Why You Don’t Have to Fear Google for Jobs

While the power of Google is undisputable, and the response to the launch of Google for Jobs has been overwhelmingly favorable, the limitations of the platform are now becoming increasingly clear. Ambiguity over job titles and role requirements, for example, remains a barrier to functionality. And with Indeed refusing to share its data, there’s certainly some issues that have yet to be worked out.

Of course, the latest move to improve the candidate experience through better incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) should be welcomed by hiring professionals – after all, anything that resonates with potential talent should be high up the priority list for us all. Yes, it has the potential to alter the way we operate, but change can be good, and it won’t replace humans completely – especially not in such a people orientated position. Here’s why.

Robots can’t engage with passive candidates

Google’s tool is great for jobseekers who show clear intent, but it does not help employers to overcome challenges such as reaching passive candidates – a crucial point given the talent short environment businesses across the US are operating in. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 6.9 million job openings across the US at the end of July. In August there were only 6.2 million unemployed people available to fill these roles.

With such a stark contrast between supply and demand, relying solely on active applicants to put themselves forward for live roles will leave organizations with a potential resourcing gap that could impact profitability and growth. The simple fact is, there will always be a need for the personal touch when it comes to engaging with wider and passive talent pools. Which leads me to arguably the biggest reason why hirers and recruiters shouldn’t fear the introduction of Google for Jobs.

We need the ‘human touch’

Recruitment is about people. Completely removing humans from this process will quite simply make the entire method redundant. Yes, technology can improve efficiencies. It can help us to better identify the right people from the often-vast number of resumes submitted at the beginning of the hiring cycle. The likes of chatbots can also be useful in terms of providing jobseekers with further information in a timely manner.

But it can’t help us understand how a person will fit with the organization’s or team’s culture. It won’t be able to identify an individual’s abilities beyond the parameters that are already set for the role. Chatbots won’t be able to replace hugely valuable one-to-one conversations where we can delve deeper into both the company itself and the applicant’s softer attributes or future plans.

Don’t fear tech – use it

The fact remains that technology, AI and robotics are driving change across everything we do in our personal and professional lives. With candidates, staff and organizations facing similar evolution, it’s crucial that hiring managers don’t fear this change, but rather embrace and use it to their advantage.

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Talent acquisition and management has become so admin and process-heavy in recent years that many find themselves struggling to create the time needed for quality human conversations. However, when applied properly, the likes of AI can help remove the burden of these mundane tasks, freeing up time and energy for more candidate conversations and the development of greater talent relationships.

There is no telling what Google can do to this space, if they commit to it. Just like it’s impossible to imagine the internet now without search — specifically Google – the same could potentially be true about job ads someday. But it won’t replace recruiters or talent professionals. Organizations will still need humans who understand the businesses needs and culture to assess jobseekers, as well as keep them engaged and create experiences.