What Everybody’s Talking About: Google Jobs
While the impact of recruiting technology is widespread, it’s still something of a niche when it comes to mainstream news headlines. But that’s not the case when big companies with household names make a move in the recruiting tech arena.
Google recently released more details on its Google Jobs initiative, and it has everyone in the recruiting industry talking. TechCrunch has a good summary of what it’s all about:
In a few weeks, Google will begin to recognize when U.S. users are typing job search queries into Google Search, and will then highlight jobs that match the query. However, Google is not necessarily taking on traditional job search service providers with this launch – instead, it’s partnering with them.
What makes the service interesting is that it’s leveraging Google’s machine learning smarts to understand how job titles are related and cluster them together.
So what does it all mean? And what does it mean for recruiting and job boards?
For many, this move on Google’s part appears to be a big challenge to Indeed, which has often described itself as “Google for Jobs” and has had a dominating presence in the recruiting marketplace for the past several years.
For what it’s worth, Indeed’s President, Chris Hyams, says he’s happy it – but it’s likely that Indeed will make some bold moves in response. Joel Cheesman, writing on ERE.net, suggests a few ways that Indeed can continue to compete, such as focusing on their mobile experience, leveraging non-job content like company profiles and resumes, and being a full technology solution for employers. (Good advice for any job board, not just Indeed.)
Jessica Miller-Merrel of Workology.com is more cautious about the impact of Google Jobs on hiring, pointing out that many recruiters already leverage SEO for their jobs and use paid Google advertising to get their jobs found by candidates. She also wonders whether it would be more effective to focus on the hiring funnel first, rather than job search:
If the two biggest frustrations by job seekers are 1) not finding qualified jobs and 2) the black hole, Google for Jobs should focus on the bottom of the funnel which is the employer. Instead, Google for Jobs is focusing their efforts on indexing job boards instead of a company’s career site and job listings.
On the other hand, Jeff Dickey-Chasins writes on JobBoardDoctor.com that the important thing to remember is the job seekers themselves:
If the API does a better job of getting candidates into the right jobs, with the right employers, it will succeed.
John Elstad writes on Meshworking.com about how recruiters should be thinking about SEO in light of Google’s renewed focus on job search and jobs as web content. He encourages recruiters to think about what you, dear readers, probably already think of as fundamentals for successful recruiting – clear job titles, using job boards effectively, good mobile experiences, and building online communities. Of particular interest is his point about job schema data:
It’s not clear at this point if and how job schemas impact the ranking of relevant jobs, but they do at least appear to affect the way they are displayed within the search results. For example, a little clock icon appears alongside the date or time the job is posted.
Schema.org was founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex, and describes itself as having “a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond.” Job postings have their own schema standards, which can help signal to search engines what different pieces of content mean – like the employer name or the job’s location. It’s possible, as Elstad suggests, that Google may make further use of job schemas to help improve job search results in Google.
Google and other search engines continue to make changes to their search algorithms and how they rank pages across the web. Favouring secure websites with SSL certificates, factoring in mobile-friendliness, and making it harder for spammy, content-poor sites to get ahead are just a few ways that we have seen search engine optimization evolve over the years.
It will be interesting to learn more about these developments, but in the meantime job boards should continue to focus on the fundamentals of providing value for their job seekers and customers, maintaining good technical SEO, and delivering targeted jobs and other useful content to their niche markets.