2nd June 2017

Google for Jobs - Opportunity or Threat for Recruiters?

Mike Blackburn

What is Google for Jobs?

Google's recent I/O conference, where the tech giant talks to developers about its key focus areas for the coming year, was held in May in Mountain View California.

One of the biggest announcements by CEO Sundar Pichai was the launch of Google for Jobs in the US in the next few weeks with a rest of world roll-out following shortly.

The aim is to dramatically improve the job search process using artificial intelligence (AI) to help refine searches and tailor results to individuals.

The highlight video below lasts for a full two hours but you can find the announcement about the launch at around 1:51:10 in the CEO's final presentation. (If you've got time there's a lot of really cool stuff in there about the way Google plans to use AI a lot more widely to improve what they're doing for users over their various products).

The Big Question - What Does This Mean for Recruiters?

The simple answer to that is "who can say?", except perhaps some people at Google.

A couple of things we can perhaps surmise/assume include:

  1. Google is unlikely to be doing this purely to help the user. The brand will be looking to monetise the service down the line. We can probably see "Google Shopping" type promotional opportunities in the not-too-distant future, which will give recruiters the chance to increase the number of eyes on their jobs using a pay-per-click model.
  2. The big job boards should be somewhat concerned. After all, why would anyone bother going to Indeed or Monster if they could be presented with lots of relevant jobs based on any of the data held by Google such as location, profile, interests, CV's hosted on Google Docs, etc.? When all users will have to do is say "OK Google, find me a new job" using their mobile phone or home speaker.

As this develops it could be a true disruptor for the recruitment industry.

So How Can Recruiters Prepare for the Google for Jobs World?

The AI Google uses will know an awful lot about the candidate searching for a role, but it won't know much about the jobs your business has on offer. What you need to be able to do is ensure Google is able to easily understand what your job offer is all about so that it can match it to the job searcher.

To gain this understanding Google is likely to rely heavily on the tagging of jobs using a standard system from an organisation called Schema which sets protocols for standardising data structure on the internet. (This is what is uses to help with other services it offers.)

There is a Schema for job postings (see Schema.org) that allows developers to tag areas within web pages that contain information on different aspects of the job such as location, skills, experience and benefits, as well as a host of other things.

Recruiters should ensure that all the jobs on their website are tagged appropriately according to Schema, this will make it far easier for Google's search robots to understand what their jobs are all about when it launches in the UK.

The latest versions of I-COM's Recaza web platform for recruitment agencies includes this feature as standard. If you would like to talk to a member of the I-COM team about how you can get ready for this new opportunity, please get in touch on 0161 402 3170.