Introduction to Data Retrieval from Company Career Pages:
Recovering data from the web is nothing new. And whether you’re using automated web wipers, DaaS providers, DIY code, or just copy and paste. Each sector collects data from the web. But today, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. There has been an increasing percentage of unemployment. And more people are looking for work than ever before in recent history.
All over the world, multiple industries such as hospitality and tourism have been severely affected. Few airlines like the ones are still in the recovery phase and with “good times” nowhere in sight. People have taken to the streets to apply in industries such as healthcare, delivery management and logistics that have seen growth or are slowly returning to normal.
Many large companies are also on the lookout for bright talent who are currently exposed to the market due to the closure of several promising small startups. Now the only way to connect these two parts is through data. This is where you can enter. You can play a vital role today in helping recruiters and candidates through these difficult times.
Why scrape work data?
Scraping down job data can help you start your own business. Whether you want to start an employment counseling service or create your own online job portal, you can travel many miles using employment data. You can create smart systems to match applicants to job openings, or just create a portal that will help filter jobs more easily – the possibilities for services that can be built on job data are limitless.
Most job boards pull data from other sources and have links to companies that hire through them. This is how websites can add new job postings every day. Some also allow individuals (regular corporate recruiters) to post job offers, for a small fee. A website where you can see such plans would be Linkedin.
Where should you scrape the data from?
Deciding where to retrieve the data is a tough job in and of itself, but to break it down in layman’s terms you could say that the Job Boards and the Business Career section together cover almost every job posting on the internet. Of course, today small businesses even hire people through social media, but this is usually for regional or local recruitments and is limited to certain specific job profiles.
When you are collecting data on jobs, the best place to start is with job boards and job aggregators. You can get lots of jobs by only targeting the top ten job boards in each region and some of the best in the world. Webpages on the same website are generally similar, so one can use the same code to fetch multiple job postings from a single website, but you will have to manage different job sites because two job sites will not have the same web page format.
Another thing to remember is that many job posting sites will only show you their vacancies when you create an account and log into their website. Now, in such a scenario, when you are logged in, you agree to certain terms and conditions. Scratching the data behind a login page can give you trouble. You may also need to check the robot.txt file for each job board to make sure they allow web scraping.
Retrieving data from the company’s career pages
When it comes to company career pages, you may need to set up scraping for separate websites – probably more than hundreds of them. This is because each company’s career page website varies. In addition, you will have to scrape off the best companies in the industries you want to target, based on the regions. Or if you are looking for all types of jobs, you will have to scratch the career sections of almost any Fortune 500 company. This great task has gradually been completed over time. You may also need to take into account booming startups that hire aggressively after being able to secure funding. To capture this information, you will need to retrieve data from websites that provide the latest news related to startups.
How do you scrape the data?
Once you have defined your goals. You need to decide how you want to recover the data. How to deal with it and how to connect it to your business use case. So that you can use a graphical scraping tool. It’s unlikely to be flexible enough that you can use it on hundreds of websites without a huge amount of effort spent understanding the software.
On top of that, using proprietary software would mean depending on a third party company for updates, bug fixes, etc. It is recommended that such a large scale solution be built using an open source language such as Python where third-party libraries are readily available (like BeautifulSoup) that allow for easy website scraping, while still leaving room for endless customizations depending on which website you’re scratching.
What do you do with so much data?
When you get such massive amounts of job data from different websites. You can create a live job feed on your website and use it to attract customers. But the real secrets lie deep in the data. You can harness this data treasure through data analytics and data science. We can create graphs that show the market trends related to hiring in different industry sectors. You can track the number of applicants who use your website to find a job. And use that data more to decide how to list the jobs on your website or which ones to list first.
While we’ve mentioned the two ways you can start mining job data from the web and enrich your website or search, we recommended the latter. Keep in mind that a scratching task like this has to run on so many websites. It should run at regular intervals to keep the data flow healthy and up to date. Requires expensive infrastructure, maintenance, and most importantly, a team to build and maintain.
Our smart job data delivery tool Pikr Jobs does the same job, without the need for a separate web scraping team or infrastructure on your end. Your sales team or research team can directly consume the data and put it to their end use.