Google entered the recruitment space with a bang with the launch of Google for Jobs in June 2017. Google for Jobs uses a similar approach to serving organic search results and applies it specifically to job postings from the web to serve candidates searching on Google the most relevant open positions possible. Google for Jobs displays job postings in a central search results board found prominently at the top of each relevant search results page.
There’s no doubt that Google for Jobs has disrupted the recruitment marketing industry, especially as it relates to other major players in the space. During the launch, some of the biggest job board vendors such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter were quick to jump on board, and then there were some late adopters, such as CareerBuilder, that waited until later to join Google as a partner. However, other job boards and aggregators have opted to remain independent from Google for Jobs.
So, what has the impact been for Google, the partnered job sites and careers sites since the launch of Google for Jobs a couple of years ago? Read on to find out.
The Impact of Google for Jobs on Careers Sites
Thanks to data from SmashFly, we’ll first look at the positive impact that the Google for Jobs launch has had on careers site traffic. Google began automatically showing “Google for Jobs” as a traffic source in Google Analytics in March of 2018, so looking YoY from March 2018 to March 2019, we can see an increase in traffic directly from Google to careers sites by 86%.
The Impact of Google for Jobs on Traffic from Partnered Job Sites
Looking at Recruitics’ data*, we found that the biggest impact to three major job sites that partnered with Google at launch occurred within the first 6 months after launch.
In the second half of 2017 (the first 6 months after Google for Jobs launch), compared to the previous 6 months, we see that the average job views per job from organic/unpaid traffic across those three partnered job sites increased by +11%. This is likely because the original partner sites of Google for Jobs updated their schema/structured data for Google compliance in preparation for the launch date.
Since then, the average number of job views per job from these partnered sites appears to have normalized and leveled out.
The Impact of Google for Jobs on Traffic from Google
Our data* also indicates that while the analyzed partnered job sites saw an immediate increase to traffic that then leveled out, Google traffic followed a different trend and actually increased more over time. Right after the Google for Jobs launch (again, looking at H2 2017 vs H1 2017), our data showed only a 7% increase in average organic/unpaid job views per job from Google. However, when we look at the data year over year (H2 2018 vs H2 2017), we saw the average organic/unpaid job views per job from Google.com increased by 168%!
H2 2017 vs H1 2017 % Change
H2 2018 vs H2 2017 % Change
This metric may indicate that the use of Google for Jobs in search results by job seekers was lighter to start, but grew over time. This likely also means that today’s candidates are using Google for Jobs as one of their first stops in their online job search process, if not the very first stop. Additionally, more employers have started updating their schema/structured data for Google for Jobs over time which may be playing a role in this growing metric.
Eric Pouliot, Director of Analytics at SmashFly, said, “I’ve always assumed Google for Jobs would significantly change job seeker behavior and impact referral traffic patterns to career sites. But even we couldn’t have predicted the scale or speed of that impact. What we’re seeing — across almost all of our customers — suggests a significant opportunity for Google and their partner sites and a potentially significant threat for sites who aren’t integrated into the Google for Jobs widget. As Google continues to incentivize more employers to feed their jobs directly into Google, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll become the dominant driver of traffic to an employer’s jobs and career sites. And if Google decides to step on the gas and throw significant marketing dollars behind offering a promoted jobs product and positioning Google as a job search destination… watch out.”
Google for Jobs Recommendations for Employers:
It’s clear that the launch of Google for Jobs has made a significant impact on the industry. So, there are steps that every employer can (and should) take to make sure that your organization’s recruitment marketing efforts are positively influenced by Google for Jobs.
Recruitics recommends the following:
Ensure your careers site and/or applicant tracking system’s schema or structured data is up to Google's guidelines so that your jobs can show on Google directly. You can check this on the Google Developers page.
Make sure you have a diversified media mix of both Google for Jobs partner sites AND non-partner sites to ensure maximum ROI opportunity for attracting and hiring top talent.
Ensure you have a recruitment marketing analytics platform that gives you insights into data for every job and from every source, with cost, so that you can make smarter, data-driven decisions about your strategy in real-time.
Continue to monitor for Google for Jobs updates (including new partners) and provide as much relevant information as possible within your job postings to maximize search results.
Your recruitment marketing strategy should make sure that your jobs are Google for Jobs compliant and that they attract talent on Google and on other sites.
You do not have to be technically inclined to be included in Google for Jobs, but if you are struggling, be sure to check out our helpful article on why your jobs may not be showing up on Google for Jobs.
You can also download our free “Guide to Google for Jobs” eBook that was released around the original launch with more details.
Finally, remember that every company’s performance may differ, which is why it’s so critical to have deep, job-level and source-level analytics in place so that you can see the exact impact of major industry changes, like the launch of Google for Jobs, on YOUR organization specifically. Contact Recruitics today to learn more about Recruitics Analytics.
*For the Recruitics data in this post, we analyzed 2017 and 2018 US traffic - over 8 million unique jobs and over 113 million job views - from over 5,500 leading organizations with open jobs across every major industry.
**When we reference “performance” in this post, we’re referring to traffic (as in job views/clicks) to job content pages online. The way we measured/analyzed traffic for comparison purposes was by using the primary metric of “average job views per job” which shows how much traffic a single job gets on average from a particular source. This was the best metric for comparison purposes, as overall or total traffic can be impacted by so many other things - recruitment advertising budget for the source, number of jobs advertised on the source, employer brand awareness/perception, types of jobs advertised on the source, locations of jobs advertised on the source and more.