• Stephen Flanagan

Google for Jobs shows it's never been more important to have an engaging job ad

Image courtesy of Google

Google announced today, that their new Google for Jobs, featured in this year's Google I/O, is now open to all developers and site owners working in the US market. On the back of that, LinkedIn announced that they've been working with Google on that technology to "extend the reach of jobs posted on LinkedIn." Not just LinkedIn, but heavy hitters like Monster, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, and Facebook. Interestingly, there was no mention of Indeed....

This announcement is another significant development in HR Tech, and some might argue the biggest for quite some time. Step forward the doom-mongers that will call it the 'death of job boards' while others will pronounce the 'death of recruitment agencies' like they've done for decades.

So what does it do? Well, basically, it does what Google does best - makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. In this case a job. A challenge they’ve been trying to crack for years.

It’s fascinating that instead of competing with the top online job advertisers in the world, Google have been collaborating! I guess the other big boys had no choice. Just like with every other industry, Linkedin et al. will be fighting for that elusive top spot on page one.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor and many more will take part in a job search Royal Rumble. Interestingly, this might ultimately transform the fortunes of Facebook’s job offering, which hasn’t quite hit the spot yet.

Royal Rumble image courtesy of The Void

The other advantages to Google for Jobs are that it will tell you when the job was posted, whether it's permanent or temporary and how long it will take you to commute to that job. No doubt, over time, based on the data it has gathered about you, it will start pushing more relevant jobs your way. According to an article in Forbes by Josh Bersin, Google for Jobs has the "potential to disrupt the $200 billion recruiting industry" and provide a "potential benefit to the entire economy."

I wholeheartedly agree with his observation in the article about how a job needs to fit your personality and lifestyle. He quite rightly applauds some of the big players mentioned above for their branded pages, promoting company culture and cool workplaces. And he’s bang on the money when he says, “most job descriptions are limited, out of date, and often poorly written - making it hard to tell whether the job is quite what you want.”

And that's why Google’s incredibly amazing technology needs a bit of help. For example, let's say it happened to figure out that I’m a marketer who wants to work on big brands; in a cool office downtown; with lots of creativity, and analysing data; in a job where I’m challenged, but supported; where I can have fun and work hard, at home or in the office……..

It won’t mean a damn thing if the information on the other side, i.e. the job ad, isn't addressing my interests.

It’s like the classic idiom for computing:

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Image courtesy of Jan's Computer Basics

I challenge you to look at the vast majority of jobs out there on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster or any platform that advertises jobs. They nearly all have nothing to inspire, motivate and inform the candidate that this is the job that, as Mr Bersin states; “fits your personality and lifestyle” They are completely one-sided from the employer’s perspective. Even look at the job that Google used on their blog that's in the image at the top of the page. It's just a list of job expectations.

If you’re lucky, in some job ads, you might get a few benefits listed (not all of them); you might even get some info on how great the company is. Chances are, most of them will tell you what they want you to do in the job (like the image above) and what you’ll need to succeed. Nothing else. So, tell me how Google, with all their insight, is going to be able to correctly match one of those jobs to me?

We need to educate the employer to sell the job to the candidate; to inform them in detail of the environment they will be working in; the projects and challenges they will face; the training and career opportunities they will have. As well as that critical factor that Mr Bersin quite rightly highlighted - the cultural fit between employer and potential employee.

This information should have been included in job ads from the days they went through the printing press. They still aren’t. Once more, technology is making it easier for us to find jobs, but if employers are not following the basic principles of advertising, they still aren’t going to be able to attract the brilliant minds and talents that have the potential to transform their company. We’ll still be talking about the ‘War For Talent’ in ten years, if it continues to be fought with proverbial wooden swords.

If you’d like help inspiring and motivating top talent to apply for your jobs, and subsequently become a better search match via Google for Jobs, we’d love to help you out.

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