[PODCAST] Did Google Just Blow Up Your Recruitment Marketing?

An Interview with Megan Boyd and Cyrus Shepherd

Google changed how consumers search, shop, and learn. It disrupted the way businesses market and sell goods and services. So it should come as no surprise that Google is now disrupting the way we recruit and job seekers find jobs.  That’s why we invited two search engine optimization experts – Cyrus Shepard & Megan Boyd – to this week’s episode of Geeks, Geezers, and Googlization to discuss the impact of SEO on recruitment and online job placement.

Cyrus Shepherd is an SEO expert for Moz, a giant in the digital marketing world since the very beginning. He works with both local and large businesses to help them get top rankings in the Google rankings. Likewise, Megan Boyd is also an SEO expert and co-founder of Dunmo Digital.

So we started out asked these SEO experts a pretty simple question: What is SEO?

Cyrus describes it as a way to categorize and organize search results so that your business shows up first when customers search. But what exactly does this mean for recruitment and HR? 

First, let’s get this out front.  When job seekers start searching for jobs, nearly 3 out of 4 of them start the search on Google. Google also launched Google for Jobs in 2017 so Google now essentially requires search engine optimization if you want your jobs to show up near the top of job search results. Like Indeed – and Monster and Careerbuilder before, Google is now aggregating the data itself. That’s a huge disruption in this HR technology space.

In order for companies to get listed in Google, they must use something called structured data. This can be accomplished directly or indirectly.  [To learn more about how Google for Jobs works, check out my online course and use this special code to access it.] 

Adding structured data is only the first step. Google for Jobs also requires that each job be listed on your company career site as a stand-alone dedicated page. No more listing all your jobs on a single page.  If you don’t use the structured data and post each job on its own page, your jobs will not show up in Google search unless you’re using third-party software.

There’s an even bigger problem that most companies and recruiters don’t understand. Indeed DOES NOT permit Google to “crawl” its database. In other words, jobs posted only on Indeed DO NOT show up in Google results. And if nearly 75% of job seekers start their search, they may never see your job post!

Other factors influence how job boards and search engines rank your jobs. One of the factors is something Google calls mobile first indexing.

Mobile First Indexing, according to Megan Boyd, is the process used by Google to crawl your site pretending that they are using a mobile phone.  It’s not only important to have a website (that includes your job posts and application) “look good” on your desktop monitor but also on smartphones and tablets.  If your website or your HR pages are not responsive on mobile, Google may rank your entire site lower. How your website looks on mobile and behaves on mobile now takes is the #1 priority.

“Not only does your site need to be responsive but it needs to be fast.”

Both Megan and Cyrus point out, “Not only does your site need to be responsive but it needs to be fast. Page speed is another important ranking factor.” Eighty percent of users search for jobs using mobile devices. If it’s not fast and easy for your applicants to use your site or view your job listing, you’ll lose candidates.

Search engine optimizing your job posts and career site offers an added bonus. When your site is optimized for speed and mobile, your ranking results grow organically over time. So you might be wondering “how do I check my site for responsiveness”? Google offers a few tools as well as quite a few other companies. Many are free and easy to use.

Getting your jobs posted is one thing. But getting your jobs ranked high enough for the best candidates to find them is another. You must use SEO tools if you expect to reach top talent.  Megan also points out that HR teams should not neglect their career pages. Make sure these pages are optimized with title tags, meta descriptions and content to show up higher in rankings.

Finally, Megan and Cyrus address SEO for local business employment. As a general rule local job listing results are the default on Google. But in order for them to show up appropriately your city and state needs to be listed. Another SEO tactic they mentioned is having employees, candidates, and customers review your company in Google My Business and other review sites. Reviews matter for building your employment brand and search engine rankings.  Obviously that means your online presence and website is pristine and optimized so when people research your company and jobs, their experience is a positive one.