It seems the advance of Google into every aspect of our lives continues apace. Although not new, the UK has just become the latest region to be able to avail itself of Google for Jobs (GfJ), a feature that superimposes a “job feed” above organic search returns. The interesting aspect is that anyone with a website and some HTML skills can now do this via their own website, thus bypassing Job Boards.
At present, this is a free service. Whether that will continue to be the case remains to be seen.
The result of a search is displayed as below and is positioned above any other search results:
Regardless of the financial model that emerges, it is almost certain that GfJ will surely change the way that job searches are conducted by individuals and will have a major impact on websites that currently exist to service the recruitment market.
Give us a job…
What does GfJ do that’s different?
The answer to that is - several things.
First and foremost any organisation wishing to advertise a position needs go no further than their own website. To use GfJ a couple of minor changes are required to the page’s HTML and Google needs to be alerted to the presence of the vacancy posts in order that it can begin indexing and crawling the site. As ever, Google have been posting helpful guides that lead you through the process.
Once that’s done, a search that meets suitable criteria will bring your job advert up at the top of the Google search page, without you needing to further publicise it.
Expiry dates can and should be set to keep jobs current and relevant. Google will flag old jobs to the poster and encourage action to remove them as quickly as possible. Failure to do so will negatively impact your visibility in job search results.
Another key step is to create a page per job – failure to do so could see your job adverts ignored by Google
As you would expect, Google re-uses several pieces of information which you have already created. If you don’t specify a company logo, GfJ will grab and display the logo from your Knowledge Graph, and that in turn takes a certain amount of information from your Google My Business (GMB) entries.
Not up to date on GMB? Have a look here, it’s very much in your interests to stay on top of this. You might suspect, and you would be entirely correct in assuming, that Google is deeply interconnected and to reap the greatest benefit requires some concerted effort.
Back to the main event however…
Google for Jobs should shake up the way you advertise your jobs, and it will affect the way recruitment companies do theirs. For companies who are willing to put in the effort it will deliver much higher visibility to job seekers in general and those interested in your company in particular. The opportunity to raise your visibility both as an organisation as well as a potential employer shouldn’t be ignored. Unless you are wedded firmly to a recruitment agency, GfJ gives you an opportunity to bring potential recruits directly to your front door where you can control the conversation directly. Recruitment companies will probably curse under their breath and then use the technology to their advantage as best as they can.
One company who has done this is ZipRecruiter, and they are impressed with the results. You can read the full case-study here but one comment stands out “They’re basically updating job listings almost in real time”. That’s a neat trick and a serious one as it keeps the attention of job seekers and in ZipRecruiter’s experience sees a higher conversion rate with seekers clicking through to the job or company site more often.
It will be no surprise that there has been widespread discussion of GfJ amongst recruiters. There is a sense of acceptance that runs throughout a lot of the discussion concerning GfJ, understandable given the sheer scale of everything that Google does, but comments are not overly negative.
There is already integration between Google for Jobs and several high-profile websites including LinkedIn, Monster, Glassdoor and others. What is likely to happen is a shift in the way jobs are advertised and there is a sense that the increased flexibility will lead to an overall improvement, both in terms of job seekers finding appropriate vacancies, and for companies to reach suitable candidates. Overall the recruitment industry appears to be viewing this innovation as something that is likely to be of benefit to them in the longer term.
So the future’s so bright I’ll need my shades?
This is all well and good, but it remains a fact that no matter how good algorithms are they cannot (yet) replace the ability of one human being to judge whether another human will be the correct fit for a role or company. If GfJ increases the number of applicants finding your advertised role you are going to have to do a great deal more sorting before you get down to interviewing. This is another area where recruitment agencies feel that they will be able to add value to the process.
Google for Jobs is another instance of Google using their reach and technological expertise to move into new territories. We have come to expect this from them, and the indications are that GfJ may well be a useful innovation for companies, recruitment agencies and job seekers alike.
It raises an interesting question about whether Google could apply this technology to prioritising other search types. Obviously, they already do a lot of this – just look at the ‘shopping’ results when you search for a product - but perhaps we will see a similar level of prioritisation and display of search results becoming more prevalent. Time will tell.
Inspire are ready to help you though this technical labyrinth should you wish to improve the visibility and functionality of your website. We make it our mission to stay on top of current technological innovations so that we in turn can help you, our customers, to get the very best return from your online investment. If you would like to discuss any of the matters raise here, or indeed any web related matters, with us, please contact us for a chat.