All the talk about GDPR may have taken centre stage over the past weeks, but under the cover of this Google seems to have been busy. Launched on Tuesday 20th June, Google for Jobs suddenly became the talk of the town. We’ve all known it was coming, but on this date the recruitment landscape changed.
Last week it seemed that recruitment is about to change in the UK, too… for weeks, Google has refused to be drawn on when Google for Jobs will launch in the UK. In fact, they can get a bit tetchy when asked in interviews.
At Attrax we’ve been experimenting with the US version of Google to see how Google for Jobs is working. The jobs listed have always been US based, but on Friday, whilst creating some slides on the subject for the Inhouse Recruitment Breakfast and our afternoon Webinar, I suddenly realised that Google had picked up my UK location and boom, UK jobs were appearing.
In previous weeks searching for specific companies would return US jobs, but now when I searched Atkins Careers, there they were, UK jobs (notice that Jobs is still stating United States). Though you can't yet access this service on the UK version of Google, and have to go to google.com to find the app working, it was nevertheless pulling jobs from UK sources and sites.
What does this mean?
It could be nothing, but in reality it looks like Google is already scraping websites and job boards and building up its database and acting typically Google-y. In other words Google could quietly be about to launch and the first we'll know of this will be when the Google for Jobs panel appears above our organic search results.As an employer this is a massive opportunity, but also a massive threat. If your career site uses the ATS as the job board, your jobs could effectively been hidden from Google. Job aggregators such as Indeed are simply not in Google for Jobs, which means an employer career site reliant on the ATS for job search, could seriously lose its job seeking traffic.
Attrax were commissioned by Travis Perkins Group Plc earlier this year for this very reason, as their jobs were hidden in the Avature ATS. As can be seen from the screen shot below the jobs displayed are on job boards and Glassdoor, even though this search is specifically for jobs at Travis Perkins.
Fortunately like Atkins, their new career website is designed and optimised around both the visitors and Google, so like Atkins their vacancies will appear in Google for Jobs- especially as their ATS is now integrated with their careers website, letting Google effectively 'see' any vacancies posted on it. However, if you are in the same position as the majority of employers, using your ATS to advertise jobs, you need to start thinking seriously about how your career site needs to change.
What's happening now?
As of April 2018, Google for Jobs was launched both in Canada and India, sparking rumours that a UK launch couldn't be far behind. However, Google has been teasing this for months in the UK: a lot of testing has clearly been going on behind the scenes, whilst Google for Jobs intermittently popped up on screens in locations across the UK throughout March and April as routine checks were carried out. It seems that Google is waiting for the opportune moment to go live its latest project, however with strong competition in the form of Indeed and other job aggregators, it remains to be seen how this will affect its launch. However, judging by the results in America- where Google says it has seen 60% rise in the number of employers' jobs showing in Google's search results, helping them to connect tens of millions of people to new job opportunities across the States, it seems likely to do very well.
Furthermore, the absence of Indeed and other aggregators shows that Google is taking a quality approach to job adverts. Google wants its users to find relevant, original, authentic content. Everything it does is about improving the quality of search and you as the employer are the original publisher, so it makes sense that your advertised jobs will be at the top of Google for Jobs, partnering with local and national job boards- such as Glassdoor, and the Canadian government-owned Job Bank/ Guichet Emplois- to show relevant vacancies to browsers.
BUT only if Google can find them…
A lot has been happening since September, and all indications point to a launch sometime in Spring.
If you want to find out more about how Google for Jobs is going to shake up the market, check out our full-length video on how to optimise your careers site for Google for Jobs below, or our blog.