ATS Vendors See Promise in Google for Jobs

But traditional job boards aren’t likely to fade away just yet

Aliah D. Wright By Aliah D. Wright September 5, 2017
ATS Vendors See Promise in Google for Jobs

Vendors who sell applicant tracking systems say they're excited about partnering with Google for Jobs, Alphabet Inc.'s new job search engine.

Google for Jobs will help companies reach candidates faster, vendors say, by allowing job seekers to apply for jobs directly at their client companies—bypassing traditional online job boards.

While some experts have predicted that Google for Jobs will eventually put job boards out of business, others suggest that there will always be a need for other options.

Before Google for Jobs, people who typed job search queries into Google Search were directed to Careerbuilder, Monster, Indeed or LinkedIn. Because Google Search now uses Google for Jobs to connect recruiters and applicants faster—by sending those queries directly to an applicant tracking system (ATS) that has partnered with Google for Jobs—job boards will eventually be sliced out of the process.

Google also has unveiled Google Hire, its own ATS, for use by small and mid-sized companies.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Google for Jobs uses machine learning to more accurately recognize how jobs are categorized online. It then collects job listings from across the web and matches them to job search probes that job hunters type into Google Search.

"The fact remains that a large percentage of people start their job search with Google and, if they get this right, then just like with images or maps or news, Google for Jobs could be where people go to find jobs," said Joel Cheesman, a recruiting technology industry veteran and the founder of Ratedly, which monitors anonymous employee complaint websites.

SHRM Online spoke to ATS providers that have partnered with Google for Jobs and asked why they think it's a game-changer for job seekers and recruiters. Here's what they said:

"This is big," said Jerome Ternynck, CEO and founder of SmartRecruiters, a San Francisco-based company that sells recruiting software and applicant tracking systems. "If you're a job seeker, why would you go to a job board when you can go straight to Google?" Google for Jobs "is like search engine optimization for jobs," he added, since Google already will have collected jobs that match a job seeker's search parameters.

When job seekers search for jobs that are listed in a SmartRecruiters ATS, client jobs will appear directly on the Google search results page, he said, making it easier for people to apply for a job directly with the company that posted it. Applicants' resumes go straight into a company's ATS. Job seekers type in the kind of position they're looking for, and they can see jobs directly at SmartRecruiters' client companies in addition to those listed on LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed and other online sites.

Seeing jobs solely on job boards may change as the technology improves and as more ATS providers like Matawan, N.J.-based iCIMS partner with Google for Jobs.

Al Smith, iCIMS vice president of technology, said his company is proud to partner with Google "and lead the charge into a new wave of recruiting that more effectively aligns job seekers with great companies—which is what successful talent acquisition is all about. 

"All companies want their jobs to receive the exposure they deserve, so when tech innovators join forces in this capacity, [our] customers and job seekers both stand to benefit tremendously. The impact of Google for Jobs cannot be overstated, and iCIMS' focus on recruiting allows us to be nimble in embracing this technology where other organizations simply cannot."

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Introduction to HR Technology]

Some Say Job Boards Are Here to Stay

Google for Jobs may bypass some job boards, but there will always be a need for niche job boards, some recruiting leaders say.
"It was a large industry before Google's entrance," said Pete Lamson, CEO of software company JazzHR. It sells applicant tracking systems and is based in both Boston and Pittsburgh. "The leading job boards are going to continue to thrive." He called it a win for JazzHR's ATS customers, though, since JazzHR, too, has partnered with Google for Jobs.

"The job market in the U.S. is extremely large," he said. "Google's entry in this space further validates this industry for many competitors."

Chris Russell agreed. "It's not a death knell, rather a slow commoditization of job listings in general," said Russell, a recruiting technology and job board consultant with RecTech Media in Trumbull, Conn.

"Jobs are everywhere now. Job boards that differentiate themselves and build niche audiences will always play a part in recruiting."


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