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Is “Google for Jobs” Set to Transform the Recruitment Industry?

It comes as no surprise that tech behemoth Google has added yet another vertical to their portfolio, in the form of Google for Jobs. After targeting multiple sectors like travel, shopping, videos, online advertising, search engine and consumer electronics, Google sensed yet another opportunity in the recruitment industry and launched its own platform called “Google for Jobs.” The recruitment industry currently faces various challenges, including the need to improve efficiency during the recruitment process, time to hire, selecting an appropriate candidate and rising costs. The process of recruiting includes interviewing, scheduling and evaluating a candidate, and costs dearly for companies in the United States. The entire recruitment process has become cumbersome due to the outdated applicant tracking systems (ATS) currently available in the market. Google is planning to consolidate similar job titles in the same group, organized by functional domain.

Today, recruitment platforms have complicated the process of finding jobs, their core service offering, instead of easing it. Competition in having creative job titles has led to a single job having multiple names and descriptions. For instance, the profile of a janitor might be listed as commercial help, cleaner, etc. on today’s platforms. Through cloud jobs APIs (application programming interfaces), Google is trying to lessen the impact on recruitment’s biggest hurdle—identifying suitable candidates during the recruitment process. To alleviate this issue, Google’s cloud jobs API team is trying to aggregate similar job titles into a broader bucket by using taxonomy and search algorithms. For instance, profiles of janitor, commercial help, cleaner etc. will be gathered under a single category whose name will resonate the exact meaning of what the job offers. The platform is beneficial for both job seekers and employers. For example, filtering job searches by location, title, date, type of job and commute time can help job seekers manage their searches well, whereas optimizing job listings through grouping them into a single category is beneficial for employers.

The recruitment industry is fragmented and has multiple suppliers, including recruitment agencies and online job boards such as Indeed.com and Monster.com. Of late, recruiting candidates through social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook has increased competition. An estimated 92% of companies use social media platforms for hiring purposes; hence, a company might face numerous challenges entering such a fragmented market. To ease the transition, Google is planning to partner with social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook and recruitment platforms, including Monster and Glassdoor. Partnering with these platforms enables consolidation in the industry, which then could cause an increase in platform fees for employers.

While these companies will help Google in entering the market, Google in turn can help them by prioritizing their postings. However, prioritizing search results have led Google into troubled waters in the past. Google was fined $2.7 billion by the European Union in an anti-trust case over search results. The company was accused of favoring its own content in shopping search results. It will be interesting to follow how Google overcomes this hurdle.

Google’s model of consolidating similar job titles in a single group and improving job searches by adding filters will help in search optimization, a feature lacking in current platforms. However, partnering with other online recruitment platforms might cause an increase in platform fees. Google’s new model is also likely to help in times of skill shortages with its better search results. A few large companies such as FedEx and Johnson & Johnson are helping Google pilot the program, and Johnson & Johnson has reported a surge of 18% in submissions per search on its career webpage. Keeping speculations such as reduction in recruitment time, industry consolidation and better candidates aside, only the future will tell how Google for Jobs will impact the recruitment industry.

Sources:

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