On 17th May 2017, at their I/O keynote, Google announced its intention to launch its own job search feature, Google for Jobs.
With unemployment at its lowest level for 40 years, a talent shortage is one of recruitment’s biggest problems. Google has capitalised on this challenge to engage and connect candidates with employers.
We’ve outlined what Google for Jobs is and what you need to do to maximise the visibility of your job ads.
How Google for Jobs finds your job ads
The big question everyone wants the answer to – how does Google find jobs?
The process is pretty straightforward.
Google pulls data from all over the internet, including social media channels, websites and job boards (if the job board has an agreement with Google). Google’s AI then classifies, sorts and organises jobs so that job-seekers see the most relevant jobs for their search.
Google for Jobs uses advanced algorithms, AI, machine learning to now deliver far superior job search results. For example, Google uses location settings stored on your browser to show available roles, without you having to filter location.
Google for Jobs has huge potential to change the way candidates search for jobs. It now enables you to find roles quicker – which will speed up the hiring process, but Google for Jobs gives candidates:
- access to salary information
- commute times
- reviews of the employer
- the ability to apply for a job through different channels such as LinkedIn or job boards.
As Google for Jobs learns about your job search preferences and provides additional results, it could easily become the go-to place for jobseekers.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of all job searches start on Google, according to CareerBuilder, so the new functionality of Google for Jobs will only enhance this.
How to prepare your business for Google for Jobs
It’s very important that Google is able to find your roles – here’s the how and why.
In order to enable Google for Jobs to index your job listings, you must implement the correct schema markup on your website. The necessary schema is job posting structure and will make it possible for Google to read your site and produce your job listings in response to a relevant search. You must then give each job listing a dated sitemap, Atom feed or RSS.
Another point of note is that Google will now penalise you if your jobs have expired and still show on your website. Remember this is free traffic so updating the schema will benefit you in the long term. This three-step process could save your click-through rate on your job applications.
- You can find more information about Google’s guidelines here.
- You can also use Google’s structured data tool, which gives you the ability to test how compliant your page is.
Google states that the new feature will bring three key benefits:
- Results included in enriched search results: the job postings will be displayed in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) itself, so your logo, reviews, ratings and job details will be displayed.
- More, motivated applicants: the new UX enables you to filter the results by location and/or title, meaning you’re more likely to attract applicants who are looking for that exact job.
- Increased chance of discovery and conversion: this will give job seekers another place to find your available roles and give them the ability to interact with your roles and click through to your site.
Crunch Simply Digital created this video off the back of their webinar that helps to explain what Google for Jobs is and how it will impact the industry.
How will Google for Jobs impact the recruitment industry?
Google for Jobs creates the opportunity to advertise job openings on your own website with the advantage of increased visibility via Google’s new interface for free, essentially offering what a job board would offer but with less work and less money.
This means that if you appear on Google for Jobs, you would benefit from investing in your careers site and applicant tracking system and utilising the free hiring interface. The introduction of this will turn the candidate experience into a one-stop shop.
Will job boards suffer, if so why?
It’s anticipated Google for Jobs will provide opportunities and challenges for existing job boards. But, even as job boards take on other services and companies seek more proactive recruiting methods, it doesn’t mean that the job board itself will go extinct. Job Boards are likely to implement the Google for Jobs schema to ensure their posts are being indexed by the search engine. Some power is being taken away from job boards and handing it back to your own website.
Online job boards will have to consolidate or innovate to keep up with competition as Google prepares to capitalise on the global $400bn staffing market.
Google prefers showing searchers pages of original content. Duplicate content is a big no-no in their world, so sending users to a company page, powered by an ATS, is preferred to a job board. As more ATS content becomes available to Google for Jobs, less and less job board content is going to show up.
So, how will Google for Jobs affect recruiters?
Search engines will always reward those sites that have regularly updated content, so large job boards, corporate giants and the larger/generalist recruitment agencies will normally rank higher.
Smaller recruitment agencies and small/medium employers could potentially lose out. Google for Jobs requires a certain level of marketing and technical expertise to gain a high ranking on the results page, and small firms do not always have that expertise – nor can they afford to buy it in.
Recruiters will have to learn to adapt to SEO – they will need to optimise their job postings so that they are picked up by Google. With agencies focusing on buzzwords and keywords to accommodate the SERP, could this bring too many applications per role?