Google for Jobs

At a major recruitment conference in London a few weeks ago, one of the sessions touched on Google for Jobs, the presenter asked how many in the room (of about 70) knew it had launched. 
There were quite a few (about 10%) who did not know this. Given that this was a room full of in-house recruiters, recruitment consultants and media types, that was a real surprise. So just in case you didn’t know, Google for Jobs  (GfJ)  has most definitely launched and it's alive and kicking on any job search you carry out.

The search is over

In short - it’s pretty damn effective, it matches your search string with relevant jobs in the area you want them (unlike, say LinkedIn, whose algorithm seems to think that a former rec-ad MD friend of ours who lives in Kilmarnock would be interested in a media admin role in London).

"Yes, there are some teething issues, most notably the problem of Google not pulling through company logos alongside the jobs. That seems to be improving, but it’s still work in progress.  Recently, we saw an advert for Falkirk Council alongside the logo for Falkirk Football Club! "

Present company included

That aside, the launch in the UK has obviously learned from the preceding launches in the United States, Canada and India. Key to these has been the partnerships with major job-boards. The latter, as you might expect, are pretty chuffed about the presence this gives their brand in searches, yet I rather suspect that, as with their previous ‘partnerships’ with Indeed, this back-slapping may be a little premature.

I discussed this in more depth recently with a couple of recruitment media and website experts. Their view is the same as mine. 

Impact on job boards

Over time, Google will drop its job-board partners as recruiters learn how to use the GfJ platform to their advantage.  After all, if you are a recruiter, whether in-house or an agency like Denholm, if you can get your adverts placed, free of charge, in front of the right audience simply by making some changes to your website, why should you then want to pay to advertise these same jobs on a job-board - where candidates will certainly find them via GfJ but they’ll also find a lot of competing adverts for similar roles.

Of course, they’ll find competing jobs on GfJ, but there will be other advantages for those who have worked out how to advertise directly on their own sites.

Click through rate

When someone finds an advert on GfJ that has come from a job-board, the process of applying will involve several more clicks than if the advert takes you directly to the employing organisation’s site. 

Moreover, if the employing organisation uses one of the big ATS (e.g. Taleo – others are available), then there is the palaver of registering, getting it wrong, getting frustrated and dropping out of the process. 

This last point is especially relevant for anyone who typically will disengage after only a few clicks. 

Employer Brand

In addition, candidates want to find out far more about their potential employer; notably whether they are an ethical and socially aware company.  It’s far easier to provide engaging content that gives this information on your own website than it is in a job-board advert. 

Conversion Rates

Some are already ahead of the game.  Intriguingly, it seems that those companies that are getting direct response from GfJ are also, in some cases, seeing a far higher conversion rate from applications to jobs than they get from job-boards.

Google’s next move

It’s important to consider Google’s self-interest here.  We all know that people actively seeking a job gravitate to where those jobs are advertised. In the old days that was newspapers, for years now it’s been job-boards and, to some extent, social media. GfJ will place adverts in front of these active candidates, but what of those passive candidates who are not looking just now? Is it a coincidence that Google has rebranded Google Adwords as Google Ads? 

And what better vehicle could there be for placing ads in front of a passive audience than the one they all use to search for everything else in their lives every day?


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