Google Applies AI Power to Job Listings with New Search Feature

Google Applies AI Power to Job Listings with New Search Feature

Google for Jobs, a new feature announced at the company’s I/O developer conference on Wednesday, aims to use the leading search engine’s advanced machine learning technology to match candidates more accurately with job opportunities, the Verge’s Ben Popper reports from the conference:

Right now Google isn’t planning to start hosting its own job listings. It is collecting them from third parties like Facebook, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and ZipRecruiter. It then filters jobs for criteria like the length of the commute, and tries to bundle together openings for similar jobs that might be listed under different names. A couple of big companies, including FedEx and Johnson & Johnson, have been piloting the program, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai says they saw an 18 percent increase in applications over their previous methods.

It’s not clear if Google is dipping its toe into this market before launching a competitor to job search engines like Indeed. Right now, after a user clicks on the job they want, Google sends them to another service to apply. According to Bloomberg, Indeed generated over $300 million in revenue in the first half of 2015, and IBIS World estimates the total market to be around $4 billion annually, so there is certainly an attractive opportunity for Google if they want to take on incumbents. The product is rolling out in the US in the next few weeks.

That Google is working on this project in partnership with job search sites like LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, and Facebook (which launched its job listings feature in the US and Canada in February) represents “an unusual amount of cooperation from its competitors,” Jessica Guynn observes at USA Today:

Some Google competitors in job search says the launch of Google for Jobs will help their own job listings businesses. Facebook says it launched its own jobs feature to ease the strain of job searches on its nearly 2 billion users. “This partnership with Google helps us accomplish that goal,” Facebook product manager Gaurav Dosi said in a statement.

Google for Jobs is good for the American economy and “has the potential to radically improve discovery of the millions of jobs on LinkedIn,” Dan Shapero, vice president of careers and talent at LinkedIn, said in a statement.

Google search product manager Nick Zakrasek walks Guynn through how the new tool is designed to make job searches more effective:

Job posts are notoriously hard for search engines to classify because of the wide range of keywords used to describe job functions and inconsistency across industries and organizations in job titles. And many people have very specific requirements for the job they are seeking, such as location, accessibility to public transit and special skills. …

A job seeker can narrow the search by applying filters, such as jobs posted in the last three days, entry level versus management roles, full-time roles versus part-time, and roles in a particular industry such as retail. Once a job seeker spots something promising, they can click through to the website where the listing is hosted and apply there.

The goal for Google is to provide a comprehensive set of job postings that include blue-collar and white-collar positions, Zakrasek said. Google will also be able to point job seekers to jobs that have typically been much harder to search for and classify such as retail and service jobs.

For now, as reported above, Google is not hosting its own job listings, but the company is also reportedly working on recruiting tools for employers: Last month, the company revealed that it was testing a new product, Google Hire, that will allow employers to post job listings and track and manage applications.