Google job ads are here — now what?

Google job adsOn March 1, Google job ads came into the hir­ing world like a lion. Ok, not real­ly – but it made a great open­ing sen­tence, eh? No, the first sight­ing of Google job ads (thanks to Tom Cheva­lier!) seems more like a ten­ta­tive fin­ger in the water, instead of a full-fledged roll­out. As you can see in the screen cap­ture, the imple­men­ta­tion is almost painful in its imple­men­ta­tion – ala Craigslist. That’s ok – as we all know, Google can do any­thing they want, and their design is often sim­ple.

Google job adsWhen Google for Jobs first appeared many years ago, I and many oth­ers spec­u­lat­ed that the next step would be some kind of mon­e­ti­za­tion of the blue box – prob­a­bly along the lines of their reg­u­lar ads. I hon­est­ly thought it would hap­pen with­in a or so of the 2017 intro­duc­tion – but it did­n’t. Then the indus­try went through sev­er­al years of won­der­ing when the next shoe would drop….and waiting…..and won­der­ing.

So why now? Since I don’t have a pipeline into the Google C-, I can only spec­u­late. But my best guess is that they need the mon­ey. Google – if you haven’t heard already – has not had a great cou­ple of years. The EU has been fin­ing it for var­i­ous and sundry pri­va­cy and com­pe­ti­tion issues, the U.S. is also breath­ing down its neck, and now it is fac­ing a sce­nario in which AI may dis­place its lead­ing role in inter­net search. What’s a big, mul­ti-nation­al behe­moth to do? Appar­ent­ly one thing is to start offer­ing job ads.

But if Google decides to roll out job ads across its entire net­work (and this is of course by no mean cer­tain!), what will that do to the job board indus­try? Here are a few pos­si­bil­i­ties:

  • Mon­ey that was being spent on job boards now goes to Google: At first, Google Jobs pro­vid­ed a traf­fic boost to niche job boards, allow­ing their ads for the first time to place above Indeed. That in turn helped improve the attrac­tive­ness of these job ads, which helped the thou­sands of involved. I would expect that at least some of that mon­ey will now go to Google as employ­ers com­pete with job boards for the paid ad posi­tions.
  • Job boards spend even more mon­ey on Google: Instead of an end­less stream of to Google for reg­u­lar ads, the job boards will dou­ble-down and start buy­ing Google job ads to pro­mote their own inven­to­ry. Hey, why not?
  • Indeed sim­ply flood the new job ads: Hey, Indeed/Recruit has a bot­tom­less check­book, right? So why not sim­ply out­bid every­one on all Google job ads, every­where?
  • Google job ads become a region­al headache: Per­haps Google will decide to imple­ment Google job ads in spe­cif­ic geo­graph­ic areas, such as the U.S. and the EU. After all…follow the mon­ey!
  • Indeed feels the pain: Maybe the Google job ads per­form so well that Indeed cus­tomers for­get all about CPA!
  • It’s a great big noth­ing­burg­er: It is around for a while – but then for some unknown rea­son (such as lit­i­ga­tion), Google decides to pull Google job ads.

What do you think? Are we at the edge of the job board – or is it just ‘slow day’ in our indus­try? Let me know!

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