One of the main reasons for web crawling is to seek job data. This is no surprise since the employment listings have been steadily on the rise. The number of employment openings has been varying between 6.88 million to 7.05 million every month in the year 2019.
According to statistics, 73% of job seekers, including the active ones and the passive ones, are all looking for employment opportunities. Because of this, there is a high demand for job search data, and this is where web scraping comes in handy.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is the extraction of content or data from online sources using bots. It is basically data harvesting, where web scraping software uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol to access the Web. Since it is automated, it is fast and can gather a lot of information at once.
How Websites Utilize Data from Job Postings
There are several ways to use the data from job postings for your company or your website. The first is providing relevant data to the job search aggregation websites. Next is to use the said data to analyze the trend of jobs to optimize the recruitment strategies. Lastly, compare the data to other competitors in the field to gain a benchmark as to where you currently stand.
Because of the emergence of the Covid-19 virus, the significance of job postings data has increased. Consequently, most companies have been forced to strip their employees of jobs and to function with only a skeletal force.
Some companies have ceased operation or while others have closed. Because of this, the unemployment rate has been on the rise to an alarming rate of 3.5%, up to 14.7%. Because of the steady increase in the unemployment rate, the number of job searches has also been rapidly increasing.
Job scraping is confusing if you are a newbie and you have no idea of what to do and where to start. It doesn’t matter how good you are at using job search aggregation data since data gathering will always need scraping solutions.
Challenges of Web Scraping Job Sites
As with any data gathering process, gathering job data also has its fair share of challenges. Some of these challenges include:
The very first challenge that you will face is choosing the right job aggregator site that you will be scraping. You should keep in mind that to have a reliable data analysis, you must consider more than one website for scraping.
2. Some Websites Use Anti-Scraping Methods
Relatively speaking, web scraping job postings is very difficult. Most of the websites out there have anti-scraping methods set in place, making it very challenging to scrape them. The proxies you will be using can get blacklisted and blocked by the website you attempt to scrape.
As time goes by, websites are getting more advanced at countering the scraping methods and preventing all sorts of automated activities. On the other hand, those people who scrape data are also looking for novel innovations at scraping data and at hiding their footprints, so that they can go under the radar of the anti-scraping techniques employed by the websites.
3. Getting Data Can be Challenging
The next major challenge of data scraping is in figuring out how to get the data. With this, there are several options you can opt for. The first is building and setting up a web scraping infrastructure in-house and/or a job crawler. The other option is in investing funds in job scraping tools. The last method is purchasing databases of job aggregation sites.
Each method has its pros and cons. If you wish to build and set up a job crawler, then expect some financial requirements, especially if you have not yet formed a development and data analysis team. The benefit of this method is that it is not reliant on a third party in receiving data.
If you wish to build a pre-built data scraper, then you will no longer have to pay for a development team, but you will also be very reliant on someone else. You can also perform job scraping using proxies. Many people recommend using proxies for job scraping since they offer high speeds and are very stable.
The last method is the easiest. When you buy pre-scraped databases from those companies that offer job scraping services, you will have to buy now and then. This is because job openings are always changing. To keep your databases updated and fresh, you have to be buying them every so often, which could cost more in the long run.
There are many challenges when it comes to web scraping job postings. However, if you are knowledgeable enough of the different methods and their pros and cons, you should be able to overcome the challenges. Choosing the right job aggregator site is the first step.
After that, you need to choose a method that will work best for you. Lastly, you have to choose the right fuel to power your web crawler. Therefore, it is important to invest in a reliable and good provider.