HR professionals must become recruiting marketers if they want to take advantage of a new set of tools from Google, according to experts.
Google for Jobs may level the playing field in the quest for talent between large and small companies, according to Tess Taylor, CEO of consulting firm HR Knows in Binghamton, N.Y.
“It is a big disruption to job postings, online job advertising, because it no longer relies on the use of a large job portal for candidates to be able to find out about a business or find out about their job postings,” she said.
“If (small businesses) work hard to create really well-designed job postings, and they focus on the marketing side, they have just as much of a chance of attracting candidates as any other company does.”
Google for Jobs promises to provide “access to Google’s machine-learning capabilities to power smarter job searches and recommendations within career sites, jobs boards and other job-matching sites and apps,” according to a post by Nick Zakrasek, product manager at Google.
The tool will allow jobseekers to type a job title and location directly into the main Google search engine, which would then display a listing of all the jobs that relate to that search provided by various job boards. And the company is partnering with most of the big players in online recruiting, such as LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp, DirectEmployers, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor and Facebook, according to the post.
Google for Jobs is not yet an option in Canada, according to a Google Canada spokesperson.
It’s a “tool in place to make things more user-friendly for jobseekers, as well as employers,” according to Angela Savona, metro market manager at Robert Half Technology in Toronto.
“If you type in a specific skill set, it will automatically pull similar job functions, so you are not having to go in and manually type in every possible position, title that might be associated with that role. It will automatically consolidate the reasonably related positions with that search.”
The power of the Google experience also makes it stand out.
“Google knows everything about everybody,” said Tamer Rafla, founder and CEO of Montreal-based software firm Klujo. “The biggest value-add that Google for Jobs has over the other players is that it knows a lot more about the person than Indeed does.”
The feature should become a “major boon for jobseekers,” said Taylor. “They can go straight to Google for Jobs, punch in a few keywords, and Google’s already done all the hard work to find them. This puts the search on steroids; it really is much more effective, more accurate.”
In essence, Google will provide a job hunt aggregation site, so users will only have to remain on the search page and not have to visit multiple sites during a job search, according to Sarah Toms, head of marketing at Venn Digital, a marketing firm in Manchester, U.K.
“It’s essentially acting as a bit of a job board in itself because it’s just an aggregation of every single job,” she said. “Because Google has so much information on us anyway and by machine-learning, it can start recognizing the kinds of jobs that you are looking for and then obviously start recommending them based on what it knows about you. People like Indeed have had a bit of an easy ride because of their great domain authority based on their having so many different jobs on there and so many pieces of content.”
Implications for HR, recruiters
If Google for Jobs launches in Canada, marketing will become more of a concern for HR when recruiting, according to Taylor.
“HR departments are probably not as prepared for this as maybe marketing departments are, so they should probably — if they have an internal marketing department — work in tandem with them to make sure that their job postings and any marketing they do around job postings are aligning well with the other marketing they do,” she said.
But once they learn terms such as SEO (search engine optimization) and how to best employ keywords, it should become easier to attract candidates, said Taylor.
The biggest trend now in HR is recruit marketing: Basically, using a marketing approach in recruitment, said Rafla.
“HR professionals don’t have the marketing knowledge or know-how or skills to actually try SEO or social media campaigns and really get out there, so Google makes it a bit simpler for them.”
It also could mean HR departments are going to be inundated with more resumés because “the search has been streamlined; the impact is they will get much more applications down the line. What this means is that more applicants will come in to HR professionals, so they have a lot more resumés to filter through — so basically the gates have been opened.”
Job descriptions posted online will have to be modified to deal with the new reality, said Taylor.
“(HR) may want to go back through their job postings that are more frequently in demand or need to be filled more often, and improve the copy of the actual job postings.”
HR professionals will have to look at “rewording the content so that it falls in line with what people are searching for,” she said, considering such factors as search keywords and job titles.
As well, HR should study how often it updates job copy because that plays a role in how quickly candidates are found.
“They may want to run a test of some of their more popular job advertisements and make sure that they are getting the best results within Google for Jobs,” said Taylor.
The biggest problem in looking for a position today is that search engines are saturated with ads, which makes the experience daunting for some, according to Toms.
“Because (Google for Jobs) is so granular, and because the filtering is so good, then it means Indeed, recruiters, employers, are all on the same level as opposed to Indeed and other job boards having a one-upmanship on Google because they have the domain authority, they’ve got more content on-site. It’s a tool that’s evening everything out, making things a bit more fair.”
The biggest effect will be on companies that charge for job listings, said Rafla.
“Google does it for free, so why will you pay someone $100 for a posting to have your job listed for a month?”
While recruiters will have to address the new tool, they still possess the tools needed to best screen potential candidates, said Savona.
“Just because you have an inbox full of people that are interested in your role doesn’t mean that they meet the requirements — the actual technical skills — of the role.”
“With any tool that comes out, it alters or shifts how recruiters do their job,” said Savona.
“It’s not going to be an app where it joins jobseekers and employers and someone starts a job on Monday; there is still going to be a need to have conversations to really make sure that everything is vetted out.”
But down the road, it’s possible people will be able to do absolutely everything without leaving the search engine, according to Toms.
Google for Jobs might integrate with Google Maps, she said, “because it knows where you live and it could recommend commuting distance time.”
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