Job Engine WordPress Theme Review – Run your own job board with WordPress
As ever you can trust me to tell it EXACTLY like it is. I always review themes from the perspective I have spent the money myself (in fact in most cases I do!) so what can you expect from the Job Engine WordPress Job Board theme thingy-me-jig.
WordPress as a job board? That’s Job Engine a job board WordPress theme
Well, Job Engine is developed by a company called Engine Themes a relative newcomer to the WordPress theme sphere and I received an email asking if I would like to review it etc, etc. Which I must profess I do like it when I get asked to review themes and plugins. Anyhoo what does Job Engine promise? Well according to their website it promises the following:
Easy Setup & Customization
Front End Controls
A Dedicated Mobile site included
Easy To Set Up
Well, all good things I am sure you will agree. In fact, I have been playing with it now for about 8 hours today (I am on holiday) and I must confess was rather excited at the prospect of adding a job board to WPin as a value-added service and potential revenue generator plowing the money generated back into the site.
Installing Job Engine WordPress Theme
As ever a fresh install of WordPress is used all plugins bundled have been removed to ensure no conflicts will arise. In this case, I am using WordPress 4.1 the latest as of the 27th of December 2014. So how easy is the Job Engine theme to install?
Well installing Job Engine is much like installing any other theme, either via the WordPress backend or indeed via FTP. Here I have decided to do it the old-fashioned way. Via the WordPress backend. You will note at the top of the image above there is notice that that points to a setup wizard. So let us go through that and see what it entails, shall we?
Branding Your WordPress Job Board
Well as it states the Setup Wizard will guide you through all the steps necessary to make your own fully fledged Job Board with WordPress. So let’s get cracking with Step 1 which is branding.
Branding gives you the opportunity to put your stamp on things. With your very own logo, favicon, the title of your Job Board and of course the description of your Job Board. Once you have filled this in it’s on to content.
Create Job Types & Job Categories
Step 2 sees you adding content to your shiny new installation of Job Engine. Here we can add in different Job Types, for example, Permanent, Contract, Temporary etc. We also have an option to include Job Categories. For the purpose of this review, I will keep it all WordPress related, why? It’s my review and I do what I want so there. Once you have added in your Job Types and Job Categories it’s on to step 3. Payment options.
Choose Payment Types & Currency For Your Job Board
There is support for a range of payment options available to you. From Paypal, 2CheckOut and cash. Need to take payments in a different currency? Job Engine has you covered, you can accept: Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euro’s, American Dollars, Japanese Yen, British Pound, New Zealand Dollar, Swiss Franc, Hong Kong Dollar and lastly Singapore Dollar.
So as far as payment options are covered it’s pretty much most of the world in fairness. So if you’re looking to accept your local currency you will be well covered indeed. What about Payment Plans? See below:
Create Payment Plans For Your Job Board
As you can see from the above I have already created a Standard Payment plan lovingly called Standard Plan 1. Need to add more than one plan? Well, I did the even better entitled Standard Plan 2 which is more expensive and has a longer availability date and the higher number of job posts. I have also ticked the box for featured jobs. This essentially means that all jobs under this plan will be featured.
Enticing potential job posters to upgrade for an extra $100.00 for featured jobs and of course, nearly double the number of jobs. With a bit of tinkering here, you can make your job plans more alluring with features such as featured jobs, increase the length of the job post itself and of course the number of jobs to post.
Also worth noting you can enable a test mode for payments so you can see the whole process of paying for a job listing and make amendments as you see fit.
Support For Resumes?
Well yes, there is actually. Here you can enable or disable the resume option. By choosing this option you can enable job seekers to post their resume for all to see. In fact, there are more options by enabling this feature to see below image:
By enabling the resume option some more options will show themselves. Here you can add some resume types and of course resume categories. So for example, if you wanted to give job seekers the option of adding themselves to contract work or permanent/temporary work you can do.
Also to help job seekers you can add in some resume categories these will help narrow down job selections for companies and recruitment consultancies. By adding categories such as ‘remote work only‘ or a job sector and even things such as job role types looking for.
This is a great feature for job seekers and indeed parties looking for employees for their companies. By narrowing it down it gives both parties clarity in exactly who they need for a company from an employer perspective and indeed from a job seeker perspective. This is the job seekers opportunity to offer visibility to potential employers and save everyone time in the long run by not being considered for opportunities they’re not interested in.
We all know half the battle for companies and of course recruitment companies finding that perfect candidate for a potential job role is difficult. By narrowing it down and showing what a job seeker really wants saves EVERYONE time. A great feature indeed.
Finished Job Engine Set Up Wizard
Well, we have added in all the options that we need to. Upon hitting the finished wizard bar at the bottom you will be greeted with an ‘Install Sample Data’ notice and it appears it strongly recommends using it when you have no data i.e. job posts and resumes on your set yet. So let’s see what happens when we install sample data.
Well, I had a quick look at the home screen to see how Job Engine looks so far. As you can see from the above it has added in a couple of new categories such as sample sales & sample software and has added in some job posts as well. It does give you a good idea of what your job board will look like once it is filled and gives you an overview of how your site will perform.
Social Media & Job Engine
The rise and rise of social media hey? Well, the Job Engine theme has you covered on this. Revisiting the admin panel after demo data has been installed (even if you don’t install the data) you will see an option to allow users to login via Facebook and indeed Twitter. A great option to speed up the registration for those who are social media savvy and can not be bothered to go through the traditional sign-up methods.
Email Notifications In Job Engine
Another great addition is the ability to automatically set emails and email content for a wealth of instances. Such as new user registration, job alerts, job application notifications and much more. Each one of these can be expanded and you can enter your own content to be sent automatically. Every email template supports the TinyMCE editor so you can add in links and more or keep it plain and simple. It really is up to you.
English Not Your First Language?
Don’t worry Job Engine supports, Dutch, English, French. German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. If your language is not listed worry not you can add a new language via the add a new language button.
By choosing your chosen language in the translator you can edit every element or instance of language pertaining to Job Engine so if you want to call a different section something else apart from the standard you can.
Preventing Spam & Add Social Profiles In Job Engine
Revisiting the settings page after initial install brings up even more features for you to fill in. Here we can amend the description of the website if we wish, add links to social profiles for Google, Twitter and of course, the ever-present Facebook.
There’s even a box for you to add in Google Analytic’s making it a snip to add tracking to your new job board. However what about stopping spammy applications? Anyone who has run a job board in the past or indeed is keen to keep the quality of job applications high can enable the Google Captcha option.
This means that every single application for job roles and indeed any form of contact such as contacting candidates will have to fill in the Google Captcha.
Thus greatly reducing the number of junk applications that apply for jobs or indeed the spammy contact messages. An awesome feature that will go some way to allay fears for potential buyers of the Job Engine theme.
Job Engine Administration
Taking care of your job board is a breeze. Everything is stored centrally for ease of use. Want an overview of how your job board is performing? Then the overview page gives you a rundown on pending jobs, posted jobs, revenue generated applications and more.
As it suggests really, an overview of pending payments, unpaid, revenue made and latest payments so you can keep track of who has paid and who has not and what companies are pending payment.
Company Overview In Job Engine
Here you will find all the companies advertising job roles on your Job Engine powered job board. You can drill down further on each company listing to get a feel for what a company is doing on your site. Perhaps offer incentives and deals and more. It’s a useful way to keep tabs on what is happening in general and of course, build a profile on a company in particular.
Resume/CV Feature On Job Engine
Well, we covered Resumes or the Curriculum Vitae to the rest of us. However, there are quite a few features on Job Engine note when it comes to cvs. Well for a start when looking into the Resume menu option in the back end several things will appear.
From the above image, we can tailor the text if you elect to enable the resume feature to appeal to job seekers. One of the KILLER features of Job Engine is the ability to import a job seekers data from their Linkedin profile. Which to me is pretty darn awesome.
Via an API Key, you can turn on the ability for a user to import Linkedin data directly into your WordPress powered job board. Making it a lot easier to attract quality candidates, who let face it no doubt will be using Linkedin.
The other KILLER feature and nice to see it added in is the ability to hide CV’s/Resumes from the site unless a user is logged in. Thus retaining a sense of privacy and as a job seeker, this is crucial. Not everyone who is looking for work wants the world to know! Great to see it added in here, it’s completely optional of course so you can enable or disable as you see fit.
Sticking With The Resume Feature
Categories and filters can be assigned to CV’s / Resumes. You can create a raft of categories to help your job seekers find the best category that relates to them. You can go to town here and create lots of different filters and categories.
By doing this you’re helping the job seeker and of course the recruiter. Creating filters helps recruiters find a candidate that matches their set criteria and as I mentioned earlier speeds up the whole process for all concerned.
Pay To View Resumes
Another fantastic feature for Job Engine is the ability to enable or disable a pay-per-view element. Don’t want your bank of qualified generally brilliant candidates being seen by all and sundry? Want to make some revenue from them? Well choosing this option will let you set a price in your currency to view Resumes on your WordPress job board for a period of time.
Much like the creating a package page for job postings the same principle applies here, you can create a multitude of different plans to view cvs. A truly great way to monetize your Job Engine powered job site.
Notification Email Templates For Authorization
In the same section, we can set email templates for authentication. Such as a new user registration, job application confirmation, resume approval, resume rejection and contact a job seeker. Again all support the TinyMCE editor so you can add in other links social profiles and more. All are completely optional and can be enable or disable as you see fit.
Your Job Board From A Company Perspective
All these features are awesome, so far the administration is an absolute breeze. However what about your Job Engine powered website from a companies perspective? How easy is to use as an employer? After all, they are your bread and butter so to speak to so keeping it simple is key.
As you can see from above I have changed the package to FREE for demo purposes and have completely logged out so as to create a new company profile and job listing.
Creating An Account On Your Job Board
After selecting your package of choice as an employer you are asked to create an account and agree to terms, Job Engine actually creates a page called terms and conditions and it’s here you will create your terms for employers to abide by.
The above image (click to expand it) is loaded just after you have registered as an employer on the same page, providing a hassle-free process for posting a job. Here we can add a job title, location of the job, which is automatically picked up by Google Maps.
Add in a job description and select how to apply. You can either choose the standard method which is inbuilt in Job Engine or send people off-site to your own website to go through a qualification process.
You can choose contract type and of course a relevant category for the job itself. Add to your company website and a company logo to attribute to your new job entry. After you have filled in and agreed to the terms page you are redirected to a success page with a countdown.
The above is your newly created job. As you can see the employer logo is present as is the application method and social sharing notifications. However, this job is technically not ‘live’ the page URL is merely a preview of what the job role will look like on the website.
We also have an option to edit the job for any last minute changes etc. Which is useful if the employer needs to make amendments to the description or add in a different application email.
It’s then up to the administrator to make the job post live which brings us on to job administration as funnily enough an administrator!
Administering A New Job Post
Logging back in as the administrator you will notice on the front end (not the WordPress backend) we have a new job pending. Here we can go into the job listing itself and approve or reject on whatever grounds we seem appropriate.
Of course, we are notified via email of a new job listing. This is an awesome feature of Job Engine Front End Administration it’s a real time saver and a great way to get a feel if the job is in keeping with the content of your site as a whole.
If you prefer to use the back end of your Job Engine theme you can do of course. You can revisit your overview page and be kept up to date with new listings here. When clicking on the pending job it takes you to the Front End to administer the job itself.
If you prefer to administer jobs as you would a blog post then simply navigate in your WordPress backend to the jobs section and edit as you would a blog post.
Hopping Back Into The Employers Shoes For A Moment
As an employer, you have your very own dashboard. Here you can make changes to your company page on the Job Board itself add in a description of your company and fluff it up a little. Here you can also see how many jobs you have listed and administer them see below:
Here you will be able to view all the jobs listed under your company profile. The above image has some icons next to it, the pen means to edit the job listing (which will have to go through admin approval) an eye which shows you how many views the job has had and a bin for deleting the job post.
Administering your jobs as a company or a recruiter is incredibly easy and such a simple process. Not only do companies get their own profile page they can track everything in one handy place which is a great feature.
Job Engine As A Job Seeker
Well, employers are catered for that’s for sure. What about using the Job Engine WordPress theme from a job seekers point of view? Is it easy or hard? Needs to be easy you know it and I know it.
I do not have the Facebook login or indeed the login with the Twitter option enabled. Not everyone wants to use it so I am doing this the standard way.
Lots here to fill in that’s for sure. However, these options will help visibility of your resume or CV if you will to prospective employers so it’s worth filling this section in with as much info as humanly possible. Highlighting your skills and of course availability.
Another worthy mention is the ability to hide your profile from companies so you do not show up in the search results.
Job Engine Dedicated Mobile Version
As you can see from the above the Job Engine theme has it’s own dedicated mobile version, meaning your job hunters can find your latest posts whilst they are out and about. Or if you’re a company you can post a job on the fly.
Changing The Look & Feel Of Job Engine
As Job Engine is all about front-end customization there is a handy little gear icon when administering the site from the front end. Here you can choose the general color scheme of your site and change colors of links via a color picker and save them.
The changes happen in real time so relatively easy to use. However there are no options for changing the width of your site, there is support for backgrounds etc. There are also a number of widgets to highlight jobs and more. These can be added via the back end and can be dragged and dropped on the front end to get them just right if you wish.
Job Engine Search Engine Optimization
As you will see from above the Job Engine job board does output correctly via a test on Google Rich Snippets. It has the appropriate markup to ensure your job posts are indeed profiled correctly for Google to list them as they are intended. There is also support for keyword phrases via a test performed on SEO Workers. So it’s all good from a search engine position.
Extensions For Job Engine
As with most WordPress app themes, you can of course extend your Job Engine install to add additional functionality to it. There are currently 12 additional extensions to boost the functionality of your Job Engine powered job board they are as follows:
Job Engine Slider
This plugin adds a slider to the home page of your Job board, it also has support for placing via shortcodes etc.
Job Engine Google Map
Adds a map with pins to where jobs on your job board are geographically. Worth a look.
Job Engine PayPal Express
Adds a Paypal Express to your install of Job Engine. Integrates seamlessly view extension here.
Job Engine Paymill
Adds a Paymill support to your Job Engine installation.
Job Engine Job Roll
Allows you to create an iframe to show jobs on any website. A good extension for employers etc.
Job Engine Custom Fields
Create custom fields for job listings and resumes. Check it out here.
Job Engine Coupons
Create coupons and offers for your job listing packages. Give people an incentive to use your job site.
Job Engine Simplyhired Extension
Allows you to import jobs from the SimplyHired job board.
Job Engine Stripe addon
Allows you to utilize the very popular Stripe Payment gateway in your Job Engine theme.
Job Engine Job Alerts
This extension allows job seekers to set criteria to meet upon which they are then emailed when something suitable pops up.”
Job Engine RSS Importer” description
Import jobs from RSS feeds directly into your install of Job Engine.
Job Engine Indeed Publisher” description
This extension will show jobs (not import them) on your Job Engine theme via the Indeed API (sign up required). There Are Problems With The Job Engine Theme
The above is all good in practice and Job Engine has some excellent features that are for sure. However (here comes the however) unlike other reviews performed on Job Engine I pull no punches and there are indeed problems. That’s the point of this Job Engine review down the line.
Namely that everything is hardcoded in. By this, I mean adding a new menu as you would in any other WordPress theme is a labored process. Jobs, Companies & Resumes are hard-coded into the theme so this hampers customization of the theme itself.
Couple that with the fact everything is page template related (not a bad thing) however the main template for the home page technically does not exist not anywhere you can edit it at least. So to create an awesome landing page (there is a landing page template in fairness it’s a token gesture as you cannot edit it in earnest) you’re screwed.
Totally screwed. It would have been nice to be able to create a widgetized homepage with job categories, why use us etc if not for your users but for search engine means as well.
These may seem like minor grumbles but for me, they are a big deal indeed especially seeing as it costs $129.00. I’m not saying that the above cannot be created however you will need to be a coder or at least hire one to make changes if you are code challenged. Which for me defeats the purpose of the theme.
Also, no support for salary banding’s STILL, most WordPress powered Job Board themes have this included as job seekers looking for work want to narrow down opportunities by salary. Who wants to apply for a job below their pay grade? No one. This needs to be added as a standard feature, end of story.
Job Engine has a bunch of AWESOME features no one is denying that but for the price of it the above really, really needs to be actioned. That’s the whole point of this Job Engine review is to highlight what you get for the money and whether it’s worth the investment. For me, I can tinker with code (although I am not a coder) and it would take some time to iron out what I want it do to, so $129.00 is a small price to pay for a feature-packed Job Board theme.
For those who do not have the time to code or indeed cannot code then perhaps you would do well to look elsewhere for a job board theme for your WordPress install. You won’t find that comment on other reviews of Job Engine, that’s for sure.
If you have read my review from top to bottom and are aware of the pitfalls then the Job Engine Job Board theme is available from Engine themes for $129.00
Job Engine WordPress Theme Review
- Ease Of Use - 7/107/10
- Functions - 9/109/10
- Design - 7/107/10
- Cost - 9/109/10
- Search Engine Optimization - 8.5/108.5/10
Job Engine WordPress Theme Review Verdict
If running your own job board is imperative or at least having one on your domain somewhere to compliment your content Job Engine is a good start. However I do believe it is lacking in certain areas namely editing page templates and editing the look and feel.
As long as you are forewarned you will have your work cut out editing and changing the style then fill your boots.