Why Google Jobs API will fail

Every industry is aware of the impact the arrival of an Amazon, an Apple or a Google can have. But they don’t have an unwavering midas touch; just witness Apple’s MobileMe and Ping or Amazon’s Fire Phone.


Google has its own list of products that failed in the heat of the market and were withdrawn. Those like Google Wave and Google Plus impressed with their technology but failed to understand how people operate, providing overly complicated functionality and interfaces.

The data hurdle
While Google’s general search engine is fed by generic HTML pages, Google requires job ads to be in a new Google-specific format to be accepted.

Google Jobs API needs more specific information than the industry is used to providing and has set a high hurdle for recruiters. Google goes beyond a HTML job ad and, instead, requires exact details about each job.

Let’s look at a few of those details
The name of the employer is required for all postings. This bars many recruiters from participating as they don’t publish their client's details for reasons already discussed (Candidate Charter #1).

The office address of the job including a street address and zip/postcode is required. It enables Google Search to filter jobs to those within a job seeker’s commutable distance. However, publish the address and a recruiter risks their client being poached by the less scrupulous end of the industry (Candidate Charter #2).

A job title free from hoopla (no “Fabulous Bonuses!” or “Relocation paid”). This is Google wanting clean data for its engine. Thing is, ads aren’t simply clean data - job ads sell a company, the role, the culture. Will Google be able to marry these two goals or simply provide a cold, dry experience for job seekers? Will it miss the personal in its quest to deliver on its technical vision for recruitment?

All tech and no soul?
Google Jobs API is setup to appeal to companies wishing to advertise directly and this may, in time, cut out a lot of recruiters. But those recruiters work hard, find candidates away from the search engines and do a lot of interviewing and filtering of job seekers. They also play the part of candidate advocate; convincing companies to broaden their outlook when shortlisting.

Might Google Jobs API be getting the tech right but failing to understand how job seekers, recruitment agencies and companies are motivated and how they operate? If enough recruiters ignore Google's new system it may fail to reach the critical mass that a behemoth, such as Google, requires.

We at Midnight 30, hope Google's new system has a positive impact on our industry. That It raises the bar and give job seekers an improved experience moving us all closer to delivering on our Candidates' Charter.