Talent Acquisition

The Guide to SEO for Recruiting

Why SEO for recruiting? What does SEO (Search Engine Optimization) have to do with recruiting? The answer is simple. Recruiting is a part marketing, and part sales job. And digital marketing is the way forward.

Why SEO For Recruiting Is Important?

Where do you think candidates are searching for a job? If you think they are searching for jobs on job boards or career pages, you are partially right. Candidates may land upon your company’s career page or job board but for most candidates, their search begins on Google.

Every month, approximately 30% of Google searches are job-related. That’s massive. Just look at a few job search-related numbers from March 2019 for the US region.

Search Keyword Avg. Monthly Search
Accounting jobs 10k – 100k
Data Science jobs 10k – 100k
Full Stack developer job 1k – 10k
Marketing jobs 10k – 100k
Sales job 10k – 100k

Above numbers are for the US region for one month alone. You can do this analysis by yourself using Google’s keyword planner tool.

Companies need to realize that candidates are no longer searching for jobs the way they used to. They are searching for jobs on the internet by entering “Jobs near me” or using similar queries.

Google has come up with “Google for Jobs Search”. It is making it easier for candidates to search for jobs. Google aggregates all jobs from various job sites, and career pages of companies and shows the most relevant jobs to candidates. Looking at these search numbers and the kind of queries candidates are using to search for jobs, you may realize why Google may have entered the recruitment space.

How SEO Helps In Recruiting

1. Candidate Sourcing For Free

SEO helps you in getting traffic. When you search for anything on google you get 10 links on every search engine results page (SERP). These links are organic results. And then there are links with the prefix “Ad”, these are paid results; basically ads.

Most people like you and I, don’t go to the second page of Google search results. In fact, 95% of the visitors don’t visit the second page of google search results. That means, it is extremely important that in order to get traffic to your company webpages, a link from your website must appear on page one of Google search results; even better if it’s in the top three results. The same applies to Google for Jobs Search. Being among the top job search results will ensure more traffic to your career page. More traffic means more candidates applying to jobs in your company. This is all for free.

2. Find Talent For Niche Skills

We all struggle when we are hiring for niche skills. Resource pools for niche skill are always limited. That means you cannot miss out on the opportunity of reaching out to any potential candidates.

Ranking higher in Google search for niche jobs is easier compared to jobs with common skills because it is less competitive. Not many companies focus on SEO for recruiting and hence you could have an edge over your competition. SEO for recruiting is a good strategy when you are hiring for hard-to-fill jobs.

3. Build Brand Value

When webpages of your company website show up on the first page of Google search results it builds trust and credibility for your brand. It is natural for users to believe in your brand more if it appears on page one in Google search. It contributes positively to the candidate experience. Also, it improves brand value for your company. Data has proven that organic search results get more clicks (CTR – Click through ratio) than paid search results (PPC).

Imagine your company manufactures mobile phone covers. When consumers Google search for mobile phone covers and if mobile covers from your company show up on page one, it naturally builds that great first impression. It’s a huge advantage for your company. Similarly, if a candidate searching for jobs finds pages from your company website on the first page. Hence, SEO for recruiting is not limited to career pages but it should be for the complete website. This will eventually help immensely in recruiting in the long run.

What Are The Challenges In Implementing SEO For Recruiting

Here are some basic challenges or limitations you will face while implementing SEO for recruiting.

1. Legacy Recruiting Technology and Software

Most websites built today are SEO-friendly. There are modern tools that are available to help you achieve SEO for most of your web pages. However, the same may not hold true for the career page of your website. Career pages are generally generated, linked, or designed using ATS (applicant tracking system). Here are some of the important things that contribute to SEO

  • Is the job page optimized for Google For Jobs Search
  • Is the career page or job page mobile, tablet friendly, and optimized
  • Is the page load speed quick enough
  • Is the job page crawlable for search engines

Traditional recruiting software or applicant tracking systems may not be optimized for generating SEO-friendly recruiting content. You should contact your ATS vendor to find out if they follow all the guidelines for SEO.

2. Mindset

SEO is not easy. It’s a lot of work. It needs patience. You need to work consistently to produce quality content which helps in improving your domain’s authority. If you do it for a few months consistently, it starts showing results in the long run. And the results are great once you start appearing at the top of the Google search results list.

However, because of a lot of work in the initial phase, people tend to ignore SEO completely and miss out on a great opportunity to attract talent. They rather believe it’s not something feasible. They fail to see the bigger picture.

We can’t deny the fact that most candidates are searching for jobs on the internet using Google search. Google for jobs has changed and will continue to change the candidate experience with job searches. Indeed is also competing in a similar space.

Facebook also has entered into the recruitment business. Hence, it is crucial for companies to realize that candidate sourcing methods are changing. Google has no competition in the search engine business. With Google for Jobs, they are making sure candidates use Google search even for finding jobs. The first step towards this is taking SEO for recruiting seriously.

About the author: Amit Gawande is a Co-Founder of CVViZ, an AI recruiting software. He has more than 15 years of experience in software development and leading large teams. 

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