Job search app development: Possible to compete?

The cover of the article features a girl holding a clipboard and a magnifying glass, studying a job search app interface. The image symbolizes the process of using a job search app by a recruiter.

Nowadays, it's nearly impossible to ignore job platforms in the quest for new employment and employees. There are popular portals that have cornered the market, leading to questions about whether it's still possible to enter the competition. In this article, we'll examine the role of apps in the current job market, discuss which type of platform is better to create first and offer tips on how to make your job app stand out from the rest.

Current job search market

Currently, the market is still recovering from the peak unemployment period between 2019–2020 due to the pandemic. Looking at some statistics, we can see that things are slowly returning to the pre-pandemic state, at least in terms of the employment-population ratio.

Statistics comparing the employment-population ratio as a percentage to January 2020.
Labor statistics by Morningstar

Even though the dynamic is promising if we observe the general stats, the demand for work and workers is still significantly higher than in the previous decades. It means that in the context of modern life, where people tend to change their workplaces more often, creating a job search app is highly relevant. Custom software solutions can lend a hand in this challenge.

Global statistics displaying the number of unemployed persons in millions over the past decade.
Statistics of unemployment worldwide between 1991–2024, by Statista

The question then arises: with so many job search platforms available, which one to develop? In this article, we will delve into the aspects of job portal app development and outline the requirements needed to create a successful product in this domain. Let's begin by examining the type of job portal app needed.

Need for web and mobile versions

For an entrepreneur starting a job portal from scratch, the question is where to start from. What's more relevant — is it better to develop a job search app in mobile or web version? While both can be accessed on mobile devices, they require different user interactions. Mobile apps are installed directly onto devices, while web platforms are accessible through browsers.

Some say it's easier to shrink than to expand job portal development and prefer to go for the desktop first, others think it's easier to expand than to shrink. But it seems like it's better to make a decision based on user behavior. Specifically, the focus should be on whether to develop a mobile app or a mobile web app since users are likely to access the product via their cell phone, statistics say.

Although the latest data on mobile app vs. web app usage is not available, trends from previous years (data from the EMARKETER and Statista) indicate that users tend to spend more time in applications they installed on their devices. Therefore, it is advisable to consider building a job portal app for mobiles first. However, both web development and mobile app development are crucial for the following reasons:

  • They provide different access making it convenient for users to get into their job search apps from any device. For example, for HRs and recruiters, posting jobs is a part of their job, and they will likely do it on their laptops. Meanwhile, job seekers can check available jobs on the go with their mobile devices and rely on notifications.
  • It provides better flexibility, as some people tend to use different devices in different situations — such as browsing job offers on mobile phones while commuting, or using a website on a laptop in the evening.
  • Having both versions is beneficial for optimization. Mobile job portal apps compete in app stores based on reviews and ratings, while web apps operate under a different mechanism, namely search engine algorithms. The latter is more complex, but it allows websites to be visible and discoverable even without initially attracting a wide audience.
  • Some functionality is easier with a particular platform. For instance, receiving push notifications is more convenient with a job portal app on a mobile phone, while uploading files is better done via the browser for further storage on a laptop.
  • Giving users a choice allows for a competitive edge. Simply providing users with alternatives gives an advantage over rivals who have developed only one type of application.

Having established the importance of both versions for user coverage and accessibility, the next consideration is how to develop the job portal app itself and which features to include.

Tech stack for job search app development

Mobile job portal app development

There are several ways to approach the creation of a job search mobile app: native development or cross-platform development. Native development involves writing specific code for each platform, using Swift or Objective-C for iOS and Java or Kotlin for Android.

Cross-platform mobile app development, on the other hand, utilizes frameworks like React Native, Flutter, Ionic, Xamarin, etc. In our company, we prefer to perform mobile development with React Native. It was initially created by Meta Platforms for Facebook enhancement and perfectly suits mobile app development needs. And there are several reasons to make this choice:

  • Simultaneous development for two platforms. Unlike native development, both Android and iOS apps share the same codebase meaning the reduced job portal development time and further expenditures on maintenance.
  • Reusable code. As React Native is written in JavaScript, the logic of the mobile app can be used in React.js development of the website version of the same product, which again saves time and money.
  • Great developers community. This might sound like a benefit on a vendor's side. However, it means that a framework gets necessary updates every time iOS or Android rolls out something new. It also offers ready-to-use solutions helping to bring the job portal app to deployment faster.
  • Easy deployment. Speaking of deployment, a job search app developed with React Native can be distributed on official stores without any issues.

When considering mobile app development for a job portal, it's essential to account for multiple user roles, including both a recruitment app and a job-seeker app. In this context, React Native emerges as the optimal choice for comprehensive software development.

Web job portal app development

For developing user interfaces in the web version of a job portal app, JavaScript libraries like React.js, Express, and Angular are recommended. Among them, React.js stands out a bit. Firstly, it enables code reuse. Secondly, the framework is flexible and shows speedy performance. Similar to React Native, React.js is popular in the development community and receives regular updates.

As for the server side, in the previous year, Laravel was one of the top choices among frameworks. It offers a clean and simple syntax, along with the essential features needed for modern web development. Laravel enables the rapid development of scalable web products and ensures robustness through testing APIs that check the code quality.

Data management can be handled using PostgreSQL or MongoDB databases. The selection between them depends on the nature of the application. NoSQL databases, such as MongoDB, are typically utilized in applications that necessitate scalability and high performance, making them more suitable for the development of a job search app.

Admin panel

In addition to web and mobile applications for users, encompassing both recruiters and job seekers, an admin panel is essential for managing user profiles, packages, job ads, and collecting reviews and feedback.

The top tech solution for an admin panel that encompasses all these features is the Laravel Nova framework. It streamlines the administration panel, allowing for easy monitoring of custom processes and enabling all necessary features for efficient job platform management, from adding metrics to creating custom tools.

However, these are merely recommended languages and frameworks. When dealing with a real case, the technology stack should meet the client's specific business needs.

Our development team is proficient in the most popular frameworks. Would you like to meet with us?

Features that every job search app must have

Search filters and sorting

Half of the job portal app development success depends on this feature as only with good filtering job seekers and employers are able to find the best match. Filters might include a wide range of criteria, such as salary range, job type, location, required experience, remote/hybrid/on-cite choice, and more. In this case, the more the better. And, of course, the filters for employers and applicants should correspond. As for the sorting, it helps in quickly changing the order of job postings, such as by relevance or salary rate.

Job alerts

Waiting for the perfect offer and competing with other candidates and companies can be intense. That's why a job search app should include alerts and notifications that inform users when a matching resume or job posting has been added to the platform.

Resume creation

Job seekers' profiles should enable users to create, post, edit, hide, and manage their resumes in various ways. Like filtering, the resume creation process should be well-designed to allow users to fill out their profiles rapidly and efficiently.

Thought-out application process

Applying for multiple jobs should be as easy as one click. The platform might offer job seekers the option to apply by simply pressing a button or allowing them to add a short cover letter if the job post requires it.

Company profiles

Allowing companies to provide comprehensive information in a recruitment app is as important as it is for applicants' resumes. While the profile shouldn't overwhelm job seekers, it should include fields such as company name, contact details, mission statement, company description, team description, projects, products and services, awards, and company reviews.

Job posting templates

As a job seeker, you might have encountered unstructured job posts where it's hard to distinguish requirements from responsibilities and advantages. To enhance the experience for both candidates and employers, it's beneficial to create structured templates with some fields as drop-down lists in the process of job portal development.

Saved jobs and resumes

Users should be able to respond promptly by saving a candidate or job post for later. Therefore, there should be an option to add posts and resumes (or company profiles and job seeker profiles) to favorites.

Recommendations

In addition to notifying users of new postings, a job search app can offer the best matches within the app based on relevance to what the user is seeking. It can display a percentage match, leveraging today's AI software development capabilities and thoughtful filtering.

Sharing

To attract more users to the job portal, it's important to allow job searchers to share information with people outside the platform by sending them direct links to specific job posts. Deep and dynamic linking technology can facilitate a seamless experience for newcomers by leading them to the same job post after installing the app.

With many applications offering similar functionality, developing another job search app requires surpassing predecessors in the quality of main features while offering something new. Let's explore where uniqueness can be found.

How to stand out in the competition

The field is occupied by job-seeking giants that offer their services to employees and employers across various industries. It seems to be hard to compete with those with decades of market presence. However, there's always a way to offer something new by leveraging custom software development. For instance, one could build an application with an extremely convenient interface or create an industry-specific job-seeking platform. Let's delve into these strategies of job portal app development in detail.

Industry-specific app

Examining global labor shortage statistics can provide insights into which fields to focus on for job portal app development. Researching the current labor market situation can help to gain valuable insights. For example, in 2023, the following industries faced significant talent shortages:

Industries experiencing a talent shortage include: healthcare and life sciences at 77%, consumer goods and services at 76%, information technology at 76%, transport, logistics, and automotive at 76%, industrials and materials at 75%, communication services at 73%, financial and real estate at 72%, and energy and utilities at 71%.
Survey on talent shortage conveyed by the ManpowerGroup

Actually, these spheres are consistently in the state of searching for specialists. Therefore, even if an industry-specific job portal app development will take time, it will very likely still be relevant for these fields by the time of the app's rollout.

Outstanding interface

Consider the leading and longest-standing job-seeking platforms. From a user's perspective, do they truly provide an enjoyable experience? While opinions on this matter may vary, design trends suggest otherwise. Simplicity and minimalism are currently at the forefront. Comparing the interfaces of older job portals with contemporary designs highlights the difference.

A job search app design concept created by the Ronas IT team. The screenshot features a 'Find Job' page with colorful cards displaying recommended open jobs.
Recruitment app design concept created by Ronas IT UI/UX design team

Resume assistance

While many job search apps offer resume templates, there are new creative ways to help job seekers improve their resumes. For example, the platform could provide automatic tips for each section as users fill them out, show examples of great resumes, or offer resume review services. Professional review services could be included in premium subscriptions on the job portal. Additionally, the platform could integrate ChatGPT assistants to generate resumes based on keywords provided by applicants.

Enhanced communication

In addition to one-click matching on the job search app, there are other features that can improve communication between companies and job seekers. For example, in-app video conferences. Imagine there is no need to share personal contact information with HR professionals as the application provides messaging and video calling within the app.

Improved matching

While many job search portals have recommendation algorithms that help find the most relevant job postings and candidate resumes, there's still room for enhancement in the matching system. For sure, such a technology necessitates thorough profile completion from the user as well. However, this challenge can be easily addressed as those who leave fields incomplete in their profile will end up having a lower rating in the job listing and resume feeds. Such mechanisms are likely to improve the user experience, but careful consideration is required in the filtering process.

Career consulting

Not all job seekers are sure about the kind of job they want, and they may find it difficult to make a decision. For such individuals, a platform might not only serve as a job search portal but also offer career path consultations or career guidance tests. In terms of monetization, a job-finding app could provide different services based on subscription plans. For instance, with a free account, a user can take a short test; with a regular subscription, a broader test; and with a premium account, both a test and personal consultation.

While many job portals offer similar functionality, there's always a scope to improve specific services by integrating the best features and making slight modifications that make your platform unique. Speaking of existing platforms, let's examine what features have helped them to gain popularity.

What makes leading job apps so popular?

LinkedIn

This app is not solely a job search platform; today, LinkedIn serves as more of a social network, enabling professional networking by connecting and facilitating communication. LinkedIn helps users receive recognition in their industries and build their reputation. One of its notable features is the opportunity to receive reviews and skill endorsements from current or former colleagues. Users can also take skill tests approved by the platform, thereby adding credibility to their resumes.

Indeed

Another well-known job portal with several noteworthy functionalities. One of its key features is job listings. Indeed aggregates job posts from various web sources, offering users a wide array of choices and flexibility in the job application process. In addition to listing job openings, Indeed provides crucial salary information, facilitating decision-making. It also allows users to leave reviews of companies, helping prospective candidates assess potential employers before applying for jobs.

Glassdoor

While many platforms indicate salary ranges in job postings, Glassdoor goes further by offering real-time statistics on average salaries for various positions based on user-reported data. It allows applicants and companies to assess whether the salaries they're considering align with market standards. Glassdoor addresses the issue of companies frequently withholding information by providing detailed profiles of companies on its platform. In addition to reviews, this job search app enables applicants to share their interview experiences with specific employers, offer tips, and discuss questions asked during the hiring process.

ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter is one of the job-finding apps that takes filtering seriously and has implemented an AI matching system. They ensure that top positions are shown to the most relevant candidates and notify both companies and applicants once the most matching profile appears on the job search portal. They do this by sending real-time job alerts. To make the job-seeking process even easier for their users, they also offer interview preparation tips and resources.

Monster

Another global job-seeking platform. One of its main advantages today is a large database of job listings developed over the years of market presence. Monster also provides advanced search filters allowing its users to narrow down their search by applying relevant filters. Like other job search portals, they strive to provide their users with convenient experiences and offer a mobile app version of the platform so that users have access to job listings from any device.

How much does it cost to develop a job search app?

This question is a tough one to answer, as the cost of the final product heavily depends on the number of features to implement and the complexity of design, which can be calculated before the start but only approximately. Even though defining an average cost for an average app is challenging, it can be estimated more accurately in each specific case.

It also depends on the type of job portal app development a company chooses. Development might commence with an MVP of a mobile app solely, or a web app, with the cost for design and development starting at around $40,000. Alternatively, a company might opt to build for both mobile and web simultaneously, potentially increasing the cost to over $60,000. Therefore, it all hinges on the initial budget and plans.

At Ronas IT, we offer different costs for different paces of MVP development:

Standard MVP development
3 months
$30,000+
Urgent MVP development
1 month
$50,000

For more sophisticated mobile or web development of a job search app, the costs might follow the figures below:

Standard web app development
4 months
$30,000–$50,000+
Urgent web app development
1,5 month
$60,000+
Standard mobile app development
3 months
$30,000+
Urgent mobile app development
1 month
$50,000+

Please note that the prices provided encompass UI/UX design services and management costs.

For a more accurate estimate of your prospective job search app, please, contact our managers.

It is important to consider additional expenses associated with job portal app development that may not immediately come to mind. A reliable vendor will inform you about them in advance. Let's delve into more detail.

Additional costs to know about

Design

If you want to include custom illustrations or animations in your job search app (which is a great idea, by the way), be aware that you will have to pay for these extra design services in addition to the general design of the job portal interfaces.

DevOps

DevOps involves procedures aimed at enhancing the job portal app development speed and quality of the product. It includes setting up development and product environments as well as actively supporting the application, all of which contribute to creating a robust continuous delivery and continuous integration pipeline.

Maintenance and support

This service is crucial for the functionality of the application. Implementing updates and bug fixes is vital to keeping an app relevant to users' needs. Note that this service is ongoing and usually subscription-based.

Third-party services

If you choose to incorporate third-party software or APIs in your application, it may result in additional costs. These could include social media integrations, payment APIs, location-based APIs, skills verification integrations, and various communication APIs.

Our development team can help with integrations or build your job search app from scratch.

Summing up

Even though the job search platform market is highly competitive, it is still possible to carve out a niche within it. This can be achieved by offering a high-quality product and introducing something innovative, whether in terms of functionality or design. If you are unsure about what to bring to the market, a reliable software development company can assist, and our development team is prepared to take on this role. Simply inform us by completing a brief form. Click "Get in Touch" to proceed.

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