Job Boards: Do They Have a Future?

Job Boards: Do They Have a Future?

The likelihood of employers continuing to use conventional job boards in the future could be on the wane. Job searches entail a great deal of research and visits to several job search engines, making an effort involved a time-consuming exercise. However, Google wants to change all that with a jobs search engine upgrade, creating a better connection between employers and job seekers via a new initiative.

The recently launched Google Jobs Initiative includes the Cloud Jobs API and consists of a specific combination of boosting job ads and addressing job search. Included in the mix is the Google Hire project, which is a free ATS for employers. However, does this mean that job boards will lose their popularity and could there be factors that impinge on operational efficiency? Will Google copycat the actions of Indeed? For instance, after Indeed joined the recruitment market halfway through the 2000s, they removed all their jobs from job boards, optimized the listings for Google, plus other search engines and then sold the traffic back to job boards. When Indeed dropped them and started working directly with employers, job boards must have realized the impact of their foolish actions. It is felt that Google is preparing to repeat that activity. Initially, Google will request everyone to make their jobs more visible so that they are more easily found and appear at the top of search results. The next step would be to use Cloud Jobs search to enhance that experience. Employers could then perhaps be persuaded to use Google Hire as their ATS. These actions give Google an overall picture of all jobs, positioned in a way that links directly to their search engine algorithms, shows how job seekers are reacting to jobs inside the Cloud Jobs search and how they apply for and get hired for specific roles via Google Hire. That is more or less a complete package, and if they have that much knowledge, it is possible that job boards may end up being impractical. This is because they are aware that by working directly with employers, better results are achievable.

Ever since the establishment of job boards, Google has been the primary search tool for all recruitment sites and services and has acted as the main support system in the online recruitment environment. Its aims could, therefore, differ from those of Indeed, which is endeavoring to emulate LinkedIn or Monster. In a recruitment scenario, the main focus is always to try and meet the precise search results that customers require and ensure that they are happy within that specific environment. The more businesses within a system, the better, as more access ads can then be sold to a primary customer. In an ecosystem backbone like Google, it would be disastrous for a site owner to lose a set of businesses that provide a lucrative income. Therefore, they watch out for businesses that can undermine their goals of selling ads and keeping customers happy and dismiss them.  Job boards that come to mind within this recruitment scenario include Indeed, LinkedIn and perhaps Facebook. Indeed would be the easiest to eliminate as their business relies on search engine results. LinkedIn and Facebook would be more challenging because they are also the main search tools for job seekers. It does, however, give site owners the freedom and advantage of being able to utilize all three search tools to promote their sites.

What about cost? Although no price structure has been put in place, Google has indicated that there will be a nominal fee. A figure of 1 cent per query could be the initial cost. If Clouds Jobs search is used by the owner of a conventional job board and recruitment site, no matter what size of the audience, they could be shedding a lot of money, despite discounts for volume. The expense is inevitable somewhere. Therefore astute spending on their search facilities means the owner of a site can invest in their relationship with their job seekers. Having an effective site that offers the type of jobs that job seekers are looking for, raises the chances that a candidate will apply and an employer will get the right talent for a specific role. It has often been said that when it comes to search technology, Google is the expert. If Clouds Jobs Search enables a site to provide more pertinent search results than its rivals, then it is a competitive advantage.

As far as jobs costs are concerned, money can be dished out to the aggregators or paid to Google. Also, some may be concerned about the level of knowledge Google might have about their business. Well, they probably already know just about everything. From the way job seekers find and use a site to their work with other sites such as CareerBuilder, Dice, and Snagajob, it is likely they can even predict activity within site, including contents not currently visible. Good or bad, it remains to be seen whether there will be opposition to the Google Jobs Initiative, or whether site owners will adapt to the new ecosystem environment of Google Jobs markup and Cloud Jobs search.