Ever since Recruit Holdings, the Japanese HR conglomerate that owns Indeed, announced last month that it was acquiring Glassdoor, speculation has run rampant that the parent company would inevitably combine the two properties into an even larger online recruiting behemoth, perhaps as a defensive move against Google’s new job search feature. Matt Charney at Recruiting Daily, in his massive, four part “Requiem for Glassdoor,” concludes that even with their powers combined, Indeed and Glassdoor have no hope of competing with the search engine where 80 percent of job searches begin. With so much control over the front end of the funnel, Google has the power to render its competitors in the job search aggregation market virtually invisible to most users. No matter how much traffic Indeed buys, Charney reasons, “that traffic will ultimately be controlled (and priced) by … Google.”
Still, other observers see the Glassdoor acquisition through a different lens, viewing the site’s impact not so much in terms of volume but rather in how it has mainstreamed transparency and accountability on the part of employers in their interactions with candidates. That’s how the Washington Post’s Jena McGregor described it in her column after the news of the acquisition broke:
Analysts say the $1.2 billion pricetag for Glassdoor reflects a company that sits at the nexus of a number of trends: A tight labor market where many workers have their pick of jobs and employers have to work harder to attract them. A growing demand by recruiters and H.R. departments in an era of big data to back up their decisions with metrics. And a technological and cultural zeitgeist where an appetite for transparency and accountability have only grown
These trends were illustrated in a report Indeed issued just a week after the announcement: How Radical Transparency Is Transforming Job Search and Talent Attraction, based on a survey of 500 US jobseekers, highlighted findings like these: 95 percent of candidates said insight into a prospective employer’s reputation would be somewhat or extremely important in their decision making. Among Millennials, 71 percent said transparency was extremely important, while 84 percent of Millennials aged 25 to 34 said they would automatically distrust a company on which they could find no information (even among Baby Boomers, 55 percent agreed that transparency was crucial). No reviews, Indeed found, are even more harmful to an employer’s reputation than bad reviews, since candidates are at least willing to consider an employer’s response to a bad review.
The growth of online pay information sources like Glassdoor is also a central theme in our upcoming work on pay transparency at CEB, now Gartner.
In the latest of this year’s big waves in recruiting technology, the Japanese HR conglomerate Recruit Holdings has finalized a deal to acquire the recruiting, job review, and salary transparency site Glassdoor for $1.2 billion, GeekWire’s Taylor Soper reported on Tuesday night:
Glassdoor, founded in 2008, will remain a “distinct and separate part” of Recruit Holdings’ HR technology business segment. The Tokyo-based company has more than 45,000 employees; its last big acquisition was swooping up jobs site Indeed in 2012. The all-cash deal is subject to regulatory approval, expected this summer.
CEO Robert Hohman will continue to lead the company. The acquisition is in line with Glassdoor’s longstanding vision of becoming a world-leading recruiting platform, Soper notes, pointing to remarks co-founder Rich Barton made at a Zillow event in 2014:
“Our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for Glassdoor is to become the largest recruiting company in the world, to help everyone find a job and company they love, to become ‘TripAdvisor for employment,’” he said in 2014. ” … This is a revolution in the jobs industry. One day we will become the most important company, the most important marketplace, in recruiting.”
Recruit being the owner of Indeed (as well as SimplyHired, another major job search site), it is natural to speculate that it might combine these massive properties into an even larger online recruiting behemoth. Hisayuki Idekoba, Recruit’s chief operating officer, says there are no plans to integrate Glassdoor and Indeed, but they may partner on “specific challenges,” Bloomberg’s Alex Barinka adds.
Google’s powerful new job search feature, launched in the US last June, has begun its global expansion and is now available in India and Canada. The India expansion will aggregate job listings from over a dozen partners, the Economic Times‘ Surabhi Agarwal reported last week, including some multinational partners like LinkedIn and IBM Talent Management Solutions, as well as India-specific job search sites like QuezX, QuikrJobs, and Shine.com:
Rajan Anandan, Vice President India & Southeast Asia, said in the last quarter of 2017, Google saw more than a 45% increase in the number of job search queries. “SMEs are the largest job creators but are often unable to make their listings discoverable. This new job search experience powered by our partners and our open platform approach attempts to bridge this gap,” he added.
With “Google for Jobs,” as the feature is commonly known, the search giant does not host job listings itself but rather directs search traffic to partner job boards using its sophisticated search algorithm, promising to more efficiently connect job seekers with positions already being listed in their geographic area and professional field.
Canadians can also now use Google’s powerful search tool to find their next job, the company has announced. Partner organizations in that country include the Canadian government’s Job Bank/Guichet-Emplois, BCJobs.ca, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster.ca, Jobillico, and Jobboom.
A recent survey from Indeed, reported last week at Recode, finds that despite the sector’s relatively generous parental leave policies, many women in the US tech industry are afraid to take full advantage of those benefits out of concern for their jobs or future careers, or due to overt pressure from their managers and coworkers:
Survey participants gave different reasons for why they felt pressured to return early:
- 34 percent said they were directly pressured by colleagues or managers.
- 32 percent feared losing their jobs.
- 38 percent cited a fear of losing credibility or value. …
“Frankly, women are afraid they’ll lose their jobs. We’re worried we’ll be forgotten while we’re gone. Out of sight, out of mind,” said Kim Williams, director of experience design at Indeed, in an email to Recode. “Things move so fast in tech, projects move forward and you wonder: Once the team gets used to working without you, will they decide they no longer need you?”
Previous surveys of women in tech have turned up similar findings, as well as that women are widely subjected to questions about their family lives in job interviews and that women are held back from promotions based on misguided expectations by their employers that they will eventually leave the workforce to start a family. These are by no means exclusive to the US tech sector: A recent survey of UK employers, for example, found that a majority believed that a woman should have to disclose whether she is pregnant to a prospective employer, while many said they believed mothers to be less interested in career advancement than their peers.
“Digital solutions ninja” may sound like a more exciting job than “tech support,” but do quirky job titles like these attract or repel candidates? Fast Company’s Lydia Dishman highlights some research that suggests the latter:
According to jobs platform Indeed, the top five are genius, guru, rockstar, wizard, and ninja. The winning titles were identified as the most common “weird job titles” as calculated by the share of postings containing them over the last two years. Rockstar, in particular, has grown in frequency by 19%, followed closely by guru, although the latter has lost some steam as it’s declined by 21%. Ninja itself is experiencing a slow assassination, declining by 35% since its peak in March 2017. But does the quirkiness really result in surfacing qualified candidates?
Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of HR at Indeed, thinks they just serve to confuse people. “When you do your [job] search,” he contends, “you’re not going to put ninja” in the search box. “Companies use these to express what their culture is like,” Wolfe concedes, “but there are other ways to get that point out.” Career pages on a website that contain videos, photos, and other descriptions of what it’s like to work at the company are a better vehicle than a cutesy title.
A 2016 survey by Spherion came to a similar conclusion about these too-clever-by-half job titles, finding that many employees consider them unprofessional and not descriptive of what they actually do. Even more ordinary titles like “specialist” or “project manager” are often seen as too generic.
The new search feature, first revealed at the I/O developer conference last month, promises to leverage Google’s advanced machine learning technology to match job seekers more accurately with relevant job opportunities in their area. Frederic Lardinois at TechCrunch offers a refresher on how the job search function works, noting that Google has expressed no interest in competing with existing job board sites by hosting listings itself:
Once you find a job, Google will direct you to the job site to start the actual application process. For jobs that appeared on multiple sites, Google will link you to the one with the most complete job posting. “We hope this will act as an incentive for sites to share all the pertinent details in their listings for job seekers,” a Google spokesperson told me. As for the actual application process itself, Google doesn’t want to get in the way here and it’s not handling any of the process after you have found a job on its service.
It’s worth noting that Google doesn’t try to filter jobs based on what it already knows. As [product manager Nick] Zakrasek quipped, the fact that you like to go fishing doesn’t mean you are looking for a job on a fishing boat, after all.
Google is very clear about the fact that it doesn’t want to directly compete with Monster, CareerBuilder and similar sites. It currently has no plans to let employers posts jobs directly to its jobs search engine for example (though that would surely be lucrative). “We want to do what we do best: search,” Zakrasek said. “We want the players in the ecosystem to be more successful.” Anything beyond that is not in Google’s wheelhouse, he added.
Make no mistake, however: This is surely a competitive move by Google. “Job search is the next step in Google’s march toward gaining marketshare in what’s becoming a very competitive landscape of very large tech companies,” Joel Cheesman asserts at ERE, pointing to the still-mysterious Google Hire applicant tracking system he caught wind of in April. And while Google is partnering with job listing sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Monster, the leading job search site Indeed is conspicuously absent from the list of partners:
In the face of a shortage in critical tech talent and the growth of online education, many employers are being challenged to update their recruiting practices and in some cases reduce their reliance on traditional credentials like college degrees. One of the most common forms of alternative education today are coding bootcamps—short, intensive programming courses designed to help students get jobs as programmers—which proponents see as an effective way of growing and diversifying the tech talent pipeline. According to a recent survey of HR managers and technical recruiters from the job-search site Indeed, employers appear to hold bootcamps “in pretty high esteem”:
An impressive 72% of respondents consider bootcamp grads to be just as prepared and just as likely to perform at a high level than computer science grads. Some go further: 12% think they are more prepared and more likely to do better. By contrast, only 17% have doubts. Little wonder, then, that 80% of respondents have actually gone ahead and hired a coding bootcamp graduate for a tech role within their company. Meanwhile, satisfaction levels are high: The overwhelming majority (99.8%) say they would do so again.
Indeed also found that the number of bootcamp graduates applying for jobs at these companies is increasing exponentially: 86 percent of respondents to the survey said the number of applications they were receiving from these candidates had increased in the past few years, and Indeed’s own data show “a doubling of year-over-year growth of job seekers with bootcamp experience” listed on their résumés over the past four years.
Nonetheless, the survey also showed that employers would still prefer a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science over a bootcamp graduate, and would like to see more regulation of the bootcamp industry to ensure quality: