A new way to find career opportunities - or potential job candidates - has just gone live on the world's largest search engine. This new feature could have an impact on digital professionals in a variety of ways.
The function, called simply "Google for Jobs,' was first announced at Google's I/O conference earlier this year.
"46% of U.S. employers say they face talent shortages and have issues filling open job positions," said Sundar Pichai, the company's CEO. "While job seekers may be looking for openings right next door - there's a big disconnect here... We want to better connect employers and job seekers through a new initiative, Google for Jobs."
The feature rolled out on a broad scale early Tuesday in an attempt to combine the job search and web search into a single experience. It uses the machine learning power of Google's unparalleled search engine to introduce users to open positions that might otherwise be hard to find.
Now, searches for keywords including terms like "jobs" or "careers" will feature a new applet on the front of the SERP:
Results are based on your location and the keyword you search for.
Clicking on the 'more jobs' link circled above takes you to a job search dashboard. Here you'll have more direct ability to filter based on categories like employer name or location.
It also gives you the option to "Turn on job alerts for this search", which functions similarly to Google Alerts.
What Marketers Should Know
At a surface level, Google for Jobs doesn't have a lot of immediate marketing applications - at least, not yet.
However, like most things the tech giant does, this is something marketers should keep a close eye on. It could well have a surprising impact on your business and online brand.
Perhaps most obviously, SEO and (probably to a lesser extent) SEM professionals should take a keen interest in how Google for Jobs impacts user behavior.
The listings absolutely dominate the SERP, even more so than other Google interest like featured snippets. If you're targeting any search terms that could potentially trigger the Google for Jobs tool to pop up, your placement is likely to get pushed far down the page (especially on mobile). Paid ads seem to still generally appear above the app.
This presents obvious challenges for SEOs. But it also opens up a new opportunity to get visibility for your brand and site. The path to getting a job featured in the applet is not totally clear as yet, but clever search pros will likely find ways to increase their chances of finding a placement there in the near future.
Dethroning the "Social Network for Jobs?"
When it comes to professional networking, career growth, and job search, one social network has traditionally reigned supreme: LinkedIn.
However, the network has seen a significant increase in competition this year. Facebook earlier introduced its own job search function to its massive global user base. And though Google has indicated that it doesn't intend to start competing with large job search and networking sites (in fact, it frequently links to jobs posted on LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, and the like), it's possible that this new entrant into the space could impact the overall user base of LinkedIn.
Marketers, social media managers, and marketing recruiters who are active on LinkedIn should keep a close eye on engagement and results over the following months. If it starts dipping, with no sign of LinkedIn taking action to retain users, it may be wise to start looking at other channels.
Protecting Your Online Brand
Hopefully, your company's web site is in pretty good shape. It offers a pleasant user experience, has a nice modern look, is easy to navigate, and represents your brand well (if not, you have bigger things to worry about than the content of this article).
Most brands have finally gotten the memo and at least made an effort to build a respectable web site.
Unfortunately, that care and consideration often doesn't extend to corporate job boards. Some are fine; but a majority are miserable, outdated, unwieldy abominations of design and UX. If you've been actively on the job hunt at any point in the last five years, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Previously, brands could 'get away' with having a weak job board experience because it was typically hidden far out of site from casual visitors and potential customers.
Google has now brought those pages front and center for users to find. It's entirely possible for someone researching your business or considering your products to come across one of your open positions thanks to Google for Jobs. And if the page they visit is a mess, that can reflect poorly on your essential online brand.
If you haven't lately, go try out the candidate experience for job applicants to your business. It's probably mediocre at best. Is that the kind of representation you want highly visible on the SERPs?