Following the launch of Google for Jobs in the USA two years ago, the tool is now entering the German market. Yet how does Google for Jobs actually work, what are Google’s goals in this context, and what is the significance of the new Google job search feature for companies and the jobs market? In this blog, we explain what recruiters need to know about Google for Jobs.

What is Google for Jobs?

First of all: Google for Jobs isn’t a jobs exchange website in itself. This means that uploading job advertisements directly isn’t possible. Google has revealed little and hasn’t even discussed the product “Google for Jobs” itself, but has instead referred to “Job search on Google”. Therefore, what exactly is Google for Jobs? The answer: It is an optimized job search within the normal Google search. With what are known as “Link Tipp Containers”, Google has been changing the visual presentation of search results after specific user entries for quite some time. When searching for the weather, for example, the results are shown briefly and concisely to Google users directly in the SERPS without having to follow another link. In the future, this Link Tipp Container, which is highlighted in blue, will also be available for job vacancies. The boxes are located below the Google ads, but above the organic search results – incidentally, this means that the space for the organic search results disappears. But more about that later, when we discuss what companies have to do to so that their job advertisements appear in Google for Jobs.

This is how it looks in the search results

Google for Jobs. Link-Tipp Container

How does Google for Jobs work?

Google for Jobs uses the data from job advertisements which are already available in digital form in job exchange websites or career websites, and provides the first three most relevant search results with their source, prepared accordingly, in the box. If the user clicks on the Link Tipp Container, s/he is taken to the actual Google for Jobs search with additional job offers and a variety of different filter options, such as the working hours, date and place of work. Google Maps is integrated so that the route to work is visible and a job search in the vicinity is also possible.
The whole thing is based on the Google Cloud Talent Solution, an AI-supported applicant management tool that learns from the search terms entered and the click behavior of the user, and which aims to deliver ever better search results. Employer evaluations are also integrated – from kununu.de or glassdoor.de, for example. The more relevant and useful the information in a job posting is for Google for Jobs, the higher it is ranked by Google for Jobs.
Jobs with salary details are preferred by Google for Jobs. Here in Germany, this could trigger a small to medium-sized culture shock, as salaries are something of a taboo topic in Germany. It is certain that salary information would be helpful for candidates, however, as it would make it easier for them to compare jobs.

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What are the goals of Google for Jobs?

If we put ourselves in the position of the potential applicants, i.e. the users, we are confronted with a pretty heterogeneous job market. There are more than 10,000 job exchange websites in Germany. There are several big and well-known job exchange websites as well as smaller websites for specific industries. In addition to this, there are the social media job markets, such as Xing and LinkedIn, without forgetting the individual careers sites of companies. The descriptions are inconsistent: applicants either find the same job postings everywhere or they run the risk of missing an interesting job if they fail to browse all of the job boards.
The key approach of Google for Jobs, where all jobs are bundled together and relevant information such as the route to work and type of job are visible at a glance, constitutes a significant improvement of the Candidate Experience. Google for Jobs intends to make job searches easier, more enjoyable and more transparent. Users can also save search results and set up job alerts.

Data, data, data

Users also need to be aware, however, that Google is ultimately interested in data. Google already knows a lot about us, and the information concerning applicant behavior fills another gap. The initial tests in the USA, where Google for Jobs has been in use for around 2 years, show that with the help of Machine Learning and Predictive Analysis, Google is able to predict when it is time to apply for something new and which job suits you the best – before you’ve even thought about it yourself.

How to get your job postings in Google for Jobs

Different approaches are available to you. You can either log your job postings in a jobs exchange website and hope that it cooperates with Google for Jobs. Or you can use applicant management software that is suitable for Google for Jobs, i.e. it plays out structured data.
Or you can do it yourself. As it isn’t possible to upload job advertisements to Google for Jobs, but the Google Bot searches for this information itself, you may already have an idea of how it works: the better the structure and information of the job description are aligned with the Google Bot, the more likely it is that the job advertisements will be visible in Google for Jobs. While search engine optimization (SEO) was once confined to online marketing, it is now finding its way into the recruitment departments of HR departments. You should therefore align your career pages with the criteria in the best possible way.

First and foremost, that means:

  • Optimizing for mobile searches
  • Ensuring talking URL’s and fast loading times
  • Using structured data, optimizing texts for search engines (SEO)

The more information about the job – job advertisements with salary details are preferred – and the easier the text can be found organically on Google (SEO), the more likely it is to be listed on Google for Jobs. The relevance for the user, i.e. the potential applicant, takes center stage. The job description should therefore match the actual job. In this respect, in the future, it will become increasingly important for recruiters to position the company and the job descriptions more strongly in terms of content. Google’s search algorithm reveals its full potential when what the candidate is looking for and what the company means combine together in the best possible way, says HR expert Robindro Ullah.

Google for Jobs Tool with filters

Checklist: What Google for jobs needs from job descriptions

The following should be included under all circumstances:

  • Job title, if possible standardized
  • Detailed job description
  • Publication date
  • The name of the employer
  • The place of work

Additional recommended information includes:

  • The type of employment
  • Duration for which the job advertisement is valid
  • Salary details
  • Link to online application

Job advertisements should support the three formats for structured data, JSON-LD, microdata or RDFa. A very good description of the best way to customize your job postings for Google for Jobs with structured data is provided by Google in its tips on job posting.

Google for Jobs: Importance for companies, applicants and job exchange websites

The advantages for applicants are clear: they save time, as they only receive one source for job advertisements. They can use the filter function, save jobs and compare them with each other better. Google for Jobs significantly increases the transparency for applicants. With online applications at the click of a mouse, in the future, applicants will be able to make direct job applications via Google for Jobs. The candidate journey is shortening.

Advantages for companies

It is foreseeable that through Google for Jobs, a large part of the reach and traffic on career pages will take place from within Google. In this respect, companies have the opportunity to be directly visible with their career pages and to save themselves the time they would otherwise spend posting their vacancies on several different job exchanges. With enriched information and structured data, job advertisements are likely to become more uniform and better, therefore increasing the quality of the relevant search results and, in return, the quality of the candidates. Google for Jobs is also raising hopes in the digital sector, which has experienced problems filling vacancies and is hoping to gain a greater reach.

A source of salvation or the killer of job exchange websites?

Google for Jobs needs the information from the job exchange websites, and the job exchange websites – especially the smaller, niche job exchange websites – need the reach of Google for Jobs. This results in a win-win situation, at least for the time being. If Google for Jobs is well received and widely used, however, it is to be feared that job exchange websites will become mere data providers for Google and that at least some of the job exchanges will disappear.
HR expert and author Robindro Ullah also predicts a change in the pricing model. While most job exchange websites rely on a placement strategy, Google is known to have a strongly performance-oriented culture, with the Cost per Click (CPC) and Cost per Impression (CPI) pricing models. If Google for Jobs were to prevail, the pressure would grow to bend to Google’s specifications. However, the performance-oriented approach has the advantage that more transparency becomes possible, as the price depends on the number of interested parties and applicants, and not on how much a company pays for a better placement.

The bottom line: seize the opportunities and benefits

You can think what you like about Google being a “data vulture”. In summary, however, it is possible to predict that due to Google’s strong monopoly position, Google for Jobs is likely to influence recruitment over the long term. The communication of Work-Environment, as well as employer branding and personnel marketing are quite simply becoming increasingly important in companies. Recruiters are taking increasing care to improve the content of their job descriptions. If companies want to survive in the “war for talents”, it will be increasingly necessary to convince applicants with the right content.
You can find out how to optimize your recruitment process in the next blog.

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Read more: How to optimize the recruiting process

Active sourcing, user centricity, employer branding: Read what is important in a digital recruitment process to survive in the “war for talents”. With these tips on HR 4.0.

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About Thomas Meysel
Thomas Meysel has been product manager for EASY applications since June 2016. In his spare time he travels as a passionate hobby chef and author of cookbooks on East African cuisine. If the cooking results are unsuccessful, he reduces his frustration by going to the Borussia Dortmund football stadium.
Thomas Meysel

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