Google for Jobs – A Nail in the Coffin for Job Boards?

Google’s march to world domination has been omnipresent, occasionally slow, but always inexorable. The search giant doesn’t just have its fingers in a lot of pies, it seems to operate an awful lot of bakeries – the ubiquitous search engine, online retailing, pretty much all advertising, communications, mapping the entire surface of the earth in real-time, and remember Google Cloud API and Google Hire?

So, perhaps it wasn’t the most surprising news when the technology giant announced their total takeover of the concept of job-searching with the unveiling of Google for Jobs during Google I/O 2017.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but it’s still pretty seismic. This new service, currently rolling out in the US, is partnering with the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, Monster and ZipRecruiter to collect job listings and it aims to help job seekers find the right jobs and make it easier for companies to find talent.

As Google moves towards world dominance in the recruitment space, what does it mean for job boards? Click To Tweet

It is definitely making it easy alright with functionalities that allow job seekers to filter jobs by location, commute time, category, full or part-time and more. The service also leverages on Google’s machine learning capabilities to understand the relation between job titles, position descriptions and cluster them together on your screen for easy viewing. Job seekers can click on any jobs they fancy and they will be directed to the listing’s host service to apply. Easy peasy.

While it is not clear if Google is actually looking into launching a full scale job site in the near future, this is another telling sign that the company is probably looking in that direction. And when the world’s most well-resourced technology company steps into recruitment space, things are looking grim for competitors, right?

Well, not really. There is no doubt that a company like Google have the capabilities to create a job board of their own but then, why should they do it when there are companies such as Indeed, SEEK and Monster, who are already onto it and are doing it quite efficiently?

Perhaps in keeping with Google’s famous slogan-cum-company motto, “don’t be evil”, this new job search venture will be a rising tide which lifts all boats. By leveraging on their status as the most popular search engine in the world to funnel people into these job boards and providing specific and easy to reach job openings to the people most suited for them, Google is streamlining part of the talent pipeline and helping these job boards serve their customers even better.

Good as this sounds, but it could also potentially form a barrier for entry for smaller, newer competitors in the job search market. Will Google’s alliance with all the big names squash that?

Will Google for Jobs be a rising tide which lifts all boats? Click To Tweet

It depends on your faith in Google, I suppose. They have a well-deserved reputation for innovation themselves, and it might not be in their best interest to squeeze out the little people in the process of making themselves the go-to job search platform. Perhaps this rollout is good news for absolutely everyone in the industry, a true toolset Google’s put together for the benefit of all.

Google has always had a lot of weight to throw around, and no matter what happens, they’ll shake up the industry. This isn’t trying to break bold new ground, where you can fail and fade away, like they did with Google Glass. They have the data, the connections, and the talent, to make an impact, and they will. The only question is, how will things look once the dust settles?

In truth, we likely won’t know till it rolls out properly and even then, we won’t be able to assess its impact for some months. But, as with search engines, advertising, emails, browsers and, well, the Earth, in a year or two you won’t be able to talk about job boards without mentioning Google – that’s for sure.

Image: Google I/O 2017


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