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Tech giant Google has jumped – two footed – into the recruitment market this month with the UK launch of its new job search engine, Google for Jobs. Their aim is to provide a more efficient way of matching candidates with the jobs most relevant to them. But where does that leave recruiters?

What is important to understand is that Google for Jobs is not a new website or an extra tab built into your browser, but rather an expansion of the existing search engine. It simply recognises that a candidate is searching for a job and attempts to deliver the most relevant vacancies – within the familiar search results.

Clearly, Google has some pedigree in this area. They have learned from the search patterns people use to find other products and services and from intelligence gleaned after the release of their API ‘Cloud Job Discovery’ last year. They also have a year’s worth of user data from its launches in the US and across Europe.

The new job search feature has been developed in partnership initially with LinkedIn, Facebook, CareerBuilder, Monster, Glassdoor and other leading domains. To make job hunting a more simple and enjoyable experience for candidates, Google’s AI algorithms scrape information from employer and recruiter careers pages, organises the data, eliminates any duplicates and presents them clearly on a search page as soon as job ads are posted.

All of this means that searching for jobs is now as simple as typing in a new Google search.

With nearly a third of Google searches being employment related, it indicates that candidates are already making Google their first port of call when beginning a job search. And since candidates will be able to both look for and apply to roles directly on Google for Jobs, it’s likely that the platform will quickly become ubiquitous in the recruitment process.

The big ‘winners’ then will be candidates. While Google is a familiar tool to many, and has always had the functionality to return decent responses to queries, the difference the Google for Jobs tool brings is in the even more improved quality of the search results. Using machine learning and AI, Google can now deliver far superior job search results. It also learns about job search preferences and provides additional result filters. Candidates will find more relevant jobs and can sign up for equally relevant email job alerts.

So, what does this mean for recruiters?

With many of the biggest recruitment platforms, already partnering with Google for Jobs, many agencies using these jobs boards can expect to see an increase in candidates following the launch of Google For Jobs.

However, for many recruiters, the key to making the most of Google for Jobs could be to focus as much as possible on their own website, ensuring that Google is able to easily read and scrape your jobs pages so they appear in candidate searches.

Google has published technical how to guides https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/job-posting to allow recruiters to set up their job ad pages to integrate with its new search indexing tool. For some, this may require the support of a web developer but the small cost could be well worth the investment in the short and long term.

By making sure your web content is in a readable format, Google’s robots can accurately match your jobs to candidates’ searches. This means that a higher volume of candidates will be able to find and apply to your job roles, so it’s worth investing the time to make your job adverts and career sites compatible.

Aside from this, here’s a checklist of the main things to ask yourself when preparing your website for Google for Jobs:

  • Do you have the job posting schema implemented? This is a piece of code – see the technical how to guide- that’s entered into the back-end of your website to make your job posts visible to Google for Jobs.
  • Are your job ads tagged correctly? Google relies heavily on tagging using this standard system, so it’s important to make sure your job ads are tagged appropriately.
  • Do you have a separate page on your website for each job ad? Having more than one job per page could result in your page being ignored by Google.
  • Have you included a clear location for each position? Whilst some agencies won’t want to highlight the location of their clients, this will be necessary for Google for Jobs as it localises all searches for candidates.

It is clear that Google for Jobs has the potential to change the initial stages of the recruitment process as we currently know it. Using AI algorithms, the platform will gradually learn more about a job seeker and deliver them more relevant results.

However, whilst some will worry this could put jobs at risk, there are clear benefits for recruiters who may receive more applications from more suitable candidates. Plus, no search engine – no matter its sophistication -can yet determine if a candidate truly matches the employer’s values, goals or company culture.

There will therefore always be a role for recruiters because they add human interaction into the process and make candidates feel valued and therefore far more likely to say yes to a job offer. Relying on technology alone to solve recruitment problems can result in candidates believing they are just a piece of data in an Applicant Tracking System. Not a great way to attract talent.

At this relatively early stage it is difficult to predict the full impact Google for Jobs will have on the recruitment industry and the way people search for jobs. Though the global tech giant isn’t charging for its improved indexing service yet, it’s highly possible that this will happen in the future. Making this a paid-for service will make job advertising highly competitive, especially when it comes to traditional job boards. For now, though, Google’s new function is a welcome change which brings wide benefits for candidates and recruiters alike.