Google for Jobs Announces 4 New Features (No. 3 Really Sticks It to Indeed)

Keeping up with the avalanche of new features and solutions coming out of Microsoft/LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google aimed at aiding employers and job seekers alike is dizzying. (Checkout my archives for an idea of just how dizzying.)

That said, if you didn’t think Google was serious about grabbing a significant share of the employment pie before today, the unveiling of four new job search features this week might change your mind.

Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Salary information. Google says salary information is missing from over 85 percent of job postings in the U.S. today. To remedy that problem, it has partnered with sites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and LinkedIn, which supply that data in various ways. If a posting doesn’t have a salary listed, Google will show a comparison to the estimated range for that job, if available. It’s worth noting that Indeed has salary information as well, but since it’s not participating in Google for Jobs, that data will be absent in search results.
  2. Location. For job seekers who want to work someplace close to home, this enhancement will be particularly popular. By clicking on the Location filter, user can select to see jobs within two, five, 15, 30, 60, or 200 miles from a nearby location, also selected within this filter. Competitor Indeed allows users to specify exact location only, or five, 15, 25, or 50 miles in distance from a search query.
  3. Job-board-of-choice apply. This update is by far the most interesting and unique to Google. Basically, if the job you’re viewing is located on multiple job boards, you can select which one you want to use when applying for a job. So, if you already have a Monster account, and have built a resume there, you can select to apply to that job via your Monster account and not, for example, through CareerBuilder or a site where you don’t have an account. You can also opt to apply directly through a company’s ATS and bypass job boards entirely. Google doesn’t say how it decides the order, but in the screenshot, the company site comes before the job sites. (Again, it’s worth noting Indeed won’t be an option, as long as it chooses not to participate in Google for Jobs.) It’ll be interesting to see if Google will release data around the percentage of people who choose a company website versus a job site.
  4. Bookmarking. This one is pretty self-explanatory. See a job you like, click the bookmark icon in the upper right corner. From there, that job will appear in your “Saved jobs” tabs on Google, which is accessible across any of your devices.

Although Google for Jobs has only been around since June, this round of updates represents the most important list of new features yet. It’s also further proof that Google is really serious about this whole job search, employment thingy.

I’ll also reiterate this list of enhancements really turns the screws on Indeed. In addition to copying some of Indeed’s existing functionality, Google is really forcing Indeed to choose whether or not it wants to remain on an island while CareerBuilder, Monster, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and others partner with Google to funnel more and more traffic to their own jobs.

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By letting users decide which platform they want to use when applying means Google doesn’t have to play favorites. While Indeed distances itself from job boards, Google seems to be embracing them (at least for the moment). Job seekers who have no clue about any of this will ask themselves, “Why isn’t Indeed an option for applying?,” which in time could be devastating to Indeed’s brand.

Oh yea, Indeed realizing that many job seekers on Google would actually choose Indeed to apply to openings on Google for Jobs if Indeed was actually an option has got to be ironically painful. Good for Indeed’s competitors though, so there’s that. Indeed is based in Texas, right, where the Alamo is?

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.

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6 Comments on “Google for Jobs Announces 4 New Features (No. 3 Really Sticks It to Indeed)

  1. My initial thoughts: Google getting job leads out more broadly seems like a great thing … so long as job seekers are not confused about where to look, and they often are. Not confused for lack of intelligence or desire: it’s just that Internet surfing can be confusing and Google does not necessarily make it easy. And now Google profits directly from searches coming to them versus Indeed and others.

    So you can imaging I am totally afraid of what kind of wage data is going to be algorithmicaly applied to our client’s postings. We spend thousands of dollars a year on compensation data from ERI. There is science and art to job pricing. I cannot see how Google-deriving rates can be a good thing.

    There is a myth, major big one, that when a job is posted the employer knows in advance, the level of precise skill level and competitive wage at which it will be filled. Whether a shipping clerk, sales rep or Ph.D. scientist, there is a range of skills and experience that might be chosen to fill a position — therefore, the price (wage) will vary. Every job we fill for every client is subject to hiring at different rates — because we hire unique individuals. The rate is not known till we have a specific human person with a unique set of skills and attributes under consideration for an offer.

    And most jobs in the United States are in companies without formal compensation ranges. They don’t have ranges to post — as if posting a range is useful. Who wants to take a job knowing they are paid in the bottom of the range? And if you have broad bands, you can’t use those for recruiting.

    The average market wage is simply that, an average. By definition, most people don’t get paid the average. But now Google computer code is going to tell job seekers what a posting ought to pay. Please, no.

    It was bad enough when salary.com started posting wage data and I had to explain to candidates they weren’t getting that number. Now people won’t even apply to the job in the first place if they think perceive the rate might be low.

    Employer-Worker mutual loyalty is at a terrible low. This is not going to help.

    The only hope (because I don’t see Goggle choosing to withhold putting their version of data-reality on display) is employers will adapt in some useful way to overcome this headache.

    And I don’t think driving actual wages to the average rate is at all a good idea, for employers or workers.
    _________

    Side Bar to illustrate Google is still learning: my company, the Michigan HR Group (we provide HR solutions to small and some mid-sized companies), has a Google company page and a super, small Google ad budget — like $50 a month.

    Yet I get up multiple calls a week from people doing Google searches to talk to their “HR department” … organizations like GM, Kroger, hospital systems, and more. How Google algorithms allow Michigan HR’s listing to appear high in the rankings I can’t figure out — and eliminating common HR words from our tagged searches reduced the inquiries but I still get several each week.

    Scott Trossen, Founder
    Michigan HR Group

  2. One thing has become clear the online job board space for the last 20 plus years has been a giant game of King of the Mountain, with the King not getting more than a 5 to 6 year run to truly own the mountain. When you get to the top enjoy the view because someone is coming for you. Indeed figured out the SEO trend way before anybody (and dethroned King Monster) and built a Billion dollar business out of it. Google doesn’t start paying attention and try to kick you off the mountain until the market opportunity starts with a B as in Billion and King Google was awoken and it doesn’t take him long to dethrone you.

  3. Point three is important in a number of ways… Job board traffic is increasing coming from mobile devices, so which ever medium they candidate picks to apply needs to have their resume stored or have an easy way for the candidate to get their resume (cover letter, video cover letter) when they apply.
    And this is pretty obvious from the image Google are using on the product details page, all mobile search.

  4. The salary inclusion is interesting, because oftentimes employers strategically leave out salary ranges. What if Google gets the estimate wrong? I guess it would just add to false expectations, but I wonder if employers could change this somehow? I guess they could add their own salary range and avoid this altogether. Anyway, Google for Jobs does exist to do some awesome things for employers, regardless of recruiting tools or job description methods they use. More on this here: http://recruit.ee/bl-google-jobs-eb-bh

    Thanks for sharing!

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