Google for Jobs: The new beast in town

google article_0Recruiting trends more often than not slip out from my circle of interest. To be vocally self-critical, I find myself either skimming over these or straight out ignoring them. However, when earlier this year, Sundar Pichai announced Google for Jobs, I had to sit up and take notice. It intrigued me not because of the smart machine-learning trained algorithms (that has been around long enough) but because when Google gets involved, things change.

Given Google’s passion for making search easy, it makes perfect sense for them to act as the natural aggregator for all open positions worldwide. I can only wonder why this didn’t happen sooner. I am also kicking myself for not having predicted it. Now that it has happened, not only is Google telling the world how to post job openings but everyone is taking notice and intends to follow orders. After all, applicant traffic is at stake.

There are many interesting aspects to Google for Jobs. From allowing job seekers to sort by commute time to one-click apply; Google does seem to have thought of everything. However, there is one bit that piqued my interest more than the rest.

It is this – “For a job posting, users prefer jobs with explicitly stated salaries than those without, and enriched search ranking also takes this into consideration. If your recipes have actual user reviews and genuine star ratings, that is also valuable to users of your site and enriched search. In addition, enriched search offers structured exploration for users; for instance, users can filter the list of jobs by salaries. When user apply this filter, a job posting without salaries will not be able to rank. This is one of the most important ranking signals for enriched search.”

For decades now, recruiters have shied away from talking about salaries on job postings. When Buffer, the organization that owns the social media assistant by the same name, made salaries public a long time ago (circa 2013), there were pieces in the media that called the move brave. Others said it was nothing but an attention gimmick and some said that it was the silliest thing they’d ever witnessed. Whatever said and done, Buffer was soon forgotten, things returned to usual and salaries stayed concealed. That is until Google came around and categorically said that for posts to rank higher, salaries need to be mentioned. Makes sense except that Google is yet to practice what it preaches.

I can’t also help but wonder what Google will do with the vast data they end up with. They potentially have access to information that indicates what skills the world is looking for, what they are worth, which direction organizations (competitors) are headed and more. They will be a powerhouse of data and it is natural that they do something with it. I think it is time we began counting the number of organizations – both third-party job sites and salary bench-marking consultants that begin to go out of business thanks to Google’s new venture.  One can only wait and watch.

P.S: This post was first posted on BTN. Check them out. They have pretty cool stuff on their website. 

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