How To: Add a "Related Jobs" Section

One of the most common requests we get is “do you have a related jobs” feature. The answer is technically and unfortunately no. And there are reasons for that, but there is also a way to get close to one. We hope this doc page will help you do that.

What does it mean to be “related”?

Consider you’re a firm that hires in the financial industry. One of your firms, an “Accounting Firm” asks you to hire all their open positions for them, including a CFO, a Senior Accountant, a Junior Accountant, and a paid Internship.

Since all the jobs are for an accounting firm, all four jobs are put into your Bullhorn category “Accounting.” All four jobs exist in the same city. All four jobs are for the same firm. If the firm has special requirements or certifications, like an expertise in forensics or taxes, all four jobs will get tagged with those required skills.

But are they related? Not really! Each one of those jobs is wildly different! They have very different pay, very different expectations on experience, and even likely some different expectations for education.

The problem with us trying to build a one-size fits all “related jobs” feature is that we will either build something so general it won’t work well for the average firm or we will build something so specific it won’t work well for the average firm. Unfortunately, there is not a middle ground.

Each and every jobs website powered by Matador would define what is “related” differently and in most cases multiple data points will need to be evaluated to determine what, if any, relationship a job has to another, and if that relationship is strong enough to warrant showing it to a potential candidate viewing a job.

“Related” Jobs Require Custom Algorithms

Going back to my “accounting” example, in no way should the person considering an application to the CFO role even be shown the internship role, even though there are strong relationships between the jobs when it comes to skillset, city, and firm. There are a few factors that should obviously disqualify the two jobs from being related, notably the required years of experience for the CFO role and the difference in salary between the two.

Theoretically, our relationships search should evaluate several points, including name, keywords in the job description, city, firm, salary, skills required, years of experience required, and more, and then score the strength of those relationships. A higher average score means a greater relationship but if any number of data points are particularly dissimilar, they should disqualify the relationship entirely. Our search should return a number of related jobs ordered by the strength of the relationship.

In our example, the CFO role should return other Executive level roles only. This result should care less for the location of the job, because roles like these often include relocation. Meanwhile, the Internship role should return other internships only, with a preference to more local options, because interns are not provided relocation.

What I just described is a scope for an algorithm. Algorithms are sets of complex instructions used in problem solving, often by computers.

To build an algorithm that returns truly related job results would be complex requiring custom rules for each hiring firm and require a lot of data storage and processing power in your server.

Since Matador is a generally one-size-fits-all solution and since its designed to work on the lower-powered web servers that host WordPress websites, we are unable to provide a “related jobs” tool that we feel lives up to the expectations of you and your job seekers.

That said, if you’re willing to accept more simple solutions, we can point you in the right direction.

Building “Related” Jobs Features

Here are few steps you can take to get some “related jobs”-like features for your website:

Step 1: Data, Data, Data

Matador needs many data points to build strong relationships. Many agencies don’t allow Matador to import many beneficial data points due to a combination of the following: privacy or contractual reasons with their customers, concerns about corporate espionage, or interests in preserving bargaining power for recruits. We understand this, however, this causes your jobs lack the data to build strong relationships (and also hurts your job’s search engine optimization too). Allow as much data as possible, including by adding custom fields and importing additional taxonomies (eg: Skills, Industries) from the All-Access Plugins.

Step 2: Use Categories, Industries, and Skills instead of just Categories

Bullhorn categories are often misused. Going back to our financial industry recruiters, we might see misused categories such as “Finance”, “Investment Banking”, “Banking”, “Accounting”, etc.

What makes them bad? These are industries, and each of those industries have several different kinds of roles. If you organize your jobs by industry-like categories, a category might have Executives and Internships.

Instead, leverage Bullhorn’s Skills and Industries sub-categorization tools to lump all your similar jobs together first and then separate them by industry.

Our financial industry recruiting firm might now have a category each for “Internships”, “Executives”, “Managers”, and “Accountants”, and then each job added to those categories can be separately assigned to their industry.

In Matador, you can now give users a more granular search while also having useful top-level categories that group truly related roles into one category, like all Executive roles or all Internship roles.

Step 3: Redefine “Related” Sections on Your Site/Design

Avoid putting a section header on your site that says “Related Jobs”. Instead lower the expectations of that section for your job seekers while increasing the value of it by adding a headline that more descriptively explains the relationship.

“Other Jobs in XYZ Category” or “Other Jobs in Boston, MA” can set clear expectations for job seeker on how the “related” jobs are determined. If they, therefore, aren’t looking specifically for roles in Boston, they can therefore ignore the section completely.

Step 4: Query the Datapoint For Your Relation

Now that we’ve created more datapoints, better organized our relationships with categories and sub-categories, and modified our site to set more clear expectations of “related jobs” sections, we can get to creating the code that gets related jobs.

This step requires access to your code.

Say you’d like a “related” jobs section tied to the ‘category’. Use WordPress to query that information from the job. Consider the example below:

$first_category_id   = false;
$first_catgeory_name = '';
$categories = wp_get_object_terms( get_the_ID(), 'matador-categories' );
if ( $categories ) {
   $first_category = $categories[0]->ID;
   $first_catgeory_name = $categories[0]->name;
}

That code snippet, if it “found” the job category for the current job, will save the ID and name of the category.

Now we can use the matador_get_jobs() function (or shortcode) within a conditional statement checking if the category was found to get related jobs:

if ( $first_category_id ) {
	$jobs_args = array(
		'as' => 'listing',
		'fields' => array(
			'title' => 'Title',
			'date' => 'Date Posted',
			'employmentType' => 'Employment Type',
			'job_general_location' => 'Location',
		),
		'jobs_to_show' => 5,
		'paginate' => false,
		'category' => $first_category_id,
	);
	echo '<h4>Other ' . $first_category_name . ' Jobs</h4>'; 
	matador_get_jobs( $jobs_args );
}

This use of the matador_get_jobs() function uses ‘category’ value above to create a listing of jobs from the category with Title, Date Posted, Employment Type, and Location. It finds up to 5 jobs and disables pagination.

You can use other arguments with the matador_get_jobs() function to limit results also to multiple taxonomies (eg: “Executives” category & “Accounting” industry), or even with a little more code add such things as a salary compare to the search as well. We provide the tools to create more granular searches so that your results are right for your job seekers.

Conclusion

While Matador cannot have a truly related jobs function due to the reasons described above, we can help you get close. By following the steps above, you may be able to provide a useful tool for your job seekers and/or the firm you are working to build a website for.