Up until July 17, a job seeker looking for a new role could simply google their industry or preferred position, and they’d see a mix of recruitment agencies or job board searches on sites like Reed and Indeed.
However, with the launch of Google Jobs, the job-searching process has received a shakeup. The new feature now sits loud and proud at the top of most job searches, aggregating the current listings of both companies and recruitment agencies in one window.
For recruitment agencies, the functionality presents a few issues. When the service was announced in 2017, marketing agency I-COM found that 47 of the UK’s top 100 recruitment agencies didn’t have the requirements for Google for Jobs to work. In the time since, only an additional 16 have changed their websites to take advantage, meaning there are still 37 who will be unable to take full advantage. But should all recruitment companies be seriously investing in the new tool?
The most obvious benefit to the service is the additional exposure it provides to recruitment agencies. It provides yet another forum in which job seekers can access your roles and directs traffic to your website. It also collects all the places your ads appear in one spot, reducing the number of duplicate applications.
Google Jobs’ filters allow jobseekers to target their search, giving applicants the opportunity to narrow down options by location, job title and many other criteria. In theory, this means that candidates will be more likely to apply to roles that specifically suit their professional experience, resulting in tailored applications.
The prominent positioning of the search engine also levels the playing field for recruiters, provided that their ads are consistent, detailed and relevant, without giving too much away. As it stands, Google’s organic ranking system rewards content that’s considered, well-written and consistent with everything else generated. The AI-based system behind Google Jobs follows the same principle. Therefore, if they haven’t already, recruiters need to look at standardizing their advertisements so that the system recognizes the copy as consistent. Those looking to give their ads the best chance should also consider integrating the Google-designed schema, openly available online.
The challenge for recruiters lies in adapting their advertisements to this new avenue without compromising how it appears on their website or having to make substantial functional changes. For example, for jobs to be read by Google Jobs, recruiters will need to make sure each post appears in their sitemap and has individual tag data. This may require further web development, or at least a discussion with IT teams to ensure these systems are in place.
If they haven’t already, recruitment agencies will also have to consider how mobile-friendly both their website and job advertisements are. With over 50% of Google searches happening on mobile, recruiters need to make sure jobseekers can move through the application process easily while on the go. Finally, Google Jobs has upped the stakes for consultants in terms of high-quality advertisements. Leading recruitment agencies should have their consultants doing this anyway, but for those who take a ‘hope for the best’ approach, there is the risk of being ignored by the AI technology. Those who are ignored or disregarded by the algorithm will suffer twice as much – not only will they not appear in the search function, but their website will fall further down the line. Further to this, consultants will also have to be cautious of keeping advertisements as current as possible, with the search engine warning that any expired job listings will be punished.
There’s no doubting Google Jobs is here to stay. What is still uncertain is the long-lasting effect it will have on the UK’s recruitment industry. For one, I hope it encourages the improvement of job advertisements – the higher the standard, the more likely jobseekers are set to be enticed by a role. This can only be a good thing!