Introduction to Web Scraping of Job Postings:
Web scraping, also known as data scraping, refers to the process of retrieving data from a website and storing it in an accessible format on your local computer or the cloud. Choosing to manually copy and paste data will take days because most of the data is displayed using a browser. This process is automated by a web scraper which only takes a few seconds to complete the task.
In the web scraping industry, job data is considered important information. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Workplace Report, about 51% of workers are looking for new jobs in developed countries while 58% are looking for jobs online. This means that the online job market is huge and being able to keep track of the data can bring you positive results if you are a job aggregator, a company looking to hire or just want to be hired.
Web Scraping of Job Offers:
There are two main sources of job data:
Task aggregator sites are more difficult to scrape because they use anti-itching techniques such as Captcha, IP blocks, honey pot traps, etc. to protect their information from scraping robots. However, job vacancies from a business are much easier to scratch. But each company uses a different interface, which means that you will have to use a different crawler for each. This is not an easy task, as it is expensive and difficult to maintain robots when a website undergoes changes.
These are the tools that you can choose from when you delete job postings from the web.
Use of a web scraping tool:
Advances in technology have made it easier to scrape the Web, even for people from a non-technical background. Many web scraping tools or web extractors can be easily found with a single click, some of the most popular being Octoparse, Scrapy, and more. These tools retrieve the necessary data by deciphering the HTML structure of the web page. All you need to do specify what you need and the program will use its algorithm to understand your requests. Then, your scratching is done automatically without even moving a finger. You can also schedule an analysis period for most of these tools, which will then perform the tasks effortlessly and integrate the data into your system.
- Most web scraping tools such as Scrapy and Octoparse are free open source programs. Others have a free version but require monthly payments to allow you to use all of the features. Import.io, ParseHub fall under this criterion. Monthly expenses range from $ 60 to $ 3,000 or more for these tools.
- Since these tools require you to simply drag and select, they are easy to use even for people who know little or no coding. Some of them even offer robot configuration services and training sessions.
- These tools can manage projects of all sizes. You can ask him to scratch a single web page or choose thousands of websites. However, if you are using the free version of a web scraping tool, you will likely find limits on the number of pages you can scratch per day.
- A web scraping tool is very easy to set up.
- If you are familiar with the process, it will not take you long to learn how to configure new robots or to modify existing robots yourself.
- No track maintenance is required on your side, so there is no maintenance cost.
- Although it is easy to learn how virtual scrapers like Import.io, Dexi.io, and Octoparse work, others may take some getting used to.
- Although web scraping tools claim that they are compatible with sites of all kinds, it is far from the truth. There are millions of websites and no single tool can cover them all.
- Most web scraping tools cannot resolve Captcha.
Manufacturing of an internal web scraper
You can create a web scraper internally from scratch. While the idea may seem unconventional, there are many free tutorials on the Internet that you can check out before you start your new business.
- You govern the exploration process.
- There is no problem in communication, because you control the whole process, which results in faster rotation.
- The web scraping process requires a high level of technical knowledge and skill. This makes the process of building your scraper difficult even if you hire professionals. Unexpected obstacles can be easily resolved using web scraping tools or data service providers rather than relying on an independent program. When dealing with large amounts of regularly scraped data, it is best to leave it to the professionals.
- A wide variety of infrastructures ranging from the proxy service provider, a third-party Captcha solver, a range of servers required. Acquiring these essentials and maintaining them daily is a tedious task.
- The scripts will need to be updated regularly or rewritten periodically. Otherwise, they will experience outages in the event that a website updates their interface.
- The issue of web scraping is legal or not debated by many. Although public information is generally considered safe to scratch, there are still some gray areas. If you want to avoid legal problems. It is best to check the website’s TOS (conditions of service) before trying to scratch it. This is not possible for every website that you scratch. This is why depending on professionals to do the work minimizes the risk attached to it.
There is however a third option that can help you provide an end-to-end solution. Not only for the extraction of your data but also for their analysis. And spot trends, or access hidden information.
Our team at PromptCloud provides a named service JobsPikr, in which we provide an automated web scraping service where we use machine learning techniques to explore the pages you want and provide the data in CSV or JSON format for easier integration into your system. Scratching job openings is fairly straightforward if you scratch them from a single web page. Or if you delete multiple articles from the same website. But as soon as you add multiple websites and other constraints and dependencies, it becomes a Herculean task.