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Google for Jobs: what will it do to the recruitment marketplace?

A shockwave is heading for the recruitment marketplace and now everyone is scrambling to prepare for it.

Last week we were at RecTech 2017 in Barcelona and Google for Jobs was the hot topic on everyone’s lips. Every new thing Google does has the potential to strike fear into the hearts of competitors. So now that Google wants a slice of the recruitment market, existing players are wondering if that slice could end up being a whole cake.

According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Google for Jobs is a new job search engine that will “better connect employers and job seekers” through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

At the moment we’re all speculating as to how exactly it’s going to work. Our assumption is that Google for Jobs will behave like regular Google, just with an exclusive focus on jobs. So Google will send out its spiders to look for open job listings posted to job boards and career sites, then display them in search results using a variety of filters to determine which jobs appear first.

This is where AI will come in. Google wants job search results to be more relevant and better organised than they are currently, and will use AI and machine learning to improve its understanding of how jobs are classified and related. It goes way beyond simple keyword matching.

For instance, a search for “retail jobs” will collect and display those where employers use different words for the same thing, such as “retail assistant”, “shop assistant”, “store clerk” or “cashier”. Google will also recognise where employers have used the same words for different things, such as “account manager”, which could relate to someone who works in finance, or someone who looks after client projects.

Google is also introducing an applicant tracking system (ATS) called Google Hire, which will allow employers to post jobs and track and manage applications. This is likely to be particularly appealing to smaller companies that don’t already have their own ATS tools.

Who should be worried?

If I was Indeed, making a ton of money out of my excellent position on Google, I’d be worried. Not only has Google elbowed into the job aggregator market, it’s come in saying, “The way you’re doing things isn’t good enough, so we’re going to do them better.” Aggregators should be concerned that Google for Jobs might end up eclipsing them if they don’t up their game. (Having said that, Google has expressed a desire to partner with a number of established aggregators, such as Monster, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn, rather than compete with them directly.)

If I was a job board, I’d see this as an opportunity. Google’s spiders could make me more visible and bring me more traffic. At the same time, I’d feel under even more pressure to move from a paying-for-time job ad system to a paying-for-performance model, in order to compete with the aggregators.

And if I was an average legacy ATS, I’d be chewing off all my fingernails at the prospect of Google Hire.

Still, Google for Jobs is set to be a very positive thing for the recruitment market. Job seekers will find jobs better suited to them, and employers will find applicants better suited to their jobs. It just means that all the players in the market need to step up.

A boom in performance-based job advertising

If Google for Jobs becomes the go-to job search engine, then we’re likely to see a huge increase in pay-per-click advertising. That means pay-per-click job ads are going to become more competitive — and more expensive.

This is why optimising your job ads is more important than ever, and why new recruitment marketing platform ClickIQ is set to become the recruiter’s handiest tool. By using programmatic software that is enhanced with AI and machine learning capabilities, ClickIQ improves the performance and efficiency of your job ads in ways that have never before been possible. It does this across all pay-per-click media, including Google, thereby reducing your ad spend and giving you more control over your budget.

About ClickIQ

ClickIQ’s automated job advertising platform manages, tracks and optimises the performance of your recruitment advertising in real time, focusing spend where it’s needed most to reach both active and passive job seekers across Indeed, Google, Facebook and an extensive network of job boards.

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