5 Things you need to know about Google for Jobs

On June 20, Google launched its latest search feature, Google for Jobs. Available in English on desktop and mobile, the AI-powered search engine makes finding the next stop on your career path as easy as finding out the capital of Australia (Canberra), Joe Pesci’s birthday (February 9, 1943), or how many nonprofits exist in the United States (1.5 million). But what exactly is Google for Jobs? And why should you care? Read on for our 5 takeaways.

Work, work, work, work, work, work… @WholeWhale's breakdown of Google for Jobs. Click To Tweet

What’s in it for me?

There was, of course, a reason for Google to launch its Jobs feature (apart from their overall plans for world domination). For applicants, it means a one-stop shop in a familiar user interface without having to sift through any number of websites and finding the same listings spread across many of the same sites. With one search that can be targeted and narrowed down by location, sector, company, and more, it’s also easier to search for new opportunities without the telltale LinkedIn, Monster, or Glassdoor tab peeking out of your work browser. That said, once you found a listing, you still have to go through the company’s application process — Google for Jobs isn’t the Common Application.

For employers and recruiters, Google offers “prominent placement” in search results, “more motivated” applicants who are coming to listings through the Google algorithm, and therefore a higher chance of applicants discovering your job posting and clicking “Apply.”

“Finding a job is like dating,” Nick Zakrasek, Google’s product manager for Jobs, told TechCrunch last month. “Each person has a unique set of preferences and it only takes one person to fill this job.”

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How does Google for Jobs work?

Essentially there are two steps for having your website’s job listings show up in Google for Jobs:

  1. Mark up job listings with job posting structured data
  2. Submit a sitemap (or an RSS or Atom feed) with a date for each listing

The third, unspoken, step is: Play by Google’s rules.

This means adhering to Google’s structured data guidelines (which focus on both technical and quality protocols that are fairly basic Google 101).

It also means following Google’s job posting content policies: The company has to be valid and the role must be named. Google will allow recruiters or agencies to post on their clients’ behalves if they’re the ones listed as the employer, the role is clearly defined, and the company exists. Companies are also allowed to post for rolling applications if they’re always hiring certain roles (such as Starbucks hiring baristas).

For indexing and ranking job postings, Google’s enriched search guidelines mean that all required properties must be filled in and be complete; they must also be relevant and follow Google’s content policies.

Google also requires that their JobPosting element be added to each listing and that the structured data appear on the same page as the job description — not on the listing page.

How do I get my vacancy added to Google for Jobs?

First step is to make sure that your posting pages can be crawled by Googlebot and that they allow for frequent crawls. Depending on how often you’re posting listings, this frequency could change.

As mentioned above, you’ll then add Google’s structured data to the page that contains the job listing. Test and preview, and then submit your sitemaps to Google. Once positions are no longer available, remove the postings to avoid indexing noncurrent opportunities. You can remove postings by taking them off of your sitemap, removing the JobPosting markup, removing the page entirely, or adding a noindex meta tag to the page.

What does this all mean for me?

Forbes suggests that the current average cost of hiring a new employee ($4,000) could decrease significantly if smarter searches allow for the cream to rise to the top more fluidly, filtering out candidates who aren’t qualified. Less time, less money, and fewer resources could mean a major disrupt in the current recruiting industry.

What critics of Google for Jobs have brought up is that this disruption may backfire: The benefit for users of not having to see the same job posting across multiple websites is also a downside for companies that share one job posting across multiple sites to find the right fit. Or rather, it’s a downside for job-posting websites that bank on these cross-postings.

“It’s only a matter of time before sites start paying Google big bucks to put their listing — not the others — front and center,” wrote Mediabistro. This may also mean it’s only a matter of time before posting listings — and getting high-visibility exposure for roles that need a qualified candidate — become more expensive.

So, is the sky falling?

Maybe, if you’re wearing Google Glass (we’ve seen some crazy stuff while wearing Glass).

That said, Google’s rollout of Jobs may be the next AdWords, but it could also be the next… well, Glass. Which way it swings is, for now at least, one question that Google can’t answer.

Google for Jobs could be the next AdWords or the next Glass. Which way it swings is one question… Click To Tweet

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