job seeker searching for jobs online with job boards

Why Google for Jobs Hasn't Changed the Hiring World (Yet)

We all use Google products every day. Maps. Gmail. Android. YouTube. And well, GOOGLE. In a lot of ways, our world revolves around Google. But even after the launch of Google for Jobs, the hiring world hasn’t changed. Usually, when Google launches a new product, competitors and companies take notice. But the initial cold sweats that Indeed, ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor probably first experienced have largely stopped because Google for Jobs hasn’t revolutionized the hiring world. Yet.

Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor and others still dominate the space. And here’s why: Indeed quickly moved beyond being a category listing of jobs (Craigslist, anyone?) and wisely became a job aggregator. That made them a single source to see jobs from LOTS of places. With job seekers now flooding their site, they quickly evolved further and actually let visitors apply for some of those jobs on Indeed itself instead of sending them elsewhere to apply.

That "Indeed Apply" means people don’t have to leave the Indeed site to apply for your job--meanwhile Google for Jobs sends traffic away from their site to various dedicated careers sites. And without the equivalent of “Indeed Apply”, that little added friction results in getting far fewer applicants. Remember: anywhere there’s friction in the application process, a certain percentage of people stop applying. Remove friction and you automatically increase applicant flow.

My recommendation for Google? Quickly add “Apply with Gmail/Google” and integrate with applicant tracking systems to instantly reduce friction and increase the number of applicants.

My recommendation for you? Watch the video to hear the one thing you should do to increase your applicant flow at no cost.

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Did Google for Jobs change the hiring world?

It's been some time since Google launched its Google for Jobs job board. I remember all the buzz that was out there. "Google's making a job board and it is going to change the world!" and "It's going to completely disrupt Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter. It's going to completely change everything!"

I have access to a ton of applicant and jobs data. We have over 6,000 ApplicantPro clients, generating millions of applicants, and I can tell you, the hiring world hasn't changed.

Indeed is still on top, generating the majority of job seekers who come from free job boards like Google, Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter. But nobody in the hiring world is talking about why this is happening. There is a lot that can be learned both by job boards and employers about why Google for Jobs has not risen to the top.

Where Google for Jobs missed the mark.

Let me share with you exactly why Google for Jobs hasn't had the impact that we all thought it would and what they will probably do in the future to fix it.

I have been in the hiring world for over a decade. I have seen HR professionals go from Help Wanted ads in the newspapers to CareerBuilder and From there, Indeed came along and completely dominated the job board market. Now in the hiring world, we have Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook all starting to jump in and saying, "Hey, we can build job boards too."

What most don't see, are the little changes and tweaks that happened that are actually producing the results that job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter are getting, especially when combined with an applicant tracking system like ApplicantPro.

Indeed's focus on job seeker experience.

Indeed focused throughout the recession on the job seeker experience. Indeed understood that they needed to have all the jobs and not just some of the jobs. Google saw that implemented the same thing with Google for Jobs. They thought, "We'll index all these jobs from all these job boards" which is what clearly gave Indeed the competitive advantage during the recession against companies like CareerBuilder and

Indeed simply has more job seekers than other job board sites because they created a greater job seeker experience. But Indeed didn't just stop there. This is where the difference is right now between Google and Indeed.

Indeed looked at the job seeker experience and took it a step further by making it so that a job seeker can stay on their site to apply for jobs. Indeed calls this "easy apply" and can be seen on Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter. Where you don't see this "easy apply" is on Google for Jobs. You don't see an "Apply with Gmail" button yet. and because "apply with Gmail" is not there, Google is actually missing a lot of leverage that Indeed has.

The numbers prove Indeed is on top.

Let's take a look at how the math works with this. Imagine that a hundred visitors looked at your job on Google for Jobs and five job seekers applied for the job. If those same one hundred job seekers were on Indeed, Indeed would actually generate between 15-40 applicants compared to Google for Jobs five applicants. That's right, applying with Indeed, or staying on the job board to apply, increases applicant flow by 300-800%. The same job, the same job seekers, but reducing the friction to apply for jobs, and making it easier to apply, is one of the secret tools of job seeker experience that Indeed has found to amplify the number of job seekers that they can generate per job.

ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor are following along with what Indeed is doing. These companies are building integrations with applicant tracking systems like ApplicantPro to make it easy for job seekers to start their job application. But Google hasn't and that's why we haven't seen the massive impact from Google for Jobs. Just look at how many applicants you get from Google for jobs, times it by anywhere from 3-8, and that's how many applicants you would be getting if they had "Apply with Gmail".

What can you learn from Indeed's job seeker experience?

Now, what can employers learn from this? It's really simple. Look at the difference between those 2. Indeed is currently winning that battle because they have reduced the friction for the job seeker. They focused on the job seeker experience and reduced the friction or the drag or how hard it is for them to apply for a job.

Employers can do the same thing on their career site. Not just by integrating with Indeed or ZipRecruiter with their apply button integration but also looking at their own career site and their application process and asking questions like:

  • What is our application process like?
  • Where are we creating friction for our job seekers?
  • Where are we making it hard for job seekers to apply for our jobs?

Reduce the friction for your own job seekers.

Find ways to reduce friction in applying for your jobs. Remove questions that you really don't need the answer to. Remove questions that job seekers don't have easy access to the information on. Move these questions later on in the process if you don't need it right up front. Things like references and background check authorization forms. Anything you can do to remove the friction will increase the number of applicants actually flowing through the funnel and getting to your desk for you to review.

That's what we have to learn from the current situation between Google and Indeed. It isn't just about having all the jobs. It's about making it easier for job seekers to apply, especially on a mobile phone. My guess is that you as an employer or HR professional haven't actually applied for a job at your organization to see what it is like. Take a minute. Go and apply. Ask yourself, is this increasing friction or decreasing friction? Is this making it easier for a job seeker to apply or harder? If harder, make the changes necessary to reduce the friction for applicants to apply.

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