The Secret Sauce to Forum’s Career Center

Association Forum’s director of marketing and membership discusses the success of the organization’s Career Center and how it is more than just a job board.

By Kim Kelly, CAE

Job Search bar website drawing on chalk board wood background

In a year of rebuilding revenue streams and endless pivots, it’s nice to hear about something that works. The U.S. job market has been on a wild ride since COVID shut down the country in March 2020. The actual numbers are still leveling out with job openings rising above 10 million in August of this year and labor shortages across the country. Plus, a record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August. Simply put, there are millions of employers looking to hire and your association could help fill those openings while making non-dues revenue.

Associations are uniquely suited to provide a job board for their members. No one knows an industry better than the professional association dedicated to supporting it. Association Forum has hosted a career center on its site for many years, helping to match the right people with positions from entry-level to CEO. While last year’s numbers were about as unpredictable as the toilet paper shortage, things are starting to level out. By providing a steadfast platform for members and organizations, we’ve weathered the storm and we’re seeing healthy numbers once again.

I sat down with Association Forum’s Director, Membership & Marketing, Sarah Murphy to speak more about the recent success of this platform.

Tell me a little about Forum’s Career Center and what’s new?

Our partner is Naylor and they recently updated the look and feel of the career center, creating a better user experience. So, it’s easier to find the information you’re looking for and it just looks more user-friendly. 

How has revenue been?

We’ve actually been having a really good year, which is great. We’ve also seen an increase in engagement since the upgrade. We measure engagement by the number of visitors looking for jobs, the number of resumes posted, as well as sales.

That’s great. What do you attribute the success of the career center to?

I think there are a few factors. Naylor, our partner, is doing a great job working with organizations to fill positions and make sure they’re acquiring the right talent. I also think the current job market is attributing to the success. There’s a lot of movement in the industry and that’s helping us gain engagement on the career center. Finally, I think being a resource for members is important. They know that we’re a one-stop-shop for them to look for positions or resumes, or access resources regarding employment. I think that being dependable has really helped us connect with members in this current environment. 

An infographic depicting key stats for the 2021 performance of Forum's Career Center

Thinking about changes to work due to COVID, did Association Forum make any changes to the Career Center?

We didn’t necessarily add any new resources due to COVID, but we highlighted some resources and changed the way we delivered them. So we called out the resume resources and review service, interview skills, things like that. We wanted members to know that we’re the full package when you’re searching for your next position.

And what about employers?

Right. One thing we did for employers during COVID was to extend special offers. We extended the time that job listings were kept live and modified some rules to be more flexible for them. There was just a lot of uncertainty around filling positions during the past year, so we wanted to help employers work through that.

That’s great. Any other resources members and employers should be on the lookout for?

Yeah. Some of the other resources we’ve created don’t necessarily live in the Career Center, but they tie in nicely. We have a guide to reopening your office as well as a video on the topic. Our compensation and HR practices survey was released in July. This is for both employers and individuals and can certainly help both parties.

Any advice for groups looking to get started with a job board?

Find a partner. You don’t have to do this on your own–there are partners out there who will work with you to achieve your goals and make it successful. Make sure your partner is easy to work with and that you have open communication. 


Head over to Association Forum’s Career Center now to check out more than just open positions. If you have a success story with your career center or another non-dues revenue generator, we’d love to hear about it! Email your story tips to Editorial Consultant Kim Kelly.

Other resources offered in Association Forum’s Career Center include:

About the Author

Kim Kelly is Association Forum's Editorial Consultant. She has more than 13 year's experience in association management and owns <a href="">Kim Kelly Consulting</a>.

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