Job data is a collective term that denotes job listings (title and description), hiring locations, firms that are taking on new employees, and required skill sets. You may be looking for a job and need to go through this data, mainly found on job boards, job aggregate sites, or career web pages of company websites.
Alternatively, you may hold a position in a company that requires you to scour the internet looking for leads so that your company can pitch its services to another firm looking for the said services. Both of these situations are similar in that they require job data monitoring.
Job data monitoring entails constantly checking job listings, job aggregator sites, or career pages for new job data and subsequently collecting it to update your job feed or job board. In this regard, job data monitoring is a process that encapsulates web scraping job postings.
Web scraping job postings
The initial stages of job data monitoring identify the job data that meets a set criterion. After this step, the process of data harvesting, also known as web scraping, begins. Web scraping job postings encompasses collecting job data from career web pages, job boards, and job aggregate sites.
You can collect such information using an in-house tool or a ready-to-use application, both of which are automated forms of web scraping. You could also use manual web scraping, but that would be a time-consuming and inefficient undertaking. Manual web scraping entails copying data from a site and pasting it elsewhere, e.g., on a document stored on your computer.
On the other hand, tools that carry out automated web scraping scour the internet looking for information contained in the instructions inputted by the user. Upon finding it, they extract it and organize it in a structured format. The convenience of automated web scraping is unmatched. It makes job data monitoring and web scraping job postings efficient.
Benefits of collecting job search data
Granted, you have opted for automated web scraping for extracting job data. What could you possibly use this data for? Well, we’ll analyze the benefits from both an employer’s and employee’s perspective.
As an employee, you may be looking for a new job – a breath of fresh air, as it were. In fact, according to a study conducted in 2017, over 70 percent of employees in the USA were actively looking for new jobs. Considering your daily responsibilities at your current workplace, going through job boards and career web pages looking for new job postings would strain you. And even if it won’t be as straining, you might end up missing some job offers because of your busy schedule.
Alternatively, you could be a graduate looking for employment. The presence of so many job aggregator sites and job boards may confuse you, not to mention the career web pages on company websites.
Finding the job postings is one thing; consolidating the job data is a whole other ballgame. These factors point to the importance of collecting job search data, which is, in turn, made convenient thanks to automated web scraping.
With automated web scraping, you will realize the following benefits:
- You will not miss any new job updates.
- The web scraper promotes convenience in that you will easily access the job data without as much strain as would have been the case if you opted to do everything manually.
- It saves time.
Collecting job search data is a useful undertaking for companies and businesses. The following reasons demonstrate why job data monitoring is important for companies.
- Job aggregator sites update their websites whenever they collect new job data.
- Companies that analyze various parameters can use job data to establish market trends.
- Firms can use job data to identify their competitors’ moves as seen through their job postings, salaries they will pay the new employees, and other benefits. With this information, firms can realign their strategies and internal practices to remain relevant and continually attract skilled talent.
- Collecting job data can be a lead generation endeavor. For instance, the job posting may list the services the advertiser is looking for, which a particular company can offer. Thus, thanks to the job data, the company can pitch its services.
- Staffing firms can extract data from job boards and aggregate sites to ensure their databases stay current.
Both individuals and companies can benefit from web scraping job postings. However, successful data extraction is not always guaranteed, given that some websites deploy anti-scraping techniques aimed at thwarting any form of data collection. Examples of such methods include using CAPTCHAs, sign-in and log-in requirements, IP blocking, User-Agents (UA), etc.
Nonetheless, you can bypass some of these restrictive techniques. For instance, you can use proxy servers to go around IP blocking restrictions. Using proxies alongside web scrapers is your best bet if you are to extract job data seamlessly.
If you want to dig deeper, check another great article on web scraping job postings and learn more about efficient ways to gather the needed data.