Learning Curve: Adjusting the sails

by Tracy Clayson
Tracy Clayson is director of client development of
In Transit / CPC Logistics Canada. t.clayson@ callcpccanada.com

Depending on what sources you trust, Google holds somewhere between a 70 to 92 percent claim on Canadian Internet search volume. Even if the precise percentage could be disputed, it cannot be argued that changes in the way Google presents search results can make seismic impacts on a business’s success.

In the human resources world, one such change organizations are preparing for is “Google For Jobs”.

Google For Jobs (GFJ), is the search engine giant’s recent attempt to aggregate job board listings, along with content from actual employers, to present job seekers with their best possible options. In many ways, Google is looking to make job seekers’ lives easier the same way it did for local business searchers when it introduced its local search results years ago.

Among many of its key features, GFJ provides available jobs based on the searcher’s specific query, including physical proximity of the job to the searcher. This routinely includes presenting available jobs at the top of its organic rankings, above the job board results.

In the US market, Google For Jobs began making its debut in June of 2017, and has been regularly adjusting the way it presents jobs to users. Remarkably, Google has been unusually transparent in outlining a path to success for a business to be included in this program.

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. – Jimmy Dean

Performing a simple Google search will provide great insights into many specific actions a business can take in order to “catch the wind”. Unlike much of the “hocus-pocus” local businesses struggled with to understand how to show up in local search results, the GFJ criteria have been made quite clear.

While no specific timeframe has been outlined by the search giant for rollout in Canada, based on the ubiquity of this feature in the US market, it seems a foregone conclusion that it will not be long. So, what should a business be doing to prepare?

In our organization, preparing for this change has resulted in evaluating our own current website and existing job listings. There are specific techniques that Google outlines which can help lead to success in appearing in its results. We discovered, after researching our own website construction, that our own site was not constructed to succeed. So, we began the process of rebuilding our site, based on many of the criteria that Google For Jobs and other subject matter experts have outlined.

Another step has been to put some focus on making sure our jobs are listed on some of the sites that Google has been regularly displaying in its existing Google For Jobs results (Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, etc). Regardless of the lack of foothold several of these job boards have in Canada, it seems important to be in those platforms, then try to make adjustments based on what other boards are included when Google flips the switch to turn this feature on.

Further, given how much “user-generated content” Google focuses on displaying, our organization is strategizing to make the best, simplest possible experience for a job seeker once they do interact with our listings. Businesses should prepare to do everything in their power to put their best foot forward, as Google will be encouraging job seekers to rate their experience with an organization.

Rest assured those ratings and reviews will be prominently displayed for fellow job seekers to see. We want to excel in this area. Although commonsensical, a business should be doing everything in its power to be engaging and responsive to anyone demonstrating interest in employment.

When this change occurs, similar to when Google makes changes to other components of its algorithms, the jockeying to appear in these results figures to be similar to a gold rush. Companies that have taken care of the fundamentals should expect to recognize gains from a recruiting standpoint. Failure to prepare, like most things in life, is a plan for failure.

The key is to prepare for the changing winds. Top talent is the life-blood of any successful organization. Competing for top talent requires being able to make proactive adjustments to changes in the marketplace.

Google For Jobs represents a looming change that promises results for companies that prepare. Even if it never does come to fruition, the very threat of its possible implementation can give any organization a reason to revisit the fundamentals, which in itself is a very worthwhile exercise!