I have a job board that is quite popular in my country. Before I launched it (back in 2014), the primary source of job openings, in the country, is the local newspaper.
The platform became popular because it was the first online solution that was easy to use and also that job posts were free. I know that I am making the cardinal mistake of startups by offering the main service for free, and now I am having some trouble thinking of ways to monetize this platform.
Among the companies that are using the website, I would guess the following about their purchasing power:
50% of them can afford $15 per job post
40% of them can afford $25 per job post
10% of them can afford $100+
At any given time, there are about 90 active jobs per day. This does not mean that every day, 90 new jobs are posted, but actually 90 jobs have not yet expired. We are used by around 200-300 companies.
Originally, when I write up the 'lean canvas', my original main revenue stream was more data oriented. I would index all skilled candidates and allow companies to search for them by keywords (skills, qualifications, experience). I would then allow the company to view the job candidate's resume and profile ONLY (without revealing user and contact information). If the recruiter would like to engage with the candidate, they would pay an affordable fee. Alternatively, I could have allowed job candidates to pay a subscription fee to 'remain visible' to the searching employers. However, I haven't validated this part of the market yet.
I really wouldn't like to charge a fee for job posts (because it reduces the number of jobs on the platform and subsequently may become a less comprehensive source for job openings). However, I would really like to bootstrap this project by earning some small revenue that would keep the project afloat. I am not paying myself and dedicating a lot of time to this project while trying to maintain freelancing.
What is a good way to think about this problem? Your perspectives would be appreciated.