As job boards morph into more refined, highly niche career sites, enter Google to scour every corner of the internet looking for work.
The ubiquitous search engine announced in May the launch of Google for Jobs, a new search option that uses machine-learning capabilities to provide a centralized place for candidates to conduct job searches.
The feature is fairly user-friendly. When someone does a job search using Google, a “Jobs” box automatically appears showing a selection of the top jobs in the area and a link to all the potential matches. Click on the link and each post can be accessed in full, along with the company logo, company reviews and ratings, and job details along with a link to the original post. Users can filter by role, location and other criteria.
Google claims to be using machine learning to better hone the list of relevant jobs for seekers, though an initial job search turned up roughly the same quality and variety of posts as other job boards, though that may improve over time. Google also announced plans to add new job listings filters so users can track clicks and impressions.
Google’s entry into the job-search space will likely make other job boards nervous, said Jim Stroud, global head of sourcing and recruiting at Randstad Sourceright U.S. in Atlanta. “There is not a lot of brand loyalty for job boards, and because Google has access to so much data, they can do things a CareerBuilder can’t.”
APIs and Your ATS
This could be good news for recruiters, said Jeff Gipson, a web developer with Recruiters Website in St. Louis. Google for Jobs doesn’t cost anything — at least, not yet. Recruiters also don’t have to go to Google to post their jobs. As long as their post is at one of the integrated job boards, or includes Google’s custom application programming interface tagging in its HTML, it should automatically appear in Google job searches. Many larger companies have already begun tagging posts on their career pages to appear in the search engine, and more are showing up every day.
However, the API piece could be a challenge for companies that use their applicant tracking system or customer relationship management software to post jobs on their career pages, Gipson said. Those systems often link to the entire career page, forcing users to scroll through all of the posts to find the one most relevant. “If you’ve got 100 posts, that’s what they will see.”
Until the vendors update their systems to include the appropriate tagging, those career page posts may not appear correctly on Google for Jobs.
“Companies should reach out to their vendors to make sure this is on their roadmap,” he said.
In the meantime, companies can customize the tagging in their job posts themselves using Google’s freely shared integration guide. Learning how to tag the posts may be a bit tricky for recruiters with no web development experience, but it’s worth learning, Gipson said. “With a one-time change on your website, you could start finding great candidates for free.”
Recruiters will also benefit from a wider audience seeing the positions they post to the job boards that are working with Google, which include most of the big names — LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Monster, Snagajob and others. The notable exception is Indeed. According to Google, Indeed has not opened its individual listings to the search engine, though that may also change.
“This is likely just the beginning of Google’s move into the job search space, and it has the potential to disrupt the marketplace,” Stroud said. “Google has the power to dominate, and job boards will need to morph if they want to stay competitive.”
Sarah Fister Gale is a writer in Chicago. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.