Google for Jobs - What's in it for Google?
by David Dwyer on 15/07/2019
A more in-depth look at how this new recruitment service works
Of all the players affected by Google for Jobs (GfJ) it's easiest to explain Google's perspective. For job seekers, recruiters, employers and jobs boards, it's all about the effect that GfJ (launched back in July 2018) will have on them.
For Google it's different. It's been a long time since Google was simply an aspiring search engine; since then it's changed its parent name to Alphabet and spread its wings very wide indeed; email, office software, enterprise software, web browsers, analytics, maps, phone operating systems, right through to moonshot type technologies e.g. automated cars, Artificial Intelligence.
However Google is always looking at commercialising its huge reach by directing traffic to access new service offerings, in this case it's taking on the world of job searches.
Google for Jobs isn't a standalone product, rather it is the integration of technologies Google has developed over the years, honed and focussed to benefit those looking for jobs and those seeking to advertise them.
Of all the tech giants, Google was best placed to make this move; they hold substantial data on all of us, since many of us use more than one Google product, and they are the search engine of choice for the vast majority of web users (circa 84% in the UK). Jobseekers are already turning to Google to search for suitable positions, it makes sense for Google to in effect intercept that request and service it themselves.
That's simplifying what GfJ does quite a bit and we have explained it in more detail in previous Insights. It's a two-way street – those entities (be they private sector, public sector, or 3rd sector) wishing to be featured in the dedicated search returns have to do some work to ensure that Google picks up the information (xml schema) about vacancies when crawling their sites.
From the jobseekers point of view, Google is not only returning results based on the search entered but factoring what it knows about the searcher into the results displayed. It is, Google claims, a more personalised result that jobseekers would obtain through any other means.
For recruitment agencies and jobs board the choice is starker – innovate or die!
Do not embrace Google for Jobs then you will lose visibility and ranking!
Embrace it and you will likely hasten the collapse of your direct traffic! We’re already seeing S1 Jobs dropping their Job Credit pricing as they seek to recover lost revenue from what will now be an ever shrinking market.
So, what's in it for Google, given that they aren't charging for this service, at present? In a word: mindshift.
No one doubts that they will start monetizing GfJ in due course. Whether Google charge for the service itself or for ‘enhanced features’, which at a guess will equate to prioritised visibility, charging will come. In the meantime, however, Google is determined to shift user behaviour from other job platforms to using Google. Google need web developers to learn, then engage with HR prior to implementing the XML Job Schema. Given Inspire have been through this process we know it’s not been a simple afternoon task. The prize though is not only removing a cost from our business but also increased reach to our target audience through this fabulous new feature for free.
It's widely acknowledged by recruitment agencies and job boards that they have little choice to use this new technology - not to use it could spell the end of some sectors of the recruitment business. For them this truly is a Hobson's choice; damned if they do, damned if they don't.
It is partly for this reason that Google find themselves facing an anti-trust case in the EU, brought by a number of the bigger job boards.
In a statement, a Google spokesperson said: "Finding a job can be tough, so we worked with jobs providers to create a better experience on Search. Any provider-- from individual employers to job listing platforms-- can use this feature in Search, and many of them have seen a significant increase in the number of job applications they receive. Since launch, we’ve made a number of changes to address feedback in Europe."
These cases by their very nature can take time to be heard, argued and decided upon, in the meantime while it may pain them to do so, the recruitment sector is going to have to modify their practices to make use of GfJ.
We have covered the changes and decisions jobs boards, employers and recruitment agencies are faced with in earlier Insight articles and whatever the outcome of the EU investigation – and it is no more than that at present – GfJ is already changing the recruitment and jobseeker landscape.
How will Google monetize GfJ? Best guess at present is everyone's favourite, pay per click (PPC). Presumably employers, recruiters and job boards will pay Google every time their advert is clicked on. Whether that would lead to increased prominence in the GfJ search return is at present nothing more than speculation. Alternatively, Google may offer priority placement for a payment. Since, as they argue above, anyone can use this service at present to better reach jobseekers, that argument becomes slightly less persuasive if GfJ becomes just another method of paid advertising. It's highly unlikely they'll place any monetisation at the indiv user, although it's certainly possible.
We have been paying close attention to GfJ since it was rolled out in Europe and we have been using it ourselves, noting that we saw a marked increase in responses to roles we advertised.
GfJ is too big to be ignored, as our coverage has shown, so whether you're an employer looking to take control of your recruitment, or an agency aiming to remain at the top of your game, Inspire can help you reach your goals of high-profile, effective recruitment advertising.
The next potential movement from Google would be to have Google for Homes that take feeds direct from Realtors and Estate Agents wishing to cut out the likes of Zoopla, Right Move, On The Market, Prime Location, etc.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you with of Google for Jobs, and all aspects of web design and search engine optimisation, please get in touch for a free initial chat.
Unlike other design companies we are constantly looking at new and disruptive technologies to improve the performance of our client's online presence.
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