The fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is likely to be as far-reaching as anything we have seen in recent digital marketing memory.
As businesses adjust to the ‘new normal’ and remote working is embraced across industries that wouldn’t otherwise have rolled out the idea we will see the job market begin to open up, even if it is completely transformed as we now know it.
This could mean more companies, and candidates utilizing Google for Jobs more than ever before.
As a result, for businesses, knowing how to optimize your job listing effectively could make a major difference in the number and type of candidates you are able to attract when the time is right for your company to hire.
There will also be benefits for job seekers too. Google for Jobs has been created with a candidate-first approach, allowing searches to discover a range of job listings all in the same place. This might sound like any other job board but the level of data Google is able to gather for each listing ensures they’re comprehensive and consistent for each role. Google for Jobs also openly displays ‘typical’ salary ranges for available positions curated from external sources including Glassdoor, something many job postings and job boards can lack.
A Brief History of Google for Jobs
Google for Jobs was launched in 2017 in order to “better connect employers and job seekers” and designed to remove the stress of looking for a job, something that unfortunately is only likely to be heightened in the coming months.
Sundar Pichar, Chief Executive Officer for Google commented at the launch of Google for Jobs, “whether you’re in community college looking for a barista job, a teacher looking to relocate across the country and want teaching jobs, or someone looking for work in construction, the product should do a great job of bringing that information to you.”
This highlights the candidate-first experience that Google was aiming to create, however, the many benefits available to businesses shouldn’t be dismissed either.
How Hiring Companies can Reach More of the Right Candidates With Google for Jobs
Currently, a large majority of all Google for Job listings will lead to an applicant applying via an external job board.
An example of a job posting for an SEO Manager role at Directive Consulting. The blue links show that candidates currently only have the option to apply for the position via third party recruitment websites and aren’t directed to the Directive Consulting site.
This is a huge missed opportunity for small, medium and even large-sized businesses to drive candidates through to their own website, developing longer-lasting relationships with potential candidates (even if now might not be the right time for them to join your organization) and building your brand in the process.
This could be particularly important for businesses in the future looking to reduce expenses in the form of recruitment costs. Job boards can be expensive, particularly when you factor in the need for in house recruiters and executives to allocate resources to the hiring process.
This process can at times unnecessarily long as it is, potentially diverting attention and resources at a key period when businesses need to be streamlining and prioritizing efficiency.
How to Optimize a Job Listing for Google for Jobs
So, this brings us on to how you can optimize your job listings for Google for Jobs. It is not currently possible to post jobs directly on to Google for Jobs and this is the main reason such a large number of listings on Google for Jobs will lead to a candidate applying for the position via an external job board.
These recruitment websites have correctly implemented the necessary HTML and structured the job listing data via schema in order to make it as easy for Google to index and display these jobs as possible.
To ensure your job listing has as good a chance as any to be displayed prominently within Google for Jobs we have a number of steps for you to follow:
Step 1 – Add the Job Posting to Your Company Website
As mentioned, it isn’t currently possible to upload jobs directly to Google for Jobs. GFJ operates in the same way as Google’s traditional search engine, by crawling job listings that exist on the web and indexing them for candidates to search for the positions most relevant to them.
This means it’s important you create a job post for the role you’re looking to fill on your own website. If you don’t, Google has no way to know that the job listing exists and won’t be able to display it to potential candidates.
It’s advised you home all of the job postings in the same area of your site, for example ‘careers’ or ‘vacancies’, whatever seems the best fit for your brand. What’s most important is that you keep this section of the site updated with the job roles you have available.
Step 2 – Add the Correct Structured Data to Your Job Listings
This step is far less technical than it sounds. To add structured data to your job listings means you ‘mark up’ the content on your site so Google can identify the information shown as a job advert.
Structured data in the form of schema comes in a variety of forms depending on the type of content found on a webpage. For example, a website all about films would make use of Movie Schema to inform Google when it is reviewing the latest release.
To ensure Google understands that the listings on your site are for available jobs you want to implement ‘JobPosting’ schema and when implementing structured data it is advised to use JSON-LD, rather than Microdata.
Step 3 – Ensure Your Job Listings Contain as Much Information as Possible
Although job posts will appear in Google for Jobs without some of the information listed below, to rank prominently and stand the best chance of attracting talented candidates it is advised you make your job listing as comprehensive as possible.
This can be done by following these guidelines:
- Use a clear and concise job title – Although this may sound straightforward it can often be the first step that hiring companies get wrong. Look to avoid the use of acronyms as well as terms that won’t be widely used. For example, use ‘Head of SEO’ rather than trying to get creative with ‘SEO Ninja’.
- Be just as clear in your job description – Again, being as descriptive as possible here helps. Bullet points can aid in breaking up blocks of text while repeating the job title and those of colleagues that the position will work closely with can help build relevance. You should also look to include the location of the job listing within the description as well as key responsibilities that will be carried out in the role.
- Add the exact location for the job role – This can play a huge role for candidates searching in the local vicinity. If you’re looking to hire remotely, simply add “jobLocationType”: “TELECOMMUTE” within the structured data for the job post.
- Include a lifespan for the job post – Often job roles shown within Google for Jobs will be listed in order of their publishing date. This makes sense for many sectors and industries that look to fill vacancies quickly. Although your industry may not be one of those it’s still important to include the date that the job post went live as well as when it will expire.
This is an important point, Google has mentioned potential manual penalties for expired job ads which are still showing as ‘live’. You can add ‘validThrough’ structured data to show when the posting will expire, remove the page entirely from your website, or remove the JobPosting structured data from the webpage the listing is found on.
- Include an accurate salary bracket – This can be something that many job listings often look to avoid addressing. Google for Jobs looks to reserve that trend by displaying ‘typical salary’ ranges for similar positions regardless of whether or not a salary is listed. As a result, it makes sense to be fully transparent with potential candidates in regards to salary expectations.
Step 4 – Notify Google About Your New Job Posts With Their Indexing API
Alongside the launch of Google for Jobs, Google also rolled out its indexing API. This tool allows you to notify Google when pages are added to or removed from your website, perfect for content such as job postings which rely heavily on freshness.
The API can crawl web pages and index them very quickly within Google and this tool is likely to become even more important in the future for SEOs.
It is speculated that Google will allow this API to be used for all types of pages in the future, eventually phasing out existing sitemaps to show which pages are live on a website. Different experiments have also been carried out looking at the effectiveness of Google’s API and just how quickly it can index pages.
Once you have your live job listing you can check the structured data is marked up correctly using Google’s structured data testing tool while candidates arriving at your site via Google for Jobs can be tracked effectively with Search Console and Analytics.
Hopefully, the steps shown within this guide will enable you to create compelling job posts that will be displayed prominently within Google for Jobs. Attracting top talent is a difficult task but can we hope that by following the steps in this guide the process is made just that bit easier.