HR Commentator Chris Thompson takes a look at how the new Google for Jobs will impact the UK recruitment market.
Image courtesy of Google
The mystery and intrigue surrounding Google’s foray into the recruitment market was put to bed last week when the Google for Jobs platform landed in the USA.
Emerging quietly and without warning, like many of Google’s updates, Google for jobs is a hiring interface that sits conveniently on the search engine’s results page in the coveted ‘featured snippet’ position. This ensures that the panel is the first thing seen when making any job-related searches, which could be good or bad news for your business, depending on your interest in the search results.
The recruitment sector has already experienced some major changes in the last year. After Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in 2016, many correctly predicted that LinkedIn data would be made available for the purposes of recruitment and sales.
While Google also hinted at a recruitment venture, the technology giant has a mixed history of dipping its toes in new markets — Google Plus was a relative failure, and Google Glass never took off, so there would be no saying that its hire platform would be any more successful.
Great news for the job seeker
Image captured from a Google search for ‘programmer jobs’
For the user, the job seeker looking for the latest roles in their given field, the interface presents an easy-to-navigate hiring platform complete with location data and peer reviews. Google is making the most of their integrated data, utilising Google Maps and peer review sites to tell the user what the job is, where it is, and what kind of a company they will be working for.
The job seeker is also afforded the option of daily alerts. By registering for this service, they will receive a daily update email containing all of the new jobs listed under their industry header. While a daily jobs email is nothing revolutionary, having a filtered list of positions is far more convenient for the user, particularly those who are left feeling drained and demotivated by scouring jobsites all day every day.
While the platform certainly looks nice and boasts some useful and interesting features, Google for Jobs’ real triumph is that it removes a step from the job search process. Instead of visiting a website to browse its respective list of jobs, Google’s service keeps the user on the results page by giving them a quality-controlled list of relevant positions. It even removes duplicate job postings so as not to waste anyone’s time. Clearly the service has been designed with the user in mind, but is there an ulterior motive for this exciting new platform?
More options for those looking to expand their business
For organisations looking to expand their workforce, a common approach is to pay a recruitment website to list a job opening — this massively increases the visibility of a job post, and in theory will ensure that a higher-skilled bank of candidates will apply, so is worth the investment. With Google for Jobs, however, companies are afforded the opportunity to advertise job openings on their own website with the advantage of increased visibility via Google’s new interface.
This could be bad news for recruiters, who may not be held in such esteem now that Google is offering a diluted version of their service for free. The distinction is that a recruiter will often be contracted to list a job exclusively whereas Google pulls their job list from those already listed by other websites. Many recruitment websites opt for their job listings not to be crawled by Google anyway, however, so will not benefit at all from the new search engine jobs interface.
While Google does not currently charge to list a job, there’s every possibility this could change in the future, which presents an additional avenue for the technology giant to monetise their search results. However, this is something that was denied by a Google representative in an interview with Tech Crunch, who seemed adamant that the company would not be reaching too far into the staffing sector.
“We want to do what we do best: search,” Nick Zakrasek said. “We want the players in the ecosystem to be more successful.”
While companies would certainly still benefit massively from working with a recruiter, whose expertise covers more than merely a digital presence, Google’s new service at least offers small businesses a better chance of casting their recruitment net further afield at no extra cost.