Google’s new job search tool will change recruiting

Job boards have been synonymous with online recruiting since the earliest days of the web. But, and the other well-established platforms out there may soon see their role in the market contested by Google, which is working to fundamentally change how professionals look for career opportunities.

The technology giant recently added a feature to its search engine that uses artificial intelligence to aggregate openings from around the web. When a user enters a phrase like “developer vacancies in Colorado” that indicates they’re seeking a job, Google will filter the usual search results to show only positions relevant to their request. The listings are presented in a specifically-crafted format that the company has put together to help job seekers explore openings.

Every vacancy is displayed in a separate box that shows the job title, the name of the company and other key details. Users can tap on it to bring up the full listing, which is paired with workplace reviews that Google pulls from sites like Glassdoor.

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Adding an opening to the search results is relatively straightforward. The requirement is that you publish the posting on your company website in accordance with Google’s formatting rules and submit a sitemap so that the information can be indexed. Self-hosting listings are shown alongside positions from and traditional recruiting platforms, which creates what will hopefully turn out to be an even playing field.

If Google’s new feature gains enough popularity, the incentive to use websites that charge a fee for putting a vacancy in front of job seekers could be significantly diminished. Publishing openings directly through the search giant might even end up being outright preferable thanks to its filtering features. They enable users to quickly narrow down what postings show up for them based on location, freshness, industry keywords and related factors. In practice, this means that professionals may be able to find positions that require their skills more easily than through traditional platforms.

Google’s job search feature can only be expected to become more competitive with time as adoption grows and new features are added. The value proposition is particularly appealing for small businesses, which until now didn’t have the luxury of posting jobs to their websites instead of paid boards as large enterprises do. Google seems to be actively working to make the self-hosted more viable in such scenarios.

A key element of the company’s plans is a service called Cloud Jobs API that was introduced last year. Businesses can use it to enhance the job section of their websites with advanced search options, as well as a commute comparison feature that lets candidates check how long it would take them to reach the office every the morning. Paired with Google’s new search tool, the service can help businesses replicate many of the usability benefits that have historically made job boards the go-to place for posting vacancies.

The search giant’s entry into the fray is part of a much broader wave of change in the recruiting world. Besides new ways to reach job seekers, businesses have access to a rapidly growing number of tools for automating related chores such as resume filtering and onboarding. Google is involved in these areas as well, with reports suggesting that it’s placing a particular focus on applicant tracking.

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