When Google for Jobs launched in the US earlier this year many saw it as welcome help for one of the hardest tasks facing any business: finding the right employees. Google for Jobs is one of Google’s first steps into the recruiting space and has been launched initially in the US, although it has high hopes of moving into other territories very soon.
Google’s aim is to make the job search process easier and ultimately far more accurate, by utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to refine searches and provide tailored results.
So what is Google for Jobs?
According to Google, Google for Jobs ‘uses machine learning to understand how job titles and skills relate to one another and what job content, location, and seniority are the closest match to a jobseeker’s preferences.’
To do this, Google has partnered with job recruitment giants such as CareerBuilder, Monster, LinkedIn and Glassdoor and the result is a streamlined job search engine that sorts and collects listings from all over the web and puts them in the hands of jobseekers in one place. Google for Jobs is very similar to what Indeed offer currently.
You can’t directly post adverts on Google for Jobs as it is not a job board. It’s an enhanced search feature that aggregates and features job postings that are already published on job boards and career sites, in a dedicated space at the top of the search results on Google.
Driven by artificial intelligence Google for Jobs is all about data, specifically all the personal data that Google collects about the candidate from the web. Drawing on a candidates browsing, search, location and online document storage history, Google for Jobs can form a picture of you, your aspirations and experience and in return deliver personalised and bespoke job opportunities.
At a glance you can see details including job title, location and have access to further details such as job descriptions and even use Google Maps to see how long the commute will be.
There are two main ways to list roles on Google for Jobs: by using a job site that’s integrates with Google for Jobs or by integrating your site directly with Google. The likes of Facebook,
LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Monster are already integrated with Google for Jobs and new posts on these platforms will also appear on Google for jobs as standard.
The other way to get your job listings to show up on Google for Job is to edit the HTML of the job postings on your career site and Google can then index your postings onto Google for Jobs.
What does this mean for recruitment companies?
Google for Jobs will certainly mean change. We will have to wait and see what the changes will be after Google for Jobs is launched globally, however it certainly will have an impact on the way we recruit and how applicants search.
The good news is we still have time to get organised before the UK launch of Google for Jobs. The bad news is that a recent survey found that 50% of the websites of the country’s largest recruitment firms are not set up for Google for Jobs to read and therefore their job postings will not be shown in the personalised search results, when Google for Jobs launches in the UK. This figure is worrying as Google for Jobs could launch anytime and if the largest firms aren’t ready then it is very unlikely that smaller firms will be.
As we have already said Google is all about data, and this data needs to be given in a structured format that Google can easily crawl through. Monster, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn use the same mark up on their pages as Google for Jobs, which allows them to serve more jobs in a structured way than most other websites and makes them an obvious target for Google to trawl through and use on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).
Initially the priority has to be changing how we format our web pages so Google can interpret the information in order for it to show up on Google for Jobs in the first place.
There are concerns that users will be less likely to click on organic listings within the SERPS and just go straight to the Google for Jobs search feature rather than scroll down and look for alternatives, although we will have to wait and see if these fears become reality. There is the potential that recruiters will just rely more heavily on job referral sites to drive traffic through to their recruitment sites, this could be a risky and expensive mistake.
However, there is greater potential if recruiters focus on developing their brand and candidate experience to ensure that candidates return to their sites and they build long term relationships. A positive candidate experience will become even more important.
Google for Jobs has certainly allowed us to start considering a world where people could find more suitable jobs faster and where employers get fewer but more appropriate candidates, which can only be a good thing.
One thing we do know for sure is that Google is best placed to lead us into AI and machine learning for recruitment. After all they are experts in understanding our search terms and providing meaningful results, this is what Google does best, so applying it to recruitment is a natural move. However, Google aren’t the only ones trying to dominate this sector, Facebook is making advances as well and it doesn’t end with Facebook. In addition to the biggest search engine in the world and the most popular social network, popular job boards and career site such as Monster, LinkedIn and Glassdoor are also trying to help us find jobs using AI and machine learning, which will continue to make for interesting times in the recruitment industry for some time to come.