Is Google Hire the long-awaited jobs site?

14 Apr 2017

Updated with additional information, 11 a.m. Eastern

Has Google quietly launched its long-anticipated recruitment classified product?

“Google Hire,” a new site that looks a lot like a job board and has similar functionality, went live late last night or early today at the URL Hire.withgoogle.com.

The tool appears to be coming from Google’s enterprise cloud services division, which was kickstarted by Google’s November 2015 acquisition of Bebop. (That company’s CEO, Diane Greene, now heads the enterprise cloud services division at Google.)

It’s not clear whether Google Hire will be a full-fledged job board or — as CrunchBase and other

tech sites are reporting — Google’s entry into the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) field. The ATS business is huge, and includes major companies like Taleo (owned by Oracle); Kronos; Run, by ADP; ICIMS and others.

Many recruitment advertising sites have crossed into ATS functionality, either as part of their applicant management tools or as stand-alone businesses.

Google Hire appears to be a case of Google opening up its own internal recruitment system to other companies.

Theoretically, if enough outside companies send their vacancies through Google Hire — as they do to dozens or hundreds of other job-listing aggregators — Google could drive search traffic directly to those jobs and become a giant de facto job board or recruitment site, competing directly with other aggregators, such as Indeed.com.

Like many ATS’s, presumably, Google will ultimately have a large collection of job listings. It’s unclear whether Google is planning to get into the job-board business; offer an enterprise recruitment tool, which could be a bigger opportunity, or just tinker for a while and see what happens. (It can afford to do that.) We’ve asked Google’s media relations team for comment; no response yet.

We couldn’t get into Google Hire — the standard “Sign in with Google” link said our email “is not associated with an account” — but CrunchBase did and shared a number of screenshots beyond the home page. (You can see them here.) There are job descriptions, an apply form and a button to upload a resume.

Only a few companies are participating so far, including Warner Brothers subsidiary DramaFever, Android development studio Touchlab and Chicago-based IT infrastructure provider SingleHop. Two smaller startups both associated with the tech accelerator Y Combinator — Medisas and Poynt — also list jobs on Google Hire.

The “withgoogle.com” URL is generally used by Google for hosting experiments, so this is clearly very early for the company. And as with other Google projects, it’s never a sure bet that this will turn into a real product, or be toyed with for a while, before Google shuts it down.

There have been persistent reports within the recruitment advertising community about Google’s ambitions to enter the field. We’ve reported on them at least twice in Classified Intelligence Report, including a report in November on AIMGroup.com about Google Jobs API, a closed Alpha test with CareerBuilder, Dice and Jibe. Google said the Jobs API “anticipates what job seekers are looking for, and surfaces targeted recommendations,” using machine-learning that “understand[s] how job titles and skills relate to one another, and what job content, location and seniority are the closest match for a job seeker’s preferences.”

We don’t know yet what Google aims to do with Hire, what it will cost, if it will be a limited ATS or if it has ambitions to challenge other recruitment classified companies. (Quite possibly, Google doesn’t have an absolute plan either.)

When Google launched its Cloud Jobs API in November 2016, we speculated that it might be the long-rumored Google job board. Google Hire looks a lot closer.

          Rob Paterson and Peter M. Zollman contributed to this report.

 

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Brian Blum

Brian Blum covers the U.S., Canada and Israel for Classified Intelligence Report, and contributes to our special reports and research projects. Originally from San Francisco and now based in Jerusalem, he has been with the AIM Group since 2004. He is the president of Blum Interactive Media, specializing in writing and multimedia content development for online, print, video and audio. His clients include newspapers, universities and non-profits. He is currently working on a book about the billion-dollar bankruptcy of a once high-flying Israeli startup.