So at last the long awaited launch of Google For Jobs has arrived and at the moment, this gives the recruitment industry a massive opportunity to address the true battle it has in the business: who owns your data, who actually controls your hard-won IP?
For the first time, recruiters have the opportunity to leverage their job data and have far more control in terms of their marketing spend.
Before we dive into all things structured, it might be worthwhile to point out that there are a few glitches that we’ve seen today on Google For Jobs: for long tail searches without the word "job" in the search terms, Google is serving up the ‘old’ page minus Google For Jobs - throwing the word "job" into the search parametres remedies this. In many instances, during our initial testing, and something we noticed when we were running tests on our UK clients’ jobs, was that one job had a number of listings, rather than one job being listed with multiple links to apply. And lastly, jobs being displayed from the original agency website are being pulled through without the logo, while those listed on job boards or aggregators and displaying the logo.
The single most important thing you can do is add structured data to your website.
And before you roll your eyes and bemoan us and sucking eggs in one sentence, there is currently a few big brands out there that are not getting this right. If in doubt go to Google’s structured data testing tool and go through the fields carefully. This is a critical first step.
Once again, structured data is a type of code that makes it easier for search engines to crawl, organise and display content by providing explicit clues for search engines on the meaning of a page. It is a standardised format that classifies the page content.
In a Google For Jobs-powered landscape, adding structured data to your website is the single most important thing you can do to boost SEO and improve your ranking in job searches.
All Volcanic websites use structured data. We’ve had this as a default setting for over 18 months, and the success of this decision has already been demonstrated by the indexing success of our US-based customers and, to be fair, our UK-based customers that have already been highly indexed in the US. In some instances at a higher level than local agencies, and critically, with direct links to their websites as opposed to fighting for button ‘real-estate’ with job boards and aggregators. In a sentence, all our clients’ websites are completely ready for Google For Jobs.
Search engines use structured data to understand the content of a page - and Google For Jobs builds this understanding into its learning. Structured data tells search engines what your content actually means. Without it, search engines can only determine what your data says, but not what it actually means.
And making it easy for the search engine to crawl your website will give you a massive SEO advantage.
So, for example: if you want to publish a page on your website to say you are recruiting for graphic designers in Malaysia, you could simply add the content on a page where any human visitor can read it.
Add structured data behind the scenes to tell the search engine that your page is about recruiting graphic designers in Malaysia.
So you’re helping search engines analyse your content more easily. And that’s what will boost your search ranking.
Supporting the digital transformation
We’ve already seen a huge shift within recruitment towards the discipline of digital marketing. Historically, our approach at Volcanic was to target the marketing manager or director, or the head of IT - and that was around just five years ago.
Now we’re seeing more and more digital marketing managers and digital marketing executives emerge, as the industry realises that they need to invest heavily in the right talent to manage the digital marketing process - either in-house or outsourced.
We believe that any recruitment business that isn’t taking this shift seriously is going to run into difficulties soon.
This will bring the industry full circle - the shortened supply chain will mean that relationships become critically important, which gives the recruiter a clear edge as they take up their classic role of face-to-face interaction. In the face of a candidate shortage, organisations are going to depend increasingly on their partner agencies to deliver talent.
Fundamentally, the number of candidates looking for work isn’t going to change. That is a relative constant.
And if some uber job boards do start to feel the heat because of Google For Jobs, or suddenly a little agency with great jobs created through great relationships can sit alongside job boards and aggregators, then the opportunity for the recruitment industry is clear. Employers will need candidates, and recruiters are well placed to actively source new talent through dynamic methods that move beyond the job board format or the current big marketing spend on this distribution.
As a result of the Google For Jobs model, agencies are set for success so long as they've put their structured data in place.
Conversely, it is the agencies who don't recognise the value of their own IP, and the speed at which they lose control of their own data.
For example, a recruitment agency in the pharmaceutical sector works with three big clients and has worked to build great relationships. They have a bank of jobs they're looking to fill. Rather than recognise the value of these jobs, they simply give them away to a job board, from where it’s quickly distributed out. The value of the job, of the agency’s IP, is lost - and these agencies don’t realise that they’re handing over gold dust.