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How TAF helped its members get more talent for hard-to-fill jobs

Trade Association Forum’s new job board, built and powered by Workable, aims to help trade associations solve their recruitment challenges for hard-to-fill roles by providing several tools to attract and hire the best candidates.

Mihaela Popa
Mihaela Popa

Product Manager at Workable

Trade association forum virtual job board by Workable

The challenge

The solution

  • Recruitment is a challenge for TAF’s member associations with some positions taking up to 7 months to be filled
  • Lack of awareness among jobseekers about the prospect of working in an association
  • Limited tools and self management options when it comes to managing recruitment processes
  • A platform to build TAF’s brand and help grow awareness and applications to trade jobs
  • Member-managed posting to reduce admin time and fill jobs faster
  • More commercial opportunities through partnerships and premium job ads
  • Intuitive and streamlined job posting and management tool

Workable partnered with TAF – a group of trade associations who come together to share best practices, network and learn from each other – to launch Jobs at UK Trade Associations, a job board dedicated to helping TAF’s member associations attract quality applicants.

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With Workable’s recruitment expertise and inspired by the results of our first branded job board, IG@work, we created Jobs at UK Trade Associations to help TAF’s members deal with recruitment challenges and increase awareness among candidates of the impact working for a trade association can bring. Trade associations are a vital part of the UK economy, representing their sector to the Government, driving standards and sharing best practice.

Since the launch, over 150 trade associations have joined the job board, with an increasing number of jobs being advertised and more and more candidates coming in every day. 

We spoke with Harry Shackleton, Commercial Director at TAF, about their organization’s experience of working with Workable to launch a job board and give TAF’s member associations necessary tools to manage their recruitment processes. 

“Partnering with Workable offered a great solution to raise the profile of the job board and help our members access more and better qualified candidates,” Harry says.

“Partnering with Workable offered a great solution to raise the profile of the job board and help our members access more and better qualified candidates.”

“Having a job board is a great member offer for trade associations and helps raise the profile of the association as well as delivering real world value to members and the community.”

Why TAF wanted to create a job board for its member associations

The recruitment market has become more and more challenging in the past few years, with 62% of TAF’s member associations reporting that hiring has been more difficult for them in the past year, according to Trade Association Forum’s Annual Benchmarking Survey.

This increased difficulty is driven, in part, by the number of quality candidates that associations were able to find – with 42% reporting fewer applicants when recruiting and 35% reporting less high-quality candidates.

According to Harry, this is in part due to the fact that working for a trade association “is not a common career path, so getting candidates to see themselves in these roles is hard.” Unless candidates stumble across it, working in a member organization is often not under consideration.

Harry adds that another reason why getting quality candidates is a struggle for associations is that while “the most in-demand roles at trade associations are for marketing or member engagement and retention”, these skills are most of the time universal and in demand everywhere, therefore associations often find themselves competing with the private sector.

As Harry mentions, even though associations can’t always match the offers from private businesses, they can “offer great flexibility and a clear sense of purpose to candidates.”

Finally, although Trade Association Forum had experimented previously with creating its own jobs board, it did not succeed in “attracting enough candidates for roles”, nor did it have any self management options, limiting its usefulness for member organizations.

Since TAF knew from its benchmarking with members that access to talent is one of the biggest challenges facing associations, they decided they “needed to find a solution”.

How Workable helped

With over 10 years of experience building software, working with small businesses, and enabling organizations to find and hire great candidates, Workable offered a solution that could solve the challenges that Trade Association Forum and its member associations were facing.

“Partnering with Workable offered a great solution to raise the profile of the board and help our members access more and better qualified candidates.”

One of the main benefits that TAF achieved by building their job board with Workable is the ability for members to self manage.

“Previously we had to do all the admin ourselves, Our branded job board allows our members direct access to the platform to create and post their own jobs – giving them control and reducing the capacity burden on us,” says Harry. “The admin portal is nicely designed and easy to use.”

“Our branded job board allows our members direct access to the platform to create and post their own jobs.”

He adds that the implementation of the board was an easy process for TAF. “The Workable team did all the hard work and we were up and running within a month or so.”

From first interaction through to ongoing account management, the board is up and running and already starting to see results.

See what a branded job board can do

Contact us to see more about our branded job board program and how your community can benefit.

Learn more

Successes so far

Since the launch, more than 150 associations have joined the job board and although it’s early days, TAF already is “seeing more candidates come through the board”.

Workable is also able to offer a more professional recruitment offer to TAF’s members.

Harry explains: “As the board grows, we hope to make our board the home of trade association jobs in the UK.”

Moreover, the board is not only helping with TAF’s member associations recruitment, it is also a great hope for TAF’s own sustainability efforts.

“As we grow the board then we will also grow more commercial opportunities through partnerships and paid-for job ads, which will also bring a welcomed new revenue stream.”

Read more customer stories here.

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