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In 2022, the biggest business story in the U.S. was the labor shortage facing the country. Organizations from hospitals to corporations to schools said the biggest obstacle blocking the way to success was access to labor.

Employers turned to niche associations and communities like never before to help solve their talent problem. In this regard, it’s fair to say that association career centers are in a perfect position to help solve a top economic challenge facing the U.S.

Let’s review 10 ideas to grow both non-dues revenue and your members’ careers during tough economic times.

1. Provide easy to access insights about what it’s like to work in the jobs in your field. 

With a Career Insights section added to your association’s job board, members can explore career options such as: 

  • Typical salary ranges 
  • Skills required to perform a job 
  • Outlook for the profession 
  • Education levels possessed by workers in the profession 
  • Day in the life videos 
  • Typical activities performed 
  • Recommended jobs  


Career Insights

Career Insights – Career Planning Portal by YM Careers

This is useful information for job seekers when planning their career paths, and even for early career professionals considering entering the field. You can imagine how this could help students weigh their options and perhaps dedicate themselves to your profession – which helps drive future members and engagement. 

2. Give members industry-specific career advice.   

Provide job seekers with high-quality, usable information that makes them more successful with their job search or career advancement strategies in your field. Think about the importance of giving your career center users a well-organized and easy-to-navigate directory of the best professional career articles and content. They can quickly and easily find the right articles and tips, based on their objectives. For example, filter topics by:  

  • Building a professional brand 
  • CVs, resumes and cover letters 
  • Professional networking, both online and offline 
  • Interview preparation 
  • Job offer negotiation 
  • Work/life balance 
  • Leadership  

Associations that use YM Careers job boards can offer members a large variety of great career content, generally written by third parties so they don’t need their own editorial team. The authors for career advice are trusted professionals with deep experience. Users can click on their profiles to learn more about them, see their credentials, and follow them professionally.  

Career Advice

Career Advice – Career Planning Portal by YM Careers

Articles are continuously updated so job seekers can trust that as the job market evolves, the content stays up to date with the job market. And, most important for associations is the customization of content for each niche industry. 

3. Screen and promote excellent career coaches. 

There are times in a job seeker’s life when professional guidance can help them reach their goals more quickly and efficiently than going in alone. Consider having a directory of vetted, experienced, high-quality career coaches. They should have specific experience in your industry to make sure they align with the needs of your members.  

Career Coaching

Career Coaching – Career Planning Portal by YM Careers

Coaches can help job seekers work through certain challenges they might face, add direction to their career goals, help prepare CVs or resumes, or prepare for interviews. You should provide users with coach’s social media tags, bios, and any relevant certifications and affiliations they may have. 

By offering career coaches through your association’s job board, instead of a cluttered Google search, job seekers in your industry can turn to you to find career guidance. You don’t need to offer any services for free, and the coaches can take their relationships with your members offline. Just directing members to those who can help them makes you more valuable. 

4. Offer members a map of all possible career paths in your field. 

Career paths provide users with a clear map of how to get from point A to point B in your industry – from the job they have today, to their dream job. And along each step, members can access descriptions of different roles, primary responsibilities and educational requirements, and even real open jobs from your career center. It’s a great career planning tool, especially for early career professionals to better understand the opportunities in your field.

Computer screen showing UM Careers, Career path tool

Career Paths – Career Planning Portal by YM Careers

Creating a tool like this on your own takes a good amount of research and thought. Alternatively, some job board providers like YM Careers include complete Career Paths for many industries in their career centers. Either way, you can see how this tool empowers professionals to think about their futures. 

5. Promote your career center resources 

The job board is among the most trafficked sections of many associations’ websites. Make sure there is real estate on your job board to pull job seekers and professionals into using these tools. Likewise, embed links and promotional messages in other sections of your digital assets and website including your homepage navigation if that’s appropriate.  

Make it clear that you provide resources to help members and employers plan, prepare for, and achieve their career objectives, beyond just job postings. It’s not a case of “if you build it they will come.” These benefits must be marketed, which can be as simple as sharing information about them via your social media channels.   

6. Provide all the data members need to make better career decisions. 

YM Careers offers a service called Career Benchmark Dashboards, which utilizes a data visualization and business intelligence tool at Community Brands. We survey members on topics such as employee satisfaction, work/life balance, and benefits and use that data to provide powerful visualizations back to your industry, based on real peer data. 

YM Careers takes the survey responses, builds an interactive filterable tool that each user can slice and dice to meet their own needs. The filters allow users to compare themselves to peers with similar characteristics. 


Career Benchmark Dashboards benefits everyone, providing: 

Job seekers 

  • Informed career planning 
  • A framework to think about their values, such as income vs. career satisfaction 
  • Benchmarking of compensation and benefits 
  • Leverage during negotiations 
  • Setting realistic expectations 


  • A way to gauge the right total rewards to attract talent 
  • A framework to understand what matters most to the talent they seek to attract and retain 

Your association 

  • Industry thought leadership and advocacy by providing data around gender pay gaps, top issues facing the profession through the eyes of members, etc. 
  • Marketing exclusive industry findings 

Career Benchmark Dashboards helps members make more informed career decisions, employers create more desirable work environments, and associations elevate their profile as a career destination for industry professionals. And, it provides another way to generate non-dues revenue. The tool would drive more traffic to your job board, which means more job seekers for employers, which results in more employers paying your association to recruit them. 

7. Track job board data. 

Learn from your job board data, which includes: 

  • Job seeker sign ups 
  • Employer sign ups 
  • Resumes posted 
  • Jobs posted 
  • Job views 
  • Job applications 
  • Locations of jobs posted 
  • Job seeker locations 
  • Job alert creations 

If you can, create visualizations or at least exportable reports of this data.  You can share this data with members and use it to make informed decisions to help grow your association. 

Analytics for Everyone: How to Become a Data-driven Organization

Watch this on-demand webinar to learn a framework for creating a data culture, tips for data governance and how you can maximize your data culture.

You can use associated contact information to conduct targeted outreach to segments of job seekers. Additionally, use this information when considering where to hold networking events, regional events or career fairs. You can also share this information with employers, who could use it to focus their recruiting efforts. 

8. Offer a placement service to members under your association’s brand. 

This is something that YM Careers provides on a white label basis to associations – basically a staffing agency. We have a team of professional talent acquisition professionals who offer to place association members into jobs. This is similar to the familiar “headhunter model,” but instead of taking orders from employers and cold calling candidates, our team works with the candidates on an association’s job board, then approaches relevant employers based on candidates’ personal wants and career objectives.  

If the employer hires those candidates, they agree to pay a fee. This gives your association a competitive advantage thanks to your resume databases, because you know the amount of niche employees searching for a job at any given time and can market them to employers. 

There is no charge to the members nor the associations that decide to use the YM Careers Association Placement Service. Employer revenue is shared back with your association as a form of non-dues revenue. Most importantly, this type of personalized career assistance is an invaluable member benefit. 

9. Host onsite and virtual career fairs. 

Your association can host career fairs at your regional or national meetings. This provides a great reason for more attendees to join you and create connections between job seekers and employers. YM Careers hosts these events for dozens of associations and have event experts onsite managing the event.  

Employers that want to attend and recruit onsite pay to sponsor booths. YM Careers provides our customers with the marketing materials they need to promote the events to members. We often also bring in extras like free resume or CV review sessions for members. 

virtual career fairs

The same applies to virtual career fairs, which don’t require members and employers to travel.  During a typical virtual career event, employers live screen dozens or hundreds of candidates, and candidates live screen dozens of employers, in just hours. 

If the economy gets tighter in 2023, this could be a great way to help your job seekers. Career events hosted by YM Careers are easy for your association and generate revenue from employers who pay to attend. 

10. Consider a recruitment guide for your members.   

A digital and printed recruitment guide is sent to your members electronically and handed out physically at your events. It gives employers an opportunity to tell their stories to your members and is full of great information about organizations in your field looking to hire.  

This can be a useful resource for members and generates non-dues revenue from the employers who pay to be included. YM Careers manages the entire process for our association customers, selling the ads and producing the recruitment guides. 

recruitment guides

Recruitment ad sales 

It’s important to have a dedicated sales effort to sell your job board products to the employers who need them. Like any good inside sales effort, your recruitment ad sales should have specific, trackable and measurable goals. Here are examples of KPIs that YM Careers tracks for our recruitment ad sales teams: 

  • Sourcing employer leads 
  • Utilizing better communications technology 
  • Adding new sales people 
  • Automating sales tasks   
  • Conversion rates 
  • Amount of outbound sales activities  
  • Number of closed sales transactions per day   
  • Average sales price 

Together these types of KPIs help your association forecast and set reasonable sales targets. If you have internal staff selling for your association’s job board, consider implementing these types of KPIS. If you rely on a third party, hold them accountable for reporting these KPIs back to you.

Discover how YM Careers can grow your association's non-dues revenue and members' careers.

Request a personalized demo today.

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