Our founder, Darren Revell, will sort the myths from the facts and call out the ‘Bandwagon Marketers’ who are after just your money right here.
Our founder, Darren Revell, will sort the myths from the facts and call out the ‘Bandwagon Marketers’ who are after just your money right here.
What is Google for jobs?
Google for jobs is a job aggregation service, which is to say it takes other websites job content and collates the job content into a browser-based job search tool the same as other job aggregation services. The Google for job search panel is triggered by search Google thinks are job seeker related and the graphic above appears in the search results. Its knowledge of what is a job seeker pattern grows over time due to its AI software. US, users have confirmed their version has become more accurate over time. At launch and for many months it was inaccurate in many instances which is what we see daily with GFJ in the UK.
The graphic is what the Google for jobs panel will look like in the search results. This panel will appear amongst the other search results, presently subject to the search you run it can be the first thing you see, or it can be moved down the page by other links (paid ads or organic/natural links). In the three weeks of testing of the UK site this positioning has changed randomly and by the hour for test we have made.
In SEO terms the area the Google for jobs panel takes up on the page would be considered highly prized, but this should not be confused as SEO as some have suggested. SEO is about your sites ranking for the natural results, Google is now competing for those results. In time SEO’s may come up with ways to get above the Google for jobs panel. Or you may wish to invest in the Google Adwords (SEM) to get above the GFJ panel. Though that could prove to be mission impossible, in reality, if you know anything about Recruitment SEO/SEM, there is plenty of low hanging fruit to feed on for all.
News just in 21/08/2018 – Google your recruitment company name and we are seeing Google for jobs as link 1 or 2 for recruiters company names, this will draw traffic away from your jobs, on your site potentially or take users onto sites you have paid to post at creating yes a job application but a job application, on a platform which gives you competition you did not have before. Which might be a question for the competition people.
Is it a game changer?
It depends on what game you are thinking of and for who. But overall, I will put my neck out and say no. It is a tool for the game of recruitment, not much else in the first form. This I will come on to show you in the following sections.
Will it cost you money? Answer Yes & No
No: Let’s deal with the easy one first.
You will hear Google is free of charge, by which pundits mean Google charges you no fee to be there. That may change but for now the service is a free Google service.
Yes: The reality is, you will need to pay for one or more of the following:
SEO side note: There are huge differences between SEO and Google for jobs. For example Google for jobs is seeking to find you job seekers who are in job seeker mode. That is akin to the sign spinner standing on the street corner of Lakeside, the Trafford Centre, the Gyle etc.
The SEO is seeking to find you active candidates, passive candidates (in some niches/measurements these are the best kind), clients and to develop relationships to return people to your site/brand over time. Google for jobs could care less about your brand, client generation and bringing people back to you specifically.
Having been in SEO since 2004 for recruiters I can also tell you that SEO that works best for recruiters is not the 50% of users who make 1-2 word length searches in Google, it is the ones who make 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 word searches (the ever elusive long tail as SEOs call it). Google for jobs may well learn these long tails overtime but our testing shows they are not there yet.
One way or another you will pay.
Let’s start with the basics
Google needs some of your personal data to make it’s Google for jobs service work and if you read articles like the one the link takes you to below, you know there is going to be some bright spark who finds a way to either sue and/or make a lot of noise about what Google has done with some of their personal data. So as a service it still has some hurdles to jump over, they may be distant for now but there is a small risk.
The reality probably is, it is not going to matter because as with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, users by and large won’t care if they are hooked on the medium/channel. Only those with a natural flair to be data aficionado will mind and they have so much work from GDPR it is scary.
IMHO Google is not out of the woods with this one, because it has to prove the test that it is not manipulating results unduly. Just because the service is free does not mean Google is not benefiting over others in this process, or favouring others. Testing will prove this one way or another. Like why are it’s partners so dominant, we have clients who have more jobs than one of their main business rivals but are ranking less well. Why? What benefit was the prefered job board vendor given we were not? Give it 3 more weeks and we may bring the first anti-competition case if having matched the required spec, our clients rankings do not improve :).
All said and done, Google for jobs is unlike other areas Google has got its fingers burnt with billions in fines, this service does not promote something a user has to buy, rather it finds them work which may prove to be their saviour. Being that work is essential to life and our survival… it will be a brave person/corporation to take this one on if it will disrupt getting people job data.
#Myth 1: It is Free… Erm directly it is free yes, indirectly it will cost you money. We have seen prices of £280 to £40,000 being asked by recruitment website/career site widget vendors to make sites compliant.
#Myth 2: You need a new website. No, you dont, so don’t fall for that one, you need a new site only if your present supplier can’t add structured data to your sites job pages, which is highly unlikely. Buy a new site because you want one, not because of Google for jobs.
#Myth 3: Google shares your personal data with employers to screen you. NO it does not share data from your other accounts via this service with employers. It is a job aggregation service that points you to take your data to other websites/suppliers. In reality Google for jobs needs to know very little about you other than to make some filters work, like jobs near me needs to know your location (IP see GDPR & ePR rules for IP’s).
As we find others this section will grow…
You’ve got to give a little to get potentially a lot.
Do you need jobs on your website?
If you wish to have a direct relationship with Google for jobs via your website. Then yes, you need job posts on your website made in such a way that they conform to the rules that Google have published for the service.
The technically speaking answer
No, because you can use other channels to get your jobs on Google for jobs. Like LinkedIn, job boards etc.
The more useful answer
At companies house (source www.creditsafe.com) there are just over 34,000 companies registered as having their core business as recruitment. According to the UK House of Commons research there were 5.7 million UK companies in December 2017.
If all of the companies who could put jobs, put jobs on Google for jobs there would be a bit of a problem no? Google for jobs would be a mess right? So will need more rules and more optimisation than may be worthwhile in time. It went with some key partners to get data on the system and it has made the entry level pretty easy but like all other job aggregation services it will have to scale its screening or promotion options.
So you will need to test your niche and you find it best to still use a job board, or LinkedIN and/or your own sites job posts. The answer lies deep in analytics many do not keep, or even track. So get Google Analytics tracking on your site and the Google search console hooked up.
NUMPTY ALERT: If you do not have an SSL security certificate/HTTPS working expect your site to have ranking issues. It is a GDPR and Google security fail not to have one. I have only been telling the industry this for 3 years, but the first 10,000 times I was only joking so it is OK 30,000 of you did not act. Now I am serious, in my best Liam Neeson accent “Google has a unique set of skills, it will find and it will kill your rankings if you have no SSL”.
Of course all you are going to hear just now is you have to be on there, in many cases that is because of what we call ‘Bandwagon Marketing’ which is designed to either sell a vendors product, or to align a person’s profile with an “in the now topic” for their gain not yours. It is one step down from ‘Fake news’ in that they don’t tell blatant lies but they do NOT investigate the subject without sensational claims and/or a lack of evidence for UK habits.
The best advice is to be sure you are tracking your in-bound job applications so if you use products like Broadbean, Idibu, Logic Mellon, Jobmate etc then make sure you use the source tracking tools they have to tell you where the talent comes from. Make sure you set up your own websites analytics and if you use other publishing channels like the job posting sites that take your ads under the pay per click channels (https://recruitics.com/ & ClickIQ etc) then make sure you track and test the metrics. These tools will give you the metrics that sort out the ‘Bandwagon Facts’ you hear from reality.
Google for jobs is good for the UK recruitment industry as a whole and I hope to share why, based upon sales logic and 25 years of recruitment knowhow, in the rest of the answers that follow.
Don’t forget…Get your site connected to Google Analytics and Google Search Console and it will track your job application sources for you, you will also get any warnings about your site here and be able to test other items of use to you.
Why is Google for jobs stepping on the recruiters, job boards and indeed’s turf?
Google is not here to help job seekers, that is what they claim, but that is not why they are in your backyard. They are here because they need user data, permission to interact with that user data over a lifetime and ways to keep the human behind that data on/requiring Google as it’s platform of choice.
SEOs report they have seen up to 40% drop off in search results, where the search result now uses one of the Google provided panels to answer questions, without needing to visit the site. If Google were organised crime if would be the Godfather skimming off your website’s earnings, don’t pay the ‘vig’ and you get a heavy Google penalty which despite what SEOs say is educated guesswork to unpick.
If anyone tells you it is to help job seekers they are the kind of people who think fairies live at the end of their garden. Nice to meet in Cornwall at the summer solstice but not to bank your investment plans upon.
Google is looking for ways to be of use to people, being a place that people just push past is not a sustainable model. So, they want to be in high people movement markets… jobs, shopping, travel etc.
Will job seekers use it?
30% of search activity on Google, according to a podcast by Chad Sowash and UK recruiter is employment related. I have found in other research that 50% of searches contain just 2 words and that the growth in more than 2 word searches in the 5, 6, 7, 8, 9-word searches which have been attributed to voice search request via tools like Siri etc. If you watch the podcasts, and I say you should, you will find the advice is pretty similar to our own.
Then we hear numbers like 70% to 83% of job seekers search for jobs on Google, erm call me a cynic but how do they know that. Have they asked all of the billions of job seekers in person? No, the stats are made from samples.
Again 40% decline has been seen by some on their traffic, traffic is not always a job seeker or a job seeker you can use. So lets see how this plays out niche by niche over the next 12-18-24 months.
Don’t panic and test first.
Google is love a bit of data, what better than to get in on that 30% act and not carry the can for the user experience that follows. That is Karate Kid Sifu clever…
Does this mean the end of recruiters?
If you think fairies live at the end of the garden or have a passion for walking around with a board, which says the end of the world is near then yes.
RECRUITERS DO NOT FFS PANIC IT IS NOT THE END…
Give or take 6000-8000 recruitment company registrations at companies house a year, to add to the 340000 that are already there, by and large the Google for jobs is a bonus. The move toward the micro recruiter is massive with 1-person companies and 2-3 people companies who have zero ambition to be the next Addeco or Michael Page. They are in what I call the ‘NicheNiche’, they are also being joined by the larger firms who give their best recruiters subsidiary setups aka the master stroke of the S3 group model or Branson model.
Recruiters will come and go for the same reasons as before and so will job boards. There may be some recruiters who merge or scale back their riskier desks. You know the ones where the ad says you can bill £1M and when you get there, the territory split means you get the clients beginning with the letter X, Y & Z on every second Tuesday of the month.
At RecruiterWEB we see it as a welcome, welcome service to reduce Recruiters needs to take on the “dog of a job” jobs, where the job spec is as dull as dishwater, the pay as poor as Big Issue seller wages, the employer brand is a whistleblower call away from a public outcry and you have to compete with 100 PSL members on that oh so exclusive deal HR set up for you.
Back to reality
IT IS A JOB ADVERTISING SERVICE PEOPLE, if it harms any recruiters it harms permanent recruiters of the variety whose recruiters can only post jobs to job boards, like say Addeco, Hays, Manpower etc then you could be up merger creek with a “let’s merge paddle”.
If you are a niche market recruiter, you will still have a niche where the majority of your candidates are in full employment and do not jump onto Google every 5 mins looking for work despite the claims. If you are a ‘NicheNiche’ recruiter, you know it is all about going and getting the candidate proactively.
Plus, if candidates did go to Google for daily job changes, are they not the ones who you pay out rebates on when their “cat ate their bus pass excuse, which is why they were late 30 times in their first 23 days”. Yes, they even took the mickey on some lunch breaks and were late back, so finally, mild-mannered Mary flips into firing their sorry backside.
Some people call me crazy on this one
Then consider this, if Google is the place 70-88% of people go to look for a job (a fake fact that Trump would be proud off) then when the employers screw it up, or the advert did not generate a Brad Pitt lookalike, with the humanity of the Pope who is prepared to take their job on as a holy grail like crusade from cradle to grave. That is post filling out a 17 page application process not designed for mobile which crashes on page 3, 7, 11 a few times…
Then… then… then recruiters you can say well if the world’s biggest job seeker provider could not find your talent then that is why you need me. Your recruitment SAS guy in the war for niche market talent, or SBS if you work the ‘NicheNiche’. Only unlike our real special forces, you will not work for £24,000 a year and a chance to die wearing fake Tan every second day in a far away land.
No, you will ask for a RETAINER as the late great Tony Byrne once predicted. Or follow Mitch Sullivan 10 commands.
Keep in the faith and you will be safe.
Oh, my days what are you recruiters like. IT IS NOT THE END IT IS THE START OF YOUR GOLDEN ERA…
OK, if you cannot beat them you can join them on Google for jobs, we will cover technically how in the following sections, but you first need to know if you should bother asking your site supplier for help so here are my top tips.
1. What kind of recruiters are a no brainier sign up for Google for jobs?
You are a one-person recruitment company with no budget for SEO, limited budget for job ads and you have a website that you send all your jobs to, even the really shite ones (shite like you’d have to be mad as a hatter to work there), not shite quality as Google is going to critique the job ad writing skills (yes they plan to rate your copywriting skills). Volume is key to Google for jobs; their stated aim is all the job posts there are, for all the people remember, so add the job volume to your site to provide, erm… well, job content VOLUME but keep an eye on the quality standards of the copy. There will be more on compliance later.
2. What about the rest?
You are any other kind of recruitment company that is not getting the traffic they want from their website from and/or other marketing efforts, and you want a mostly trusted method to try. You have nothing to lose, so go for it.
3. Your marketing is going well, but you don’t track all your results of where you get traffic.
You are for want of better term part of the “if it isn’t broke don’t question it” brigade. You are the recruiters most at risk, because other marketing methods can be harmed by Google for jobs compliance. We have this confirmed from genuine sources and so you are the recruiters most at risk if you just fly in blind.
It is why we waited longer than any other vendor in our space to offer Google for jobs compliance as we wanted to know the full impact of the service.
What did I say about keeping the faith…
How will it specifically impact permanent recruitment?
Most of you should have worked out that Google for jobs threatens the permanent recruiters more easily than it does temp recruiters because in the UK 83% of what recruiters actually do is provide temps. The recruiter needs to be in the middle of that transaction by law and to make up the cashflow to pay people weekly/monthly.
So, at best you might say that 17% of what UK recruiters do may be affected by Google for jobs if 17% of the 34,000 recruiters with active companies all jump on the Google for jobs wagon at the same time as 5.7 million employers. Does that sound likely? Sounds even less likely with employers being asked to spend £8000 to £40,000 by some careersite widget vendors?
Let’s look at the threats first & direct employer threats. Google for jobs makes it possible for employers to compete for free with you.
Yes it does, but of the 5.7 million UK employers there are. 5.5 million of them have 9 employees or less. It is doubtful they have the technology in place or desire to create it for Google for jobs qualification. The 5.5 million will not spend £8000 to £40,000 to get compliant and they won’t have a huge hiring need either. Google for jobs is paying attention to those with volume jobs, so how will the ma and pa shop get in to retail jobs alongside say Tesco’s or Virgin etc? Not going to happen easily.
Of the 200,000 left 41,000 have less than 50 employees, and just 7000 have 250 or more (you can read more here http://snip.ly/osscqj ) now I am not saying Google for jobs will not present some challenges, but let’s say those who have 50 employees or more vendors are asking from between £8000 to £80,000 to set them up with career sites that are Google for jobs compliant and then fees of £500 per month to £30,000 per month to optimise their channels. That is for no guarantee of the ranking slot which will get the job seeker, just a guarantee they will be on the Google for jobs platform. It is a threat, but it is not as large as some would have you believe.
So as I said 17% of what recruiters do is permanent recruitment. Take out the ‘dog of a job’ jobs from that 17% pool and then do your maths, that frees recruiters up to do the good stuff. More on that later.
Google for jobs may favour larger agencies.
The UK service is young and in the US, we have seen some preferences. There seems to be a correlation between volume, and full compliance. Overtime we think a combination of compliance and what else your site does to make it attractive will be the key. But it is clear you will have to invest in your site with content outside of just jobs. Sites will need to produce how to, why to, when to, what to type data to up their game on the overall value of their site to a visitor.
Others may execute Google for jobs better than you technically.
This really only applies to those of you who have relationships with your website suppliers that are not working, the task itself is from 2-10 hours work for most developers. The API is the best route to go rather than scraping of your jobs by the Googlebot.
Don’t fall into some of the blatant bullshit out there by some recruitment website vendors. Like the biggest in our industry claimed to have been ready for Google for jobs 18 months ago and in August 2018 just a few weeks after Google for jobs landed in the UK their servers fell over and 800+ sites were down due to the visits of the Googlebot (have to admit I PMSL at that one).
Others may write better copy for Google for jobs than you.
This is not insurmountable, you can learn how to write better copy and you just need to make sure you make the time for it, or are allowed to make the time for it.
Google for jobs may lower your margins/fees.
Yes, employers might see that Google for jobs is doing a lot of your work for you and ask for discounts. Since most employers ask for discounts anyhow there is nothing much new to fear here.
Google for jobs may create more of the wrong job seekers, than the right ones.
Yes, this can and will happen that you get more job seekers who are not qualified for your jobs, because the platform is open to everyone, that is EVERYONE. Being knee deep in I can do that, ‘Yosser Hughes’ giss a job types could be all Google for jobs amounts to.
Google for jobs may create more complaints, as you can’t keep up with the talent it produces.
The more Google for jobs can deliver to your candidates, the more it can deliver you candidates you can’t find work for. We live in the online complaints age and so your brand, can as a result, pick up more heat from unhappy job seekers. Google for jobs makes that complaint easier. SEO and web marketers generally agree that bad reviews hurt your online presence and especially those complaints that go unanswered.
Google for jobs has hidden costs.
The service is presently free at the point of use, but to exploit this free service you need to make changes to your website, changes to the way jobs get onto your website, changes to the way staff are writing job ads and ultimately there will be some other forms of promotional costs be they direct from Google or indirect costs. So free does not really mean free does it :).
Your vendor does not understand what to do with your website.
There are plenty of vendors like us who do and who will form an orderly line for your business.
There is so much noise you don’t know what to do.
Hopefully if you read this, not anymore.
Competition from other recruitment agencies.
The technical challenge – 34,000 recruiters have websites in the UK. Take out the ones supplied by ourselves and/or other specialist recruitment website vendors and that leaves about 30,000. The sites we and our competition have made will meet the needs of Google for jobs, the remaining 30,000, unless they have a qualified SEO plan in place, will not have what is needed. There will be a time lag of many years before these sites are compliant.
“dog of a job” jobs where the job spec is as dull as dishwater, the pay as poor as Big Issue sellers wages, the employer brand is a whistleblower call away from a public outcry and you have to compete with 100 PSL members on that oh so exclusive deal HR set up for you.
How to deal with any impact for perm recruiters?
Test, test and test again if you have a wide marketing campaign in place just now.
Hold your nerve perm recruiters are needed, if you don’t think you can win you have already lost.
You may have less jobs, but that creates more time to work on the ones you have.
You will get less ‘dog of a job’ jobs. (see footer if you did not read the other sections).
There will be some agencies who are having a stab at perm who will stop making room for those making a career out of it and who provide a decent service.
Write better quality job ads.
Review your candidate generation sources better.
Recruiters will still get jobs based upon their relationship skills.
Recruiters can place candidates without a job spec, it is called candidate marketing and some parts of the recruitment sector make the majority of their placements that way. Be a talent champion.
Not all people like change, some will just do as they always did.
Not all employers are focussed on the cheapest route to talent.
Recruitment is a class-based profession, if you need to stay in the perm sector refine your niches to those candidates who want the prestige service not the one size fits all service.
Not all employers at the large end of the scale do their own recruitment, they use RPO. RPO’s and tech, yeah right.
Recruiters will get the jobs employers don’t want their employees to know exist, like a replacement for them!
Recruiters will get the jobs because they can offer jobs with salaries employers may not want to.
Recruiters will get jobs that the employer failed to fill, of course the best kind of job will be the one the employer failed to fill using Google for jobs as this is the best time to sell them an advanced service.
If you sell them temp (temp/contract/interim) and perm you get to pitch them a temp for coverage.
Recruiters can find candidates in other ways to Google for jobs, in the same way the analytics will tell you where your candidates come from they will also tell you plenty of places that recruiters are geared to take the risk on searching for talent that employers are just not.
If a candidate can set a job alert with Google for jobs, erm so can you for your niche. That is like shooting fish in a barrel no? I spoke to an employer just this weekend who said she hired two people from agencies on 15% fees even though she had her own ads out as she had no response from her job ads and no time to do more herself.
Think about it from the pure logistics, Google for jobs needs volume to keep its job aggregation attractive. You will have 300-400 clients who need just one of what you sell, making your Google for jobs footprint potentially 100-200 jobs a year. The same 300-400 will have one job each, despite wanting to put employers first the service will be swamped with recruiter ads.
Even if the employer has fully blocked you from any future perm hires they have still done you a favour? You now have a source site confirmed for your headhunting activity.
Offer employers branded job ads on your own site for a fee. Plenty of recruiters now do and that is what the trade press used to be about.
Offer employers branded micro-sites for their jobs in your niche, it is the new way.
Don’t discount the other mediums like Indeed which is still working for millions. Sure there will be some doom and gloom stories and sure there will be some market adjustments but there is more to life than having jobs on Google for jobs. RecruiterWEB clients were given the option and not the obligation to be on the platform and so far when all forms of marketing were considered and the potential downside so far 50% are not taking it up until it is more proven.
Also don’t lose site of the great human factor in recruitment which is our industry is based on snobbery, our candidates are often snobs too and that is why the next CEO of Apple UK, will not be looking on Google for jobs along with the poor soul looking for a job with Uber! Plenty of recruitment niche candidates will just see it as the channel for the great unwashed.
“dog of a job” jobs where the job spec is as dull as dishwater, the pay as poor as Big Issue sellers wages, the employer brand is a whistle-blower call away from a public outcry and you have to compete with 100 PSL members on that oh so exclusive deal HR set up for you.
How specifically will it affect temp recruitment?
Until our employment laws change the only threat that can come from Google for jobs IMHO, is from the direct employers who uses a 3rd party agent just to deliver the legal/payroll services required by our laws. Which is to say they publish their own temp jobs and look to use the service company to provide the legal compliance part.
There are vendors who provide that service now, but low margin high human touch points are rarely profitable enough for the long term risk and need to be propped up by more profitable services. Also there is the human factor here, contractors like to have choice and recruiters offer more choices.
But the laws are not the primary reason the temp recruitment activity is protected. The primary reason is that, it is the financial integrity of the 83% of the 34,000 recruitment companies that are used to underwrite the debts employers generate when they use temps. The recruitment agencies own books/trading history is what is used by banks to decide if the cash, for the payroll will be handed over.
Which means ACME factoring or ACME bank looks at Billy & Betties Recruitment Company Ltd and decides based upon those books if it wants to lend Billy & Betties Recruitment Company Ltd x,y,z % of their invoice so they can pay Tina & Timmy temp their wages that week, while waiting for Goldman Schmucks to pay them in 90, 120, 180, 360 days.
This is a hard model for any one, two, three, ten or one hundred and ten replacement companies to offer, indeed Billy & Betties Recruitment Company Ltd books may not be good enough, and Billy & Bettie may need to put their personal assets up as collateral. Bankers want you to give personal guarantees, they don’t want to provide personal guarantees!
Keep in mind it is Google’s world and you are just a bit player in it, Google does nowt for nowt.
How will Google for Jobs affect how you write your job ads?
1. You will need to write better job adverts, Google has not given much away about how it’s system decides what job to put to the top of the tree in its results (unlike indeed) but it has said the quality of the body of text of the job advert is one way it will measure job advert quality.
2. You will need to track your job ad response better, to know which the best site is to get top ranking of your job post content.
3. Be ready to make your job ads personal.
4. Be ready to add new data to your job ads like salary survey data, review data, ‘POST CODES’.
5. Be ready to run branded ads for your clients to get them on Google for jobs.
6. Expect from 2019 to start producing adverts in new formats like video (Google owns YouTube) the spoken advert will play well for mobile viewers of Google for jobs.
7. Expect from 2019/2020 to be pushed by Google to use their ATS (a paid for product). Leaving some ATS vendors up the creak.
8. Expect from 2020/21 to be pushed by Google to use it’s job engine in place of your vendors job engine. Leaving your website people to make your brand pop and do other SEO work.
9. Expect from 2020/21 to be ready to pay for Google for jobs optimisation budget either directly or indirectly.
10. Expect from 2020/21 to need to switch off Google for jobs when the global economy tanks as it did in 2008/09/10/11. Because you will be overrun with job seekers.
11. Expect from 2020/25 a googleforyou type service for job seekers active and passive to interact with other Google services.
12. Expect a zillion conspiracy theories about Google products and the recruitment industry.
13. Expect one very large recruitment website vendor to tell you, they have a special way to manipulate Google for jobs structured data and expect me to start pointing out their clients who got banned as they spammed Google for jobs. If you are unlucky enough to be one of their clients their ideas for landing pages are also doorway pages ‘bannable by Google’. But hey they are 7 years old in business terms and so you’d expect them to make more mistakes than your 14 year old’s.
If in doubt flesh your jobs ads out.
Can you spend less on job boards & services like indeed? Yes, no and maybe…
Let’s hear it for the yes folks
If you optimise your own website for Google for jobs and then restrict the job boards, you send your jobs to at the same time, you have a theoretical chance of gaining jobseeker traction without job board expense.
Google has a prime slot in the search results for a wide range of obvious search terms (and some which are not so obvious) and people will naturally enter the platform to see those jobs. Questions still remain in my mind about how slick and accurate the service is almost a month after it’s launch in the UK but none the less the service will get job seeker traffic and as a result so will you.
Let’s hear it for the no/nay Sayers folks
People are lazy, including me. Even the most industrious of people are lazy at some things, normally those things that save us time or cause us work we had not planned for make for the laziest choices.
We know that to be fact which is why clients of say Volcanic or JXT continue to pay those suppliers a monthly fee for websites, that over 3 years to 5 years means they will pay Volcanic or JXT £9500 to £59,500 more than they would need to pay us for an like for like service (our service has lower risks associated with GDPR).
So, what do peoples website buying habits have to do with Google for jobs? Well just a few months after Google for jobs launched, it offered 4 updates and one of those was the buttons which gave you a choice of where to apply for the job. I think that is the best indication that Google knows we are lazy also and while we could keep our LinkedIn profile more uptodate than the CV we have stored at Reed, Monster, Total Jobs, Jobserve etc this is where we are happy to apply for jobs from. Meaning you will still need jobs on sites where people have formed lazy habits.
Job boards have not gone away and nor has indeed, in fact early traffic suggestion from those who track indeed have seen a rise in activity and matching accuracy. Pay per click campaigns put you above the Google for jobs panel and if you would only but invest in some Pay per click for job seeker related searches you will find that this is not that hard to achieve and not as costly as you think.
Job boards and indeed (plus other job aggregators) have built a following be that from short term job seekers (making job searches now/have job alerts active) and longer term (past positive user experience). That client base can only be disrupted if the other mediums start to fail. The other mediums can only start to fail if the jobs they need stop being sent by you.
Finally, and most obviously of all most job boards have a CV database search service and let’s be honest the majority of your sales come from searching those databases and the job ad is a necessary evil, to get cheap access to data another user supposedly keeps up to date for you.
Let’s hear it for the maybe folks
70% 83% 90%… All numbers you will hear if you listen to or read about how many people search for jobs using Google, aside from this being one of those moments when you find out you can’t recycle your Costa Coffee takeaway cup, some trading standards geek should investigate those numbers. Because it seems to me that Google only knows what Google users do, not what the people of the world do if they don’t use Google. For accuracy we need real evidence-based testing.
Until we have testing and concrete evidence, I suggest the 12-month marker and the 3-year marker, we do not know what Google can do. Sure, there will be some podcasts from our US cousins who have had it longer than we have in the UK, but the truth is their labour market is different to ours in so many ways it is a poor choice of where too many make detailed comparisons from, overviews yes, US habits as gospel for the UK no, IMHO.
The big question for me on the maybe is our current user habits. I joined recruitment in 1993 when there was no job boards and I learned to recruit without job boards. Roll forward 10 years and I did not meet many recruiters who did not feel reliant upon a job board to do their job. Which means you are going to have to pull people kicking, screaming and ultimately resigning from your organisation to go to a competitor who maintains a send jobs everywhere mentality.
Who blinks first rarely works in recruitment, and almost never works if you are at the end where you are recruiting perm candidates on a contingent fee where the client has the choices of 5, 50, 500 other recruiters willing to step into your shoes.
It is a fun time to be in candidate sourcing. If you do not fall into the panic of Google for jobs, you should also be able to dictate better terms to job boards and services like indeed. In fact, if I were running a recruitment company today I would insist all my suppliers drop their fees as they need me and my job content to survive the Google for jobs wave that might wash out their need, in a sea of so many sources having duplicate content.
Reed, Monster, CV library, Jobserve are all playing suck it and see with Google for jobs.
Does it cover all sectors/niche markets?
The short answer: Yes, it is set to take all job content.
The reality answer you really need: You need to test your niche, and see if your site, your chosen job platform partners (job boards/Linkedin etc) rank when job seekers are in Google for jobs mode. Only this testing can give you the real answer for you, pundits can predict it or tell you how others have done but because others have done it does not mean it is automatic for you.
The other reality is the job snobbery or the recruitment sector snobbery that will keep people OFF not on the Google for jobs platform. Plus, the obvious issue that not all jobs are filled from those who are classic search for job ads candidates (passive candidates). Google for jobs is not yet the solution for the passive job seekers, but your website can be, and it is quite easy to do.
Side note; a job alert is not passive job seeker generation:
Yeah, yeah they have a job alert but if you test the user experience then it ain’t all that. The cancel rate of the job alerts will be an interesting one to see in a years time.
Subject to recruitment snobbery, location, niche, salary, etc, etc then in theory it can cover all jobs. In practice it never will.
Do you have to invest in SEO part 1? What Google giveth with one hand, it taketh with the other…
OK here is what we can give you as fact.
1. We have spoken to 5 globally respected SEO’s who have commentated on Google for jobs and some lesser known SEO’s at your typical SEO firm in the UK who have looked at Google for jobs. We picked those who had worked with Google for jobs or commented, on it is some capacity to ensure they were quoting fact not theory and by and large the majority confirmed that your organic rankings can be damaged by changes to your job pages to make them fit the Google for jobs data structure.
How big a deal that remains to be seen but in 14 years of studying 100 websites a day my team and I know for sure that a typical recruitment company has no idea where it’s site visitors come from so how can you credibly change that which you have no data on and be sure of your outcome? SEO is the worst measured metric of anything a recruiter does so you could be throwing out the baby with your bathwater.
2. Recruitment is based upon a class system and well-established snobbery, in the same way, Lidl has not managed to close down all other supermarkets there are shoppers who will not give up Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer. Indeed, seeing Michael page on Google for jobs maybe be enough for some to say they have gone down market. The UK thrives on snobbery.
Google for jobs is a Lidl or an Aldi so do not be surprised if not all the talent, from all the niches of both the active and passive variety do not show up on the platform.
3. Google is a capitalist company with a communist idea, they say they want all jobs in the world to be on Google for jobs for all, but really, they just want to keep the human data you will drive/give to them and there will be some Oligarchs who do very well from having all that data behind the scenes.
4. Google for jobs makes jobs more accessible to everyone, that is everyone, OK let me say that again EVERYONE.
Google tells nobody how to manipulate it’s search engine, you are no different and if your supplier says they have this hidden or special methods run to the nearest exit if you don’t want your bank account raided.
Do you have to invest in SEO part 2?
If you wanted an answer in the more traditional sense of SEO then IMHO yes you will need to run a formal SEO plan for your website at some point in the future, if not at the start to stay ranked well on Google for jobs.
I define SEO in four parts (and it is why I comment elsewhere SEO is not one thing and use the example if you are told your site has SEO it is like a Rugby player saying they have sports!). The four parts are Technical SEO, On Page SEO, Off Page SEO and Social Media influencers for SEO. They are explained as follows:
Technical SEO – How well you site is made and to what standard it is compatible with devices, speed issues and security settings (Get an SSL and work in HTTPS mode).
On Page SEO – The content you put on your site to get visitors and if you are smart to retain visitors.
Off Page SEO – Other sites that are counted by Google as promoting your sites content/presence.
Social Media influencers for SEO – Be itt causation/correlation we know active social activity lends itself to better rankings.
One way or another you will pay.
OK so how do you get onto Google for jobs?
OK this is where it gets a bit messy, think you have taken your 3 year old to one of those indoor play parks and your child is nice, well mannered, polite and shares their toys/the play centre. Then you meet the other kids and well one has a passion for biting your child, one has blocked your child from every toy/slide/rope and one has come and had their hand in your wallet/purse.
If vendors were your kids, then I am your good child and I have taken the time to investigate the ups and yes downs of being on Google for jobs and I am sharing my toys. First off, Google own the playpen and while it sets the rules, its staff are not on hand or ever around when your child gets bitten. For example, here is a link which tells your website developer how to set up your jobs pages https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/job-posting show this page to any website developer and they will be able to fix your website.
What this page does not make clear to those who find this kind of thing a tough read or a bore, is that to be compliant with Google for jobs is not a one size fits all task. Like they have some that must have data (the job title) and they have some “would like to have data” (the postcode) and some “it would be just dandy if you gave us this data” (salary survey advice/employer reviews).
Now the vendor who does not explain this all to you is the kid at the play park who when asked to share the slide by him mum with your child has a screeming hissy fit and tells you the slide is theirs. Or they tell you things like they did structured data 18 months ago. That 18 months knowledge came undone in August 2018 a few weeks after the Google for jobs UK launch when their servers were overun by the Google bot as they had not planned enough for the frequent crawls of Google (foot shot in).
I just read today one did it 5 years ago before Google even thought of it (strange then when the Google testing tool for Google for jobs looks at their site both have between 2 and 6 non-compliances with the must-have or like to have data. I’ll be creating a shit storm with that on LinkedIn sometime soon).
Time for another toy share https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/ here is the tool Google provides to test your compliance, just go to one of your jobs copy its page URL and paste the URL into this tool. You will then get a report which tells you if your job page is compliant. It will look like the following images.
This page meets some of Googles needs, has some nice to have data missing and has one must have data record missing OOPS (it is the warning in RED)
Simple, you put some code on your website in a set way that Google can better understand.
Still confused by the tech bit?
OK fear ye not if you are a recruiter that does not understand all the jargon with Google for jobs? With all that jargon of “structured data this”, and “schema markup that” you can easy get in a muddle. So just think of Google for jobs as a recruitment consultant and they are asking you your must have, like to have and would be great to have job spec questions. They want that written down in a certain format and your web developers need to help with that. Because if you stop and think… Google for jobs really does speak directly into the recruiter’s core skill sets, so there is nothing to fear.
As Google for jobs is American it comes with some of our cousins from over the pond quirks like it wants us to use American job titles in some cases and the US date format in others. But essentially it is a skill matching service, we need to give Google our jobs with all the skills (structured data) they want.
If ours is not quite right, we need to re-write it like we do with some candidate CV’s, or have the candidate write a CV if they have none (job pages with no structured data or about 30,000 UK recruitment websites made using WordPress/Joomla/Umbraco and your local web developer Dave from the BNI meetings you go to).
Does it still present some contradictions? Yes take the job example in the previous advice point above, the page has a critical error and yet it ranks, it has 5 missing nice to have’s and yet it ranks well.
Other pages on this career site (yes, it is an employer career site made ready for Google for jobs) they have job posts that have the location added to the job title.
Those of you who read the page from Google would have read that their job title field should be used for just the job title, here we see a job that broke those rules and so can confuse or be rejected so as well as some base technical advice your vendor should be able to work out the human changes for you as well.
The example shows they used the following as a job title “Calling all Women” – Residential Field Technician – South Herts. If anyone at the Virgin talent team is a bit peeved at being our example then talk to your vendor, I happen to be your client for TV/Broadband/Mobile so expect to be able to rate my suppliers in all areas.
Some information is optional, but Google needs the following:
1. The date of the job posting and when the listing expires.
2. Job title (Google suggest not to try and squeeze in search keywords or calls to action here – keep it simply as the title of the job).
3. The name of your company (this can also include your website). Recruiters can use their own they do not need to give the clients unless they want to.
4. The location of the job (Google asks that you should use addresses at street level but some advertisers have just stated the town).
5. A full description of the job, formatted properly in HTML (line breaks, headings etc.) Here is where some job posting tools, that populate your website and your cut and paste polices may come unstuck.
Not required, but recommended items:
1. Employment type (full time/part time/contractor/temporary etc.) Not full time, where your site may say perm, permanent.
2. Salary (the actual salary as hourly/weekly/monthly/yearly, or as a minimum and maximum value).
If you need more help give me a shout.
Who will be the biggest winner? Google, the job seeker, the recruiter or the employer?
The winner: Google, they get your data and to keep their service relevant in a new way. Here is the best bit they won’t catch a cold from a recruitment process that is not great on the end of the process.
2nd place: The recruiter, the bun fight that will go between vendors will be to your advantage, you can be on the platform yourself and as candidates will find 45% of job seekers never hear anything at all from direct employer ads.
3rd place: The job seekers, they have less places they need to potentially look for jobs.
4th place: The employers, sure some will claims victories, lots of gloating from in house recruitment types byt by numbers Google can’t serve millions of them for the reasons we have covered and they can not react at speed like the recruiters can for the basic tech that gets you onto Google for jobs in the first place.
Google is like a Las Vegas Casino, the Casino always wins.
Here are some links, worth you visiting:
How to be compliant.
Google’s job posting content policies: Basically you need to be a real company and you have to say what the job is. Google permits recruiters or agencies to post on their clients’ behalves in which case the agency is listed as the employer, the agency must like the employer make sure the role is clearly defined, and the company/job must exist. Companies are also allowed to post for rolling applications if they’re always hiring certain roles (such as Starbucks hiring baristas). It is not clear how much of a benefit that will be as users filter for the newest jobs.
How to get top ranking inside the Google for jobs portal according to Google. Time to enrich your media people.
How to test any job page
How to write great job adverts that convert
Google has laid most of it out for you and your vendors.