OK so by now you should have heard some noise about Google for Jobs (GFJ), it is a move by Google to help job seekers find work easier on the net. Google recognises that most job searches starts in it’s search engine and wants to make that process easier, slicker and more accurate.
How serious is Google about jobs? Well it has added to it’s analytics console the job feature and it will tell you if your jobs are not being indexed, missed indexed, indexed in part etc. But there is another way to answer the question in that is it serious about the jobs, or is it making a land grab for users?
My thoughts are that it is more of a land grab for users that a great job seeker experience, I mean the fields that is asks for you to put in your website mark up wont win any advert writing prizes and some of what it ask you to do will destroy your SEO. Yes I said destroy your SEO. The biggest problem it has it that it can’t handle job tiles with locations very well, bad news for Long Tail searches made in their billions per year by job seekers then.
Will it work? Yes. Will the hype be bigger than the real impact? Of course I mean when was the last time you heard a vendor not say they were the worlds largest or the most of this or the top of that?
Indeed the end is nigh, only it is not
Some think this move by Google will mean the end of the road for Indeed, because on the surface it looks like Google will start to get the traffic indeed currently gets. The reality of that is it will not because indeed has more job content and it has more content from a far wider source. In addition indeed does not make you jump through the same technical hoops GFJ does, albeit this hoops are pretty simple for web developers to implement (circa 4-8 hours max per site).
So it is going to take time to build traction and buy in, with 28000+ recruiters in the UK and only 3000 buying websites from recognised recruitment websites vendors who offer GFJ integration out of the box you can see there will be 25000 who are not ready for GFJ and I predict at least half of them will not bother ever to comply. Then consider just how many employers there are with no career site, career sites without GFJ compliance and that runs into the millions.
I do think Indeed is on a course for extinction but not because of GFJ, but because of the user experience is crap and to get to the top of rankings you now need to pay thousands in sponsorship to get your jobs seen.
Job boards the end is nigh, only it is not
One of the flaws in the GFJ set up is it will publish a single version of the job, so if you used a product like say Idibu and put your job on two, three jobs boards, social sites and your website then GFJ in theory is going to rank what it thinks is the original source for the jobs. Indeed is said to have made the same move in December BTW.
This could be a major issue for job boards who do not set their code to be GFJ ready, and naturally for employers and recruiters alike. It could simple be a one horse race for those at the top of the job board trees who can react quickest and give GFJ volume of job search they will be desperate for. Job board vendors are bound to make updates, it will be a case of rushing them out to meet this need.
At the very least for recruiters you might want to put the job on your website first if it is GFJ ready and then the job boards etc.
Google for Jobs is the holy grail for your job content, only it is not
OK so I have worked on SEO for job content since 2004, putting the first recruitment website CMS online that all the job content could be indexed by Google and making AI tools to get job seekers to specialist job seeker landing pages.
What I can tell you is that inaction when it comes to promoting your own site is what has killed your online success not the invention fo job boards, job aggregators like indeed. I predict the same for GFJ in that if you think you can’t compete you are already dead in the water and you drowned yourself.
So how do you compete with or on GFJ?
Firstly, if you can’t beat them them, join them approach, which means make your job content match the needs of GFJ, here is a basic summary of how to do that?
Follow the link and you will find advice an what content Google is looking for and in what form to include it in their service. The controversial one for recruiters will be the inclusion of the the need for the hiring organisations name. Or maybe not, if the post is a temp, contract interim role than it will be legitimate for the recruitment agency to list their own name given technically the candidate works for the agency.
For permanent roles the concern will be giving away your sensitive client data, well for the parts of the industry controlled by fixed PSL this is no hardship. For the part of the industry whose clients name is listed on Google maps (an issue now if you use Google’s service for post code search) maybe again no so much of an issue.
However we have seen in the USA that recruiters are putting their own company name, the most high profile UK recruiters name we have found this week is Michael Page, so perhaps GFJ is not all doom and gloom for recruiters if the platform promotes recruiters adverts. Why was this is question in the first place? The found of the GFJ business program said his stated aim for the GFJ venture was to connect job seekers to employers, not recruiters.
Does having your client name on your advert harm your chances as a perm recruiter? Well the answer is yes and no, back in the day before the internet adverts for jobs got placed in trade magazines, newspaper and recruiters had an opportunity to sell campaign advertising of advertised search services to their clients. The basic premise was the recruiter would but the ad space and charge the client for that ad space, but the advert would be branded an carry the client information. The deal with the client was they would turn away other recruiters who saw the advert and called them. Or the client may ask the recruiter calling on spec to lodge their interest with their recruitment partner who was running the initial advert.
There is no reason why the present day recruiters can not offer the same service albeit using web advertising. Indeed companies like Michael Page do this very well. Since about 2005 I have been asking recruiters to consider this strategy for their own websites and have client campaign pages, while we have the technology no client of the hundreds we have spoke to have taken up the option. GFJ might be the catalyst that sees recruiters with more campaign pages on their websites or mini career site portals.
Contract, temp and interim recruiters will I am sure take a different view. Keeping your clients identity private is the holy grail for most recruiter in this area of recruitment. Again there is evidence that GFJ is indexing recruiters ads for contract, temp and interim roles so at this point I am again going to be less gloom and more va, va voom for GFJ.
With a final word of caution that they will monetise the channel when it gets busy so you have yet to see the true cost of GFJ as a recruiter yet. Make the most of it while it is free and be an early adopter to become a trusted site.
Secondly, if you can join them beat them… What, beat Google? Have I had one too many beers over Christmas you ask? Nope and you can beat them, here is how I think it can be done.
Sales Funnels & Chatbots for Facebook – you don’t have billions to compete with Google but Facebook does so piggyback off their efforts and use Sales Funnels & Chatbots for Facebook.
Google Adwords – yes beat them with their own gun. If GFJ is the new shotgun approach to job ads then Google Adwords is the snipper rifle and used well it will get you highly targeted results. Google makes money for Google Adwords and until it monetises GFJ (which is will do and will have to) means its still in Googles best interest to rank your PPC ads.
Long Tail Job Seeker SEO – one of the problems levied at SEO is that it is slow to get results as it takes a long time to get rankings for your pages. Only with Long Tail SEO, provided your website is set up correctly then Long Tail SEO happens pretty much in an instant. Or at least for RecruiterWEB sites anyway. Why is Long Tail so important and what is it? In short a Long Tail search is a search in Google is a search which is looking for an exact match, or is a highly derivatized version of a more common search. Examples of these kind of searches would be “part time payroll clear Sudbury Upon Thames” or “key stage 2 teaching jobs in independent schools cornwall”.
Build a return user website – some of what is listed above fixes the issues in the short term, what you can also do is build a content strategy that has job seekers return to your site over time. This is where I think the internal recruiter will struggle as once they have rejected a candidate as not a match for the job/employer, it is a tough ask to build a desire inthe candidate to come back. Tough but not impossible I agree.
Recruiters have no such issue with rejection if they treat the candidates with respect and care, by which I mean listen to the feedback on LinkedIn about what the candidates want in terms of feedback etc.
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Please note I am Dyslexic, and in my form, I am blind to grammar, and sometimes I get my fors and fours etc backwards. Please keep that in mind when you read my work.
Best Darren Revell, founder RecruiterWEB.