With the arrival of (somehow) smarter versions of Google more frequently than ever, the launch of Google for Jobs, it seems, couldn't have come at a better time. But, what does it mean for recruiters?
AI is dominating the forefront of emerging technologies, with the big tech players investing in smarter machine learning, making user experience smoother, more realistic and a lot easier.
With AI, we see Google Assistant on our mobile phones making smart predictions based on our everyday lives and interactions - even making phone calls on our behalf (check out creepy Google AI booking a hair appointment).
Likewise, Amazon arrived onto the AI scene with Alexa/ Amazon Echo, giving you a handy home assistant with the freedom and ease to order a pillow with Nicholas Cage's face on it from a different room just by shouting "Alexa! Order me a pillow with Nicholas Cage's face on it!", and boom it's on its way. Thanks Amazon.
However, my point is that the consumer experience is changing, and even for the Google search engine, which in it's element seems "perfect", it is always evolving (smarter algorithm, better results). For example, the depth of searching a term has increased dramatically over the years and will now bring up much greater results and suggestions on shopping, maps, organisation cards with handy information, travel information, pricing, and now... jobs!
So how does it work?
Well, in most instances, the job search starts on a search engine, probably Google, (if you're still using Bing, this article probably isn't for you). The change is now, when searching "data entry online jobs", Google will bring you an array of jobs with many more options, much like what you would see on a job board or employer website.
However, Google will pull these straight from all the job boards and websites you would otherwise be running around spending time visiting, and puts them all in one pretty list. Sounds great! But, what about the people who spend tons of money on advertising to get their websites to the top of Google search results? Or spend a ton of money to advertise directly onto those job boards? What about the recruiters who rely on their best performing job boards to capture the candidates before the end client does?
It's a squeamish predicament for the average recruiter, but not for the smart one.
Understanding that some power is being taken away from job boards, gives more power to your own organisations website. This is the hub and the epicenter of your recruitment business. Marketing relies on those jobs being advertised on your organisations own branded website, to navigate any form of communications, back to that job ad. Understanding that Google works above and beyond to get the right jobs in front of that candidate is important, and for the recruiter, consistency is key here - well structured job descriptions with the right information will perform better and appear in related job searches.
How does it do this? Under 'Schema formatting', an algorithmic system which directs search queries, to your job ad. This is where your website developers should have your job ads rigged and ready to go in-line with the arrival of Google for Jobs.
So, is this good or bad? Well, from what I gather, small / mid size recruitment companies and smaller niche job boards will come off better in this scenario, with increased exposure in what used to be a very saturated space, dominated by larger organisations with bigger SEO budget. Therefore, it is the 'big fish' that might suffer as Google for Jobs could result in a reduction of the direct website traffic they have been used to, as consumers will be skipping the visit and instead will browse through jobs on Google's platform.
In a sense, I believe it forces better results for everyone.
Recruiters are getting access to the better candidates - why? Because Googles advanced algorithm is matching the very best matched jobs to the candidate, rather than the candidate deciding (from a lengthy list on a job board) what they think they should apply for... which can be an array of surprisingly different and irrelevant positions!
Candidates are also receiving a better user experience with their job search needs being met all in one place, from the moment they hit the search button.
So in conclusion, I think any recruiter should be aware of the changes at hand. It's not a direct attack on the advertising/job-acquisition ecosystem, but a change to it.
In recruitment, understanding the changes is important for both sales and marketing; recruiters need to understand what is working and where. It's easy to fall into the regularity and familiarity of job boards and posting job ads. However, 'Google for Jobs' is an enhanced search tool and the candidate now has that tool at their disposal - therefore a step back to analyse the quality of job adverts is now more important than ever. Working with job boards (and wherever else your ads are going) is essential and that will not change (for now), but Google is definitely pressuring recruiters to bring more quality, consistency and detail to their skill-set.
Before you go on that job posting spree, you need to stop and think; How will your advert stand out from the crowd? How will you ensure the quality? And, remember, now more than ever you and your brand have the potential to be noticed... so make it count. (I can already hear the parties kicking off from recruitment marketing teams across the World...)
"we worked hard to include jobs across experience and wage levels, including jobs that have traditionally been much harder to search and classify. Think retail jobs, hospitality jobs, et cetera." Because a hospitality job can include anything from front desk agent to security, Google uses its AI and extensive filters to supply job seekers with the most relevant results.