Last week, Google announced it would be launching a job search engine in the US intended to streamline the job searching process. The service uses technologies such as machine learning and AI to create what’s known as a “job family taxonomy”, meaning jobs listings will be automatically clustered by similarity and relevance to whomever is typing in a search query. Users can filter search results by area, sector, location, commute time, and whether jobs are full-time or part-time, among other factors.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Google has implemented functionality to improve user experience. Google has used structured data for years to parse and group information such as reviews, pricing and stock levels, to add context to search results. In the case of Google for Jobs, job-related schema mark up, which is code added to a website page to help search engines return more informative results, will be utilised to gather and categorise jobs listings.

What Google for Jobs means for job seekers

Google for Jobs is designed to address the issue of ambiguity in jobs titles that has traditionally made it difficult for job seekers to easily use Google to find listings that pertain to their skills. Many jobs with different titles often have the same key responsibilities, such as is the case with “marketing specialist”, “marketing executive”, and “digital marketing executive”. The issue is only further complicated when it comes to broad job titles such as “producer”, where the required skills and experience can differ greatly from role to role. The new functionality will theoretically be able to surface more relevant listings to job seekers using Google to look for jobs.

While Google for Jobs should be a useful complementary tool for job seekers starting their job search online, Google’s machine learning technology isn’t without its flaws. This has been seen in the case of Google’s Quick Answer Boxes – the featured snippets that appear up top when you ask Google a question. Until recently, if you asked Google “Who is the king of the United States”, Google would inform you that it is Barack Obama. There have been numerous instances of incorrect featured snippets in Google, so it will be necessary for job seekers to do their due diligence with independent research when using Google for Jobs.

It’s also important to consider that Google for Jobs can’t parse information such as work environment or workplace culture. And with strong company culture being the number one deciding factor for candidates in accepting a job offer, the role of recruiters with industry know-how will be crucial in helping candidates make the all-important decision about which organisation to choose.

How Google for Jobs will affect employers

Google’s new service should positively impact employers by helping put their job listings in front of more candidates. This means it will be more important than ever to have a reliable screening process in place given the likelihood of higher application numbers. A major role of recruitment will be, as it always has been, to pick the cream of the crop from the candidate pool and allow internal teams to focus on their day-to-day operations. Recruiters will also be a useful resource for determining a candidate’s suitability for a role in terms of softer skills that may not appear in a jobs listing, such as interpersonal skills and approachability.

Google for Jobs will also increase the likelihood that employers will see more superstar candidates applying for their roles thanks to them finding more appropriate jobs listings online. This is great news for employers, but it will also mean that the top candidates will likely be put in front of competing businesses and be receiving multiple job offers. Any organisation’s employer value proposition (EVP) will be imperative in attracting top talent, and employers will need to ensure that a positive ongoing relationship with desirable candidates is maintained. This relationship management will be best handled by recruiters, who can facilitate and nurture candidate relationships when internal staff simply don’t have the time to do so.

While Google’s new functionality is ideal for job seekers looking for highly relevant roles in their area, it lessens the chances that candidates will be searching for jobs outside their local region. Employers will still need to turn to recruitment agencies with global reach to ensure they have access to top talent across the globe, especially in areas where there is a skills shortage locally.

Google for Jobs is certainly set to shake up the world of job searching and recruitment, and it will herald a positive shift for job seekers and employers alike. Recruiters will be key partners in ensuring a smooth transition for organisations – finding and securing the best candidates in a market where competition is fiercer than ever, and fostering positive relationships with top talent.

Have more questions about Google for Jobs and how it will impact your business? Talk to a Michael Page recruitment specialist today.