Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

“How I built a job search website in 24 hours that actually makes money”

A short while ago, a friend asked if I could aid him on a PHP project for his sports news website. The request involved turning his static website into a place where people could search for jobs passively while catching the latest sports gossip.

The request sounded easy until he said: “Ben, I also want to make extra revenue from these job listings”. You’d be forgiven for thinking that making money from a new job search website is no easy task.

With such fierce competition out there, it would surely require a colossal effort to maintain and differentiate from all the other job sites out there, right? Wrong. 

You couldn’t be more wrong in fact. And I’m going to explain why.

Whilst it is true there are new job search sites popping up everyday there’s still plenty of opportunity to develop a niche in the market. The online recruitment industry is valued at over £30 billion and constantly growing. This means that even a small slice of the overall pie can be a worthwhile investment.

I set about the task with no small degree of trepidation. Such a project would take a pretty long time, I thought to myself, since it would involve storing jobs in a database and showing them to users based on their search criteria.

Luckily I came across a third party job search site offering an API letting people have their own job search engine.

The beauty of the API lay in the flexibility. The API allowed websites access to hundreds of thousands of the latest UK job vacancies and show them to their visitors. 

There was no need to configure a database and no other time-consuming technical issues. In fact, the only things I had to do was get the user’s request and send it to the API. 

So you’re probably wondering where the money comes from?

Much of the industry is based on a pay-per-click (PPC) business model. Sites displaying the content stand to make up to 80% of the total cost of the clicks for generating traffic.

With payments ranging from £0.10 - £0.33 per click it’s not hard to see how a tidy sum can be made very quickly. It took me less than 24 hours to finish the project in total. As soon as I finished the project it was a simple case of indexing the site with Google.

I know you probably think it sounds crazy to have a job search engine on your site without having a database, but believe me it works! You can take a look at the results here:

Impressive, no? A full explanation of how I built the site and the source code can be found here.

Benham Heydari is the Chief Technology Officer at CIT Worldwide Limited, London, England.