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On June 20, Google launched the widely anticipated Google for Jobs throughout the United States. The program, which was highlighted by Google CEO Sundar Pichai last month at the Google I/O conference, is a new initiative designed to connect job seekers and employers, perhaps bringing far-reaching implications for the recruitment advertising industry.

Google for Jobs screen captureIf you search for a job today using Google, you will see a new user experience—one different from what you’re used to on Google. Embedded at the top of traditional search results is a new interface which pulls jobs from multiple sources and exposes them to the user in a structured way. Viewers see basic information about each job with the ability to access more detailed information. When users click to apply, they are taken to the original source of the job posting, which in many cases leads to a job board.

In this regard, Google’s efforts to connect employers and job seekers presents an opportunity for associations and career website providers, such as YourMembership’s career center partners.

What’s YourMembership doing to prepare you for Google for Jobs?

YourMembership has been communicating with Google for several months about Google for Jobs. We’re well down a path—based on feedback and specifications provided by Google—which updates the way YM structures and tags the job content on our career centers to ensure Google’s crawlers quickly and easily identify your job postings using its new Google for Jobs algorithms. This allows it to expose your specific jobs on search results when they are relevant to the search conducted on Google, ultimately driving job seeker traffic to your career center.

In addition to updating our job posting schema based on specific feedback from Google, YM is also exploring the use of Google’s Cloud Jobs API. This will allow YM to bring all the logic Google’s machine learning and deep search expertise delivers and use it directly within your YM-powered career center. The Cloud Jobs API is still in the alpha stage at Google, so we will share more on this later.

Google for Jobs is both an opportunity and a threat to the recruitment ad industry. It’s interesting Google has partnered with many of the large mass jobs aggregators to access content, including LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Career Builder; but, notably, it’s not indexing job content from industry leader Indeed.com, which has the potential to weaken Google’s market position.

YM is optimistic—based on our dialogue with Google—that Google presents new job seeker traffic opportunities for our career center partners. We’re working at Google’s direction to ensure your career center integrates with Google for Jobs.

What else can you do to solidify your role in connecting employers and job seekers?

As an organization, which connects job seekers and employers throughout your industry, it’s critical you don’t sit back and wait for Google to control your fate. Now, more than ever, it’s important to strengthen your role as a channel for employers to reach candidates who can’t be reached through Google or other mass job websites where active job seekers search. You should leverage the single, major competitive advantage you have over these search engines, which is your ability to provide employers with access to niche candidates who are NOT actively looking for jobs. This is likely between 75% or more of your audience at any given time.

Many jobs are hard to fill or require specialized talent which is difficult to find. For example, haven’t you heard of the current skills gap in the workforce? Studies show that as much as 75% of the workforce may not be actively looking, but are still open to new job opportunities which cross their path.

As noted on our last blog post about this topic:

  • Utilize YM’s Job Flash Product for employers. This gives employers the ability to email their jobs to your members or audience, exposing the job to candidates who would never have seen it on a job board, but may have an interest now it’s been placed in their inbox.
  • Work with YM to insert contextual jobs widgets into your newsletters, websites and social media channels.
  • Partner with YM to integrate your career center with your association management software (AMS) or learning management system (LMS), so members or learners are presented with relevant jobs as they interact with you through these other systems.

These types of actions, all of which are automated for you by YourMembership, will ensure you always offer employers access to different candidates—those they can’t get from Google and other sources. That’s because your candidates are not actively searching for jobs.

YM looks forward to working with Google to drive more job seekers to your sites. At the same time, we urge you to strengthen your differentiation from all other job search engines so you retain a competitive advantage in your niche.