Organizations often have positions to fill and they use a variety of methods to publicize these vacant roles. With a SharePoint 2013 portal and the new Product Catalog feature, you can create a job postings board for your organization in minutes.
A Product Catalog provides a feature to showcase products by category, similar to an experience you would see on most e-commerce sites. But don’t feel limited to just products—this same feature can work to showcase available jobs in an organization, making it easy for people to discover available positions on an intranet and connect with hiring managers for internal transfers or promotions.
To start, create a new site collection based on the Product Catalog site template, found on the Publishing tab.
This template is focused on being a product catalog data source. You can create a basic site and go through to activate the features to support cross-site collection publishing, creating a jobs list with relevant naming, but for simplicity sake, I’m just using the built-in template to save a few steps.
Once you provision the product catalog site, your homepage will welcome you with a few links to the key configuration steps to publish a product catalog.
I start with the middle step: the item hierarchy in the Term Store. For this example, I created a Job Categories Term Set and I clicked the Intended Use tab to select the Use this Term Set for Site Navigation option. As you can see, I also created a number of sample terms to categorize the job posts with.
You will notice I added a Job Description site column. You might add other fields as well, such as Salary, Rank or Seniority Level, Hiring Manager, and the like. For convenience, assign these site columns to the Product Catalog Column group.
After you create any additional columns, assign them to the Product content type. In particular, be sure to add the Item Category to the content type, because this is the one you will associate with the job categories Term Set and use for navigation and filtering in the publishing site.
If you click the link for the Item Category column you can edit its settings. One you might consider would be changing it from Optional to Required, if desired.
From there, you can click to Edit the column itself. When editing the column, you can specify the Term Set to associate with it as well as other settings.
Once you have that all configured, your product catalog (a.k.a. your job posting catalog) is ready. Return to the Products list and start entering some job postings. It is good to enter at least one job posting with content in each column and then have search index the catalog. This will allow you to configure the search managed properties, thus enabling users to enter advanced search queries utilizing columns in the job postings catalog.
To create a new job posting, click the New Item button in the Products list.
Enter your job posting details and select its category from a term in the Term Set.
Finally, with everything all set up, Click the Library Settings button in the ribbon for the Product list. On the Library Settings page, click the Catalog Settings link. Check to enable the library as a catalog and select the columns to use for the URL.
Once you populate your job postings, you will need the SharePoint search engine to index them before they will be displayed on the portal. If you have Continuous Crawl configured for search indexing, this will help keep your job board fresh with only a short delay between when a user posts and approves a job (note with the default Product Catalog template, you have to approve each item in the list before it is published). If you’re testing as you go, make sure you approve all the items and re-index the list before you look for the items on the portal.
Now your catalog is ready for other sites to consume the job posting items from it to display. For this example, I used a Publishing Portal site template to display the job postings.
Before I configured my portal, I setup a Term Set to use for my portal’s navigation. In the Managed Metadata Service, I created and configured a Term Set to use for Managed Navigation. For this example, I left the Term Set empty for the time being, but I configured the portal site’s navigation for Managed Navigation. To configure this, navigate to the Site Settings and click Navigation Settings.
- In the Global Navigation option, select Managed Navigation.
- In the Managed Navigation: Term Set option, select the Term Set configured for managed navigation. Click OK.
Now that the portal site’s navigation is configured as Managed Navigation, you are ready to connect to the catalog and add the job categories to the navigation. Navigate to the Site Settings page and click the Manage Catalog Connections link. Click the Connect to a Catalog link to navigate to the Connect to a Catalog page.
Find the job board catalog in the list of available catalog connections and click Connect. Review the options on the Manage Catalog Connection page and create the connection.
You can review the connection on the Manage Catalog Connections page.
Depending on the options you configured for the connection, the job categories Term Set will appear by default as a node on your Managed Navigation. This can provide users with an easy way to navigate the different job categories available.
Clicking a category option in the menu then navigates to the category page, displaying a list of available jobs for a chosen category.
You can also add web parts to a portal page to show either the most recent jobs posted for any category, or the jobs for a particular category. For the main intranet portal homepage, you may opt to show the most recent jobs from any category because it targets a general audience. But for department pages targeting a specific audience (and with a vested interest in recruiting for their open positions), you can add a web part displaying available jobs filtered to the category matching their department.
In this example, I achieved these objectives using a couple of web parts:
- Items Matching a Tag (in the Search-Driven Content category): Filters on the Application Management term to display only those roles.
- Content Search: Displays a list of the most recent job postings with its Display Template control set to a slide show, allowing the web part to alternate through the three most recent job postings.
As you can see, you can use a product catalog for much more than displaying products. In this example, I stepped through how to configure a job board to advertise available positions on your SharePoint portal. You can extend this idea with approval workflows, scheduling and disposition for job postings, and pictures (rather than the question mark placeholders for pictures in my example).
You can take this same concept and apply it to countless other examples that involve catalog items organized by categories, such as:
- Employee policies and procedures
- Location or facilities information such as a meeting room list
- Projects and initiatives
- Services catalog
- Case studies
- Knowledgebase articles
- Internal classified ads for used items (with a little configuring to allow everyone to submit and an item expiration policy)