensuring accurate and up-to-date candidate information – Competition with other platforms offering similar resume databasesLinkedIn, Indeed, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter
Featured Job ListingsEmployers can pay extra for featured job listings, which appear prominently in search results or are highlighted to attract more attention from job seekers. This increases visibility for their job openings.– Premium placement generates higher visibility for job listings – Provides employers with a competitive advantage in the job market – Additional revenue from employers looking for enhanced exposure– Potential for job seekers to perceive featured listings as preferential treatment – Balancing the number of featured listings to avoid overcrowding – Ensuring featured listings are relevant and high-qualityGlassdoor, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired, Dice
Recruitment AdvertisingJob portals offer advertising services to employers and recruitment agencies, allowing them to create targeted ad campaigns to reach job seekers. Ads may appear on the portal, in email newsletters, or on social media.– Additional revenue from advertisers seeking to connect with job seekers – Allows employers to promote their brand and job openings effectively – Provides a platform for advertisers to reach a specific and engaged audience– Balancing the quantity and relevance of ads to maintain a positive user experience – Avoiding intrusive or disruptive ad placements – Ensuring that ads meet ethical standards and align with the job portal’s missionIndeed, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired
Premium SubscriptionsJob portals offer premium subscriptions to job seekers, providing enhanced features such as resume visibility, advanced job search filters, and priority support. Subscribers pay a monthly or annual fee for these benefits.– Recurring revenue from job seekers seeking additional tools and resources – Enhances the job search experience for subscribers – Encourages user loyalty and retention– Need to continually add value to retain subscribers – Competition with other job portals and free alternatives – Ensuring that premium features provide a significant advantage in the job search processLinkedIn Premium, Glassdoor Premium, Monster Premium
Skills Assessment TestsSome job portals offer skills assessment tests that job seekers can take to showcase their abilities to potential employers. These tests may be available for free or as part of a premium package.– Additional revenue from job seekers interested in skills validation – Provides a comprehensive profile of job seekers’ capabilities – May lead to more accurate job matches between candidates and employers– Ensuring the accuracy and relevance of assessment tests – Balancing the availability of free and premium assessments – Competition with other platforms offering similar skills assessment servicesLinkedIn, Indeed, Skillshare, Codewars
Partnerships and APIJob portals can generate revenue through partnerships with other platforms, such as applicant tracking systems (ATS) or educational institutions. They may also offer APIs for integration with third-party services.– Expands the job portal’s reach and services through partnerships – Provides additional income streams from licensing APIs and data access – Encourages ecosystem growth and collaboration– Balancing the selection of partners to maintain platform integrity – Ensuring seamless integration with third-party systems – Managing the complexity of partnerships and data sharing agreementsLinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter API


Craiglist is a local posting website that enables people to post any sort of classifieds on the platform, mostly for free, except for some categories of ads and the advertising of vehicles on the website. Therefore, craigslist monetizes based on some premium categories of listings (like job postings or apartment rentals).


Glassdoor is an employer review platform enabling millions of users to grade corporations. Glassdoor monetizes its platform through Job Listings ($249 per opening), Job Advertising (according to the number of jobs promoted), Employer Branding, and through the Glassdoor Review Intelligence (a brand’s sentiment analysis platform).

Google (Jobs)

Google has a diversified business model, primarily making money via its advertising networks that, in 2019, generated over 83% of its revenues, which also comprise YouTube Ads. Other revenue streams include Google Cloud, Hardware, Google Playstore, and YouTube Premium content. In 2019 Google made over $161 billion in total revenues.


Indeed is a job listing employment website co-headquartered in Austin, Texas, founded in 2004 by Paul Forster and Rony Kahan. Indeed makes money via sponsored posts, Indeed Resume (Standard and Professional plan), targeted ads, and the Indeed Hiring Platform.


LinkedIn is a two-sided platform running on a freemium model, where to unlock unlimited search and other features, you need to switch to a paid account. Acquired by Microsoft for $27 billion in 2016, LinkedIn made $5.2 billion in revenues in 2018 and nearly 630M members by October 2019.

Yahoo (Jobs)

Yahoo made over $5 billion in revenues for 2016. Those primarily consisted of search and display (both served on Yahoo Properties and Affiliate Sites. In 2017 Yahoo got purchased by Verizon for $4.5 billion. Yahoo is now (together with AOL) part of a new Verizon Business Unit, called Oath, which aim at competing against Google and Facebook.

Key highlights

  1. Craigslist:
  • Local posting website allowing users to post classifieds, mostly for free.
  • Monetizes through premium categories of listings (e.g., job postings or apartment rentals).
  1. Glassdoor:
  • Employer review platform where users can grade corporations.
  • Monetizes through job listings, job advertising, employer branding, and the Glassdoor Review Intelligence platform.
  1. Google:
  1. Indeed:
  • Job listing employment website offering sponsored posts, Indeed Resume plans, targeted ads, and the Indeed Hiring Platform.
  1. LinkedIn:
  • Two-sided platform with a freemium model, offering paid accounts for additional features.
  • Acquired by Microsoft and made revenues of $5.2 billion in 2018 with nearly 630 million members.
  1. Yahoo:
  • Revenue sources in 2016 consisted of search and display ads on Yahoo Properties and Affiliate Sites.
  • Purchased by Verizon in 2017 and now part of the Verizon Business Unit called Oath, competing against Google and Facebook.

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