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Google for Jobs: Is this the end of traditional job boards?

A few weeks ago Google launched a new search function at the I/O’17 event called Google Jobs. Job seekers (for now only those in the US) can use this function to obtain an overview of relevant job openings in their vicinity with a mere press of a button. Will this new search function cause job board such as Indeed and Monsterboard to disappear from the online recruitment scene?

It’s certainly obvious that Google for Jobs has started something big on the online recruitment scene. US business magazine Forbes even stated that Google for Jobs will disrupt the entire job market. Major recruitment companies like Glassdoor and Monsterboard have already decided not to fight Google but to work together with Google by sharing all available information with it.
The hotel and travel industry has certainly shown that cooperating with Google can be relevant. In this sector market parties don’t compete each other into oblivion but rather reinforce each other. When a consumer is looking for a hotel in Barcelona and starts a search in Google, Google provides an overview of available hotels offered by its partners such as Hotels.com or Booking.com.

Source: Google

But just how relevant is it still for organisations to post job openings on job boards if they can make sure that these openings appear in the Google for Jobs overview? According to Careerbuilder, 73% of people looking for a (new) job start their search in Google.

Crawling and structured data

Organisations can use various applications on their own website to ensure that Google can easily read the content of their job openings on the respective website and can therefore list it on Google for Jobs. Some of these applications include website crawling by Google and using ‘structured data’. It is hence no longer necessary to place job openings on the connected job boards within the Google for Jobs project.

Shifts in organic traffic

Furthermore, traditional organic traffic to the job boards is expected to decrease drastically. As previously stated, 73% of people looking for a (new) job start their search in Google. The large job boards have certainly established a great deal of authority with their domain within Google, due to which these boards often obtain high positions for job search key words within Google’s organic search results. This is illustrated in the figure below:

Source: Google

With the launch of Google for Jobs, traditional organic results will become visible under the fold of the page. When a job seeker searches for a job opening in Google, the most relevant openings from Google for Jobs will be displayed at the top of the page. Advertising will appear underneath this block and the organic results will, in turn, be displayed underneath the advertising block, as illustrated in the figure below.

Source: Google

Initial results for Google for Jobs

The initial results in the US are no slouch: Google for Jobs works! Johnson & Johnson, a US pharmaceutical company with branches around the world reports that it is seeing 25% more traffic on its job openings page and that the percentage of applications is 18% higher since they were included in the testing phase for Google for Jobs. In addition, it appears that the quality of these applications is quite a bit better too (source: Smartrecruiters).

Budget shifts within organisations

Media offices often recommend that organisations adopt a multi-channel strategy for recruiting employees. But in reality budgets are often not sufficient for a complete multi-channel strategy. Organisations can make a few adaptations to their website in order to fully comply with the guidelines to be eligible for Google for Jobs. The quality of the applications stemming from this is often much higher than that of applications stemming from job boards. Organisations can also keep investing their budget in job boards whose traffic will decrease drastically and for which in-house research shows that the applications are often not of the desired quality.

The end of job boards?

But does this mean the end of traditional job boards? No, probably not. The various parties cooperating can improve the quality of the applications and make job seekers’ searches a lot easier. Of course, Google for Jobs still has some growing pains that Google is trying to remedy.

For example, Google promises that you can apply for a job with one push of a button. In practice, however, this is not yet the case. In many instances you can currently only leave your email address. With job boards you as an organisation have immediate access to all the important information you need to know about the applicant. What’s more, Google is still not yet indexing job openings by website itself but is working hard on being able to do this soon. Google is therefore currently still dependent on the information on job boards, even though we expect that these types of issues will be resolved soon.

The future

The question regarding new Google functionalities is always: When will they come to the Netherlands? Google does not have a concrete answer to this question. Google, did however indicate during its presentation at I/O 2017 that it would launch another seven languages for Google for Jobs this year. Ultimately, a job seeker will benefit from all parties working together instead of competing with each other. It’s quite evident that job boards will have a difficult time of it in the future. That’s because the next major market player is ready to get involved in the online job market. Facebook is examining its options to promote job openings on business pages (Facebook Jobs). So the uproar will stick around for a while.

The article is published on Emerce.

More information?

Any questions? Or do you want to know more about Google Jobs? Check with Ricardo, he can tell you all about it.
Ricardo Smit, Online marketing consultant
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