Published: Jun 28, 2017Time to read: 6mins Category: Recruitment

Google Hire and the Job Search Revolution

Recruiters will be armed with the world’s most powerful marketing weapon in the war for talent. Those who successfully use Google Hire will have an almost unfair advantage over their competitors. To ensure that you are leading, you need to get started now.

Last year, over 1.2 trillion searches were conducted on Google. We head to Google to find hotels, figure out how to get ink off dogs (don’t ask!), see which movies are showing or get videos to explain the perils of IKEA bookshelves. Soon you can add ‘look for a new job’ to that list.

In typical Google fashion, they’ll start with the consumer behavior to acquire a critical mass. Once consumers turn to their trusty search bar when looking for jobs, Google will move to charging for ads. When you look at a search results page, you can see a blue print of how this is likely to manifest.

The good news is that you can get a head start on the coming change by taking lessons from e-commerce and creating content that the Google search algorithm rewards.

1. Think Like a Consumer

You will need to start thinking about the buyer’s journey—or in this case, the candidate journey. What drives them to that search bar to begin with? I’m guessing it isn’t to look for your latest Researcher IV job.

Consider the scenario below to see the path someone might take to discover one of your jobs:
Karen is a great teacher, but she’s having a bad day. You know that some of your best research employees were former teachers. You may want to make sure you have job descriptions or job pages that would meet Karen’s search for jobs outside of education, that suit her teaching background.

2. Job Descriptions as Ad Copy

You’ve probably heard a thousand times that job descriptions and titles must be engaging. Were you really excited about the Researcher IV job in our example? I wrote it—and I was bored.
Moreover, you used to have an entire page to regale your audience if the job description didn’t do the trick. Now you are counting those descriptions in number of characters rather than the number of lines. The latest is that you only have 70 characters in your title.

One thing you’ll learn quickly in the Google new world order is that space on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is at a premium. Therefore, your value proposition must fit into this amount of space. Not only does it need to be succinct, it needs to differentiate you from the other jobs that will be displayed.

3. First Page Matters

As much fun as the Google Doodles are, Google is in the business of making money—and they do it well. The bulk of their revenue comes from advertisers.
In the Nike shoes search results page above, Google charges multiple times for multiple types of ads. As candidate behavior changes to the point that job searches begin on Google, employers will likely be charged for those premium, first page rankings.

Though Google wants to monetize real estate on their search results pages, they are also incented to make searches fruitful for candidates. If searchers don’t find what they are looking for, they’ll go to another site. Hint: Google hates that.

Since Google’s goal is to match queries with quality content tied to intent, they use a formula to assign a quality score to determine what search results rank highest. To ensure that you are delivering the right information to Google and your candidates, create landing pages that are as engaging as your ad copy.

You may also want to create landing pages for what marketers call the long tail search. These are more detailed queries that may have less traffic but are more likely to create engagement. Consider these two examples of job searches:

  • Researcher - Head Term (will generate more traffic but not specific)
  • Jobs for teachers outside of education - Long Tail (will yield less traffic but highly specific)

4. Google is Visual

Videos are a great way to rank on Google and in other types of searches where Google ranks video content well. Therefore, we suspect the same will be true of Google Hire.

As you start to think about individual job descriptions as ads, why not consider having videos about that job? Or interviewing the person who had that job previously? Or how about teachers who moved into your research role? Discover other ways to incorporate video in my blog about the power of video in your candidate experience.

5. Start Data-Driven Behavior Now

As Google starts to take over job searches, you’ll learn quickly that data is critical to success and small tweaks can yield exponential results. That means it is a good time to start thinking about your career site analytics. You’ll need those analytics to estimate how much you should pay for advertising with Google. Therefore, you may as well learn how your actions affect traffic now. You’ll also want to know which keywords are being searched, so you can create content to match those searches.

Often things like algorithm changes can affect traffic so baselines are important. For instance, when Google decided that having a site that was mobile-friendly would be rewarded by the algorithm, sites that were not responsive fell to the bottom of the rankings. Some sites lost more than 50% of their traffic in a single day.

The Good News

If you are working with a company like PeopleFluent, your life is going to be easier. We’ll just send your information to Google for you.

However, you should start working to make sure that the data we send represents your goals. Here is a quick checklist of things you should start working on before the revolution:

  1. Write short, punchy copy for your jobs. If you need to get your Mad Men vibe on to do this well, dress suavely and pour yourself a scotch on the rocks. Go for it; we won’t tell. However, you can also work with your marketing team—who probably has a lot of experience writing good ad copy.
  2. Review your landing pages for each job. Does the copy match what you think someone might be searching for?
  3. Start looking at Google Analytics weekly to see search trends for your career site. Also, keep up with the latest on Think with Google.
  4. When you interview new hires, ask about their decision-making process before they applied for your job. Are there searches that you should make sure you rank for like our example of “Jobs for teachers outside of education.”

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PeopleFluent helps you fill critical roles with the right people and the right skillsets on a global scale. At the same time, it helps you build your employer brand and sharpen your competitive edge.

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