Notorious for its role in organizing the world’s information, the giant has officially entered the employment/job search industry with Google for Jobs. By coordinating job postings from sites such as LinkedIn and CareerBuilder, job seekers can now “sort through multiple career sites in one go” (businessinsider.com).
For the active candidate, the setup is a dream come true. Rather than navigating three or four job board sites, casually optimistic that one will yield the golden results, these candidates can search quicker, smarter, and more confidently.
Despite the positive implications for job seekers, experts in the industry have been set aflame. Many accuse Google of attempting to absorb Monster, Careerbuilder, and their little brothers. Others fear that Google will coexist with these job boards just long enough to grab hold of the industry, then it will wipe them off the map. Blogs and editorials have suspected the worst, but what do we predict?
As fortune.com previously noted, Google has chosen to partner with job boards as opposed to buying them out or obliterating them. Willing participants include:
Under these terms of the partnership, the prospects for job boards seem quite positive.
This rationale lies in Google for Jobs’ setup: when candidates click on a specific result, they are led back to the job board from which it was initially posted. This means that participants are still getting views.
Under these conditions, some job boards’ views will actually increase. For example, the previously avid Monster subscriber will suddenly be directed to a host of sites, including CareerBuilder and Glassdoor. Thanks to Google for Jobs, CareerBuilder and Glassdoor just gained an extra user.
According to writers at Fortune and Business Insider, this is a key indicator that Google is in the business to organize information rather than control it. In fact, it just might bolster their competition’s views.
JOB BOARD SOCIALISM
Indeed notes that there might be a catch. According to theconstantinvestor.com, it will not be joining the potent Google for Jobs partnership.
The reasoning is simple: under Google for Jobs’ conditions, everyone becomes equal. When everyone becomes equal, nobody stands out. Indeed wants to stand out.
Perhaps they are wary of “Job Board Socialism”; when all job boards are brought to the same level, yet dependent on Google for Jobs, Google for Jobs essentially controls them all. This is fertile ground for an overhaul, or “Job Board Communism.”
Let’s think about this way: Suppose that Company A is generating the most traffic. Under Google for Jobs, subscribers to Company A suddenly find themselves viewing Company B and Company C, as well. This levels the playing field, which initially sounds nice. However, it suddenly gives Google for Jobs power over all three companies. It owns them.
It’s Soviet Russia for job boards.
Only Sundar Pichai truly knows if this is Google’s goal. Nonetheless, if Google accidentally found itself in control of the world’s major job boards, would Pichai run with it? Or would he be a kind ruler? Do we want to find out?
As for the rest of the critics, they have devised numerous complaints against the superpower. They include:
Others believe that such complaints are petty at best. Proponents of the site prefer its:
What have we deciphered from this information? Google for Jobs is great for the candidate and murky for the job board. But there’s another piece, let's take a look below.
As far as recruiters are concerned, the implications of Google for Jobs are complex. On the one hand, job posting views will increase. This could lead to an increase in applications and, hopefully, a greater likelihood of filling open job requisitions. On the other hand, competition will increase. While Recruiter A’s job postings will become more visible to job seekers, Recruiter B and C will also see more traffic. Recruiter A must distinguish the position more vehemently than ever before.
Furthermore, kinetixtalent.com claims that Indeed might not be down for the count yet. In fact, the site notes that much of their traffic stems from “candidates bypassing Google and going directly to their site.” Before taking your postings off the former monster, consider watching this debacle play out first.
But let’s assume that an organization does tap into the new Google for Jobs resource. What can a recruiter do to prepare for this transition?
Going Mobile: As recruiting.com notes, acclimating to the mobile format is a must. Before Google for Jobs made its debut, the majority of job seekers engaged with job postings via cell phones (indeed.com). Now that Google for Jobs has placed each of these job postings under one searchable banner, it is simpler than ever to do a quick mobile search. In order to stay relevant and attract the job seeker's attention, recruiters must create ads and postings that fit the chosen format.
Cut It Down: As job postings become more visible and commonplace, job seekers will be less likely to read through long lists of tedious responsibilities and humdrum daily tasks. Recruiters must pare the listing down to its most important aspects so that candidates will take the time to glance through. After all, what is the point of a job listing if nobody applies?
Market: Recruiters must market their job postings in the same way that advertisers market a product. This requires modern language, lively phrasing, and witty presentation. If the job posting is stale, candidates will assume that the job is also mundane.
Website: While hosting a website is the employer’s responsibility, its format directly influences the recruiter’s job posting success (recruiting.com). Here is the rationale: When a candidate stumbles upon a promising job posting, they are usually led to the organization’s website. This website’s structure, information, and feel will impact the candidate’s decision to apply to that job. In the wake of Google for Jobs’ introduction, employers must ensure that their recruiters’ efforts are not hindered.
Based on our research and the research of others, we believe that the fate of our beloved job boards has yet to be determined. On one hand, Pichai seems willing to share his technology with the likes of Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, and even the averse Indeed. On the other hand, Google for Jobs has created a “Job Board Socialism” that depends upon the giant for views and activity. In our opinion, the waters are murky but not necessarily hostile.
As for recruiters, the safest plan of action is always preparation. Prepare for Google takeover while noting that Indeed is not down yet. Most importantly, the practices of going mobile, paring job descriptions down, marketing, and preparing websites apply whether Google becomes a dictator or not.
Lastly, we encourage our fellow recruiters and employers not to make rash decisions in light of recent events. Google for Jobs might change the job boards as we know it, but nobody knows Pichai’s intentions as well as he does.