Google for Jobs (GfJ) is a search feature that aggregates job postings from across the web, scanning job boards and careers pages and displaying those job listings as Google search results. It is built to provide a way for job seekers to view jobs from various boards and career sites across the internet, all in one place.
Google’s approach is very similar to what Indeed did when it came on the market; however, (at least for now) you cannot post directly to GfJ, and you cannot sponsor a job either. GfJ relies on traditional job boards and career sites to provide the content for search results.
In addition, candidate resume profiles, a popular feature on several big job boards, do not exist in Google’s offering. For now, GfJ solely appears to be a search feature.
The short answer is: probably not. It’s not the first time that a major search engine has gone after the job board market (see: Yahoo! HotJobs). Inevitably, there’s an ebb and flow between the market leaders, but Indeed, Monster, Linkedin, and others have proven that having a unique brand and insight into the minds of job seekers goes a long way in terms of brand loyalty. Niche job boards, too, have a unique and captive market.
It’s hard not to compare Google for Jobs to Google Flights, another enhanced search feature where Google seeks to replace the middleman. While popular, Google Flights still hasn’t managed to edge out competitors like Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, and others. This is in part due to brand loyalty by customers, fueled by advertising campaigns that Google either can’t or won’t really compete with, even though it has the money. Google’s brand does less to connect with travelers as it stays in the finely-drawn brand lines of the same company that sells a wide range of products and services, from smart speakers and phones to ad space and email services.
The same could be said of GfJ, as many of Google’s competitors are spending big bucks on advertising, putting ads on everything from podcasts to major sporting events (and even though GfJ sported for a Super Bowl commercial this year, “search” is so ubiquitous that it’s tough to even recognize it as a product being offered, but rather a brand-sponsored veterans appreciation).
For now, Google still has a way to go before it offers what job boards can. Since many job seekers already begin on Google, it behooves job boards to integrate so that candidates will find listings on their site and then explore further. But it does seem that GfJ aims to be the first point of contact for job seekers. Notably, Indeed has declined to integrate with GfJ, meaning jobs posted on Indeed are not shown in GfJ results (though they still show in regular search results).
Google’s main mission is to provide supremely relevant content to searches, and this includes candidates. Since GfJ doesn’t allow for sponsored jobs, the best way to get your jobs listed higher is to be as detailed as possible in postings. The more data points Google has available for your job, the more likely the job will be served in searches. In reality, that’s good for you as a recruiter, too; if Google (or any job board, for that matter) can help candidates see hyper-relevant job postings in their search results, that means the ones that find and apply to your jobs will be just the ones you’re looking for.
As far as other job boards go, though, it’s all about return. If you sponsor a job on Indeed and it gets you more applicants, it’s probably worth it. Pay attention to where your best job marketing ROI comes from, and invest accordingly.
There are two ways you can get your job listings displayed on Google for Jobs:
Post to integrated job boards
Google offers an easy way for job boards to include code in their website, called structured markup, that enables Google to find and identify job listings and include them in Google search results.
For example: if a candidate searches “trucking jobs near richmond va” in Google, they will see results from a number of job sites (Note that each result shows the source, e.g. Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, etc.):
Just by posting a job on a site that integrates with GfJ, you’re ensuring that it will show up in relevant Google searches by job seekers.
Integrate your career site with Google for Jobs
Additionally, you can make sure your career site integrates with Google. CATS applicant tracking system does this automatically, providing you with a career site that will show up on Google search, so that even if you don’t post to any other job boards, candidates can still find your jobs on Google.
Whether or not Google for Jobs turns out to be a job board killer, the fact remains that internet search starts with Google, and that means it’s important for you to make sure that your jobs are getting listed there. By posting highly detailed job listings to integrated job boards and by integrating your own careers site with Google for Jobs, you can make sure that your jobs are seen by the most job seekers possible.