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Google+, the Future of Job Search?

Google+ and Job Searching


Since the inception of Google+, it has touched almost every corner of Google - Gmail, YouTube, Android, and more have received a bit of Google+ magic. Recently that touch has extended to a lesser known but very important Google service - its job search page, which lists open positions at Google. Beyond making it even easier to look up your dream job (at least for us), the new jobs search site could represent the future of how companies connect with potential employees.

The New Job Discovery Experience

New Search Results Page Notifications

Google+ Enhanced Job Search on Google Jobs
Enable Google+ Prompts
When performing a job search on Google jobs board, users are now taken to a new search results page. The new page, when signed into a Google+ upgraded Google account, includes a blue bar at the top prompting the user to allow Google to utilize their Google+ profile information to assist in the job search and application process (item 1 in the picture above). Users not already signed in with Google+, will not see the blue bar.

On the right hand side of the page, users are again prompted to "enable Google+." They are also now given 4 benefits from enabling Google+: customized job recommendations, connecting with Googlers, email updates, and starring jobs (item 2). Underneath the top box, is another box again prompting the user to "get started" so that they can see which connections they have at Google (item 3). Users that are not signed in to Google+ already, will see prompts telling them to sign-in to Google+ instead of "enable" and "get started."

After examining the URL of the new search results page, we see that it includes "beta," suggesting that Google is testing it for now (item 4). This could also possibly suggest that they are planning on rolling out this functionality for other companies to use on their job boards.

Addition of Google+ Connections

Google Jobs with Google+ Circles Information

Upon enabling Google+, users are greeted by a new pane which lets users know that "Life at Google" is on Google+ so that they can follow them (item 1). 

Underneath that, is where it gets more interesting. Users are given a list of "your connections," a list of Googlers in their circles (item 2). When scrolling over the list and clicking "view all," users are shown a fuller list of Googlers in their circles to contact. At this point, they can choose to contact the Googlers on Google+ by clicking through to their profile, or they are also given an option to email them instead. A Gmail composition box opens with an email already pre-wrote. All that is left is adding a bit of individual touch and the receiver's email address. 

However, it seems that the list of Googlers in the searcher's circles is limited to those that have also enabled Google+ enhanced job search. Personally, I'm only shown 4 people when I in fact have many more Googlers in my circles. This makes sense because it could become a privacy issue if all Googlers easily appeared next to job search results. I would assume, many of them would like the option to choose whether or not they appear. However, this is also an option to click and go to the users circles to see a full list of those they are connected with that list Google as an employer.

Users are also given a list of suggested Googler "you may know," so that they can add them to their circles (item 3). They idea here is that job searchers will reach out to Googlers and ask them about how they like their job, how to prepare for interviews, etc.

Personalized Job Search Results


Also, noticeable is the personalization of search results. After enabling Google+, my job listings updated to include a lot of writing positions because my most recent position is "Marketer and Writer" for +Google Plus Daily. I don't exactly know how the positions were being sorted before, but the change was very noticeable when I enabled Google+. This feature is great for both job searchers and Google. Job searchers don't want to sort through a lot of positions for which they have no relevant experience, and Google doesn't want prospective employees applying to positions that they are not a fit.

Extra Features: Star Job Listings & Email Updates

Google Jobs Board Enhanced With Google+
Google Jobs Search Results Page

Enabling Google+ also comes with a couple other neat features: the ability to star job listings (item 1) of interest and receive email updates from Google when new job listings are available.

As users search through the many job openings that Google has open, they are able to star those that seem interesting in order to make it easy for them to come back later. The functionality is very similar to starring emails in Gmail or places on Google Maps. Simply clicking "starred" at the top left of the page, searchers can see a full list of all of their starred positions (item 2).

There are two ways to sign up for email updates. One way is through the "get email updates" button on the top of the page (item 3). Clicking the button causes a pop-up box to appear allowing users to choose if they email updates from their current search. It will also show users the keyword from their current search as well as the filters currently active. From a drop down box, users can choose to have updates "never," "daily," "weekly," or "monthly." In addition, by clicking the "recent searches" box at the bottom of the left-hand pane,  job searchers can choose if they want updates from any of the searches in their current session (item 4).

Sharing Built In

Share Google Job Search Result to Google+
Link to Share This Job Search Result

No Google+ integration would be complete without the added ability to share positions with your circles. As seen above, the new Google job search experience includes "share" links that appear when scrolling over a search result. 

Share Position on Google+
Share Position on Google+


In addition to those links, there is also a Google+ share button on all position descriptions like in the picture above. The button is also accompanied with a question, "Know someone who would be interested?" Google is hoping that this will lead to more prospective employees finding out about open positions they have.

Modernized Application

We fill out our name, email address, education history and employment history on most social media networks, yet we still have to fill out all of this information on every online application. There has been some movement to change this with LinkedIn's "Apply With LinkedIn" button, launched in July 2011.

Google Jobs "Apply Now" Button
Google Jobs "Apply Now" button
Now, Google is getting into the game with Google+ enhanced job searches. On any job posting (both on the top and the bottom), users can simply click the "Apply Now" button and their name, email address, education history, and employment history are pre-populated on the application form. The application becomes much faster to fill out.

What It Means For the Future of Job Search

One of Google's clear goals in recent months has been a push into the enterprise with Google Apps (and as a part of that, Google+). While it's possible that this is a unique tool for Google, it looks and feels like it has the potential to be a broader product for enterprise customers.

In general, job listings across the Internet are a bit of a mess, and many companies already use third party services to post them. This could be a compelling addition to the Google Apps package, offering both organization and personalization to the job search progress.

Thinking even bigger, this could very well be the first hints of a competitor to Craigslist and Monster.com from Google. Combining personalization from Google+ with the Google search experience we know and love could make for an extremely interesting and useful addition to the job search market, as well as a new source of revenue for Google. As we know, Google is always looking for new areas to get into, and it looks like they could soon be moving into the online job search market.

What do you think? Does this mean something big from Google, or have we fallen into wishful thinking?