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Google's Mobilegeddon Algorithm and Your Recruitment Sourcing Systems

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by Mark Smith

over 2 years ago

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Google has once again changed its algorithm. This not unusual – they do it all the time. This change, referred to some as 'Mobilegeddon,' was a big one, as it focused on the responsive design of websites. If your website is not mobile friendly, it will be pushed way down the list in the search results. The Guardian has a great article on the implications of the change here. 

The reason I thought I would share this article on a recruitment and employment blog with you is to highlight the hidden consequences of this change. Both agency and internal recruiters could be profoundly affected by what seems an innocuous change for the industry. Many recruiters are probably unaware that Google changes its algorithm regularly and that this particular change has the possibility of changing these recruitment providers' ability to source talent. So... how??

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Let's get to the basics. If you have your own job board on your own company website, whether you are an agency or an internal recruiter, then it needs to be designed to be mobile-friendly. If not, then talent searching for your site won't be able to find it as easily. Even if you have great SEO (search engine optimisation), if your website is not responsive, it will get pushed down the search list on Google. If your website is not found, you get less traffic and therefore less response. Even if you are not using a job board and are approaching talent directly in the market, the first thing this talent will do is try to find you on the internet. Are they able to find your website? If they do find your website, will your website present well on the device they are using, whether it's a smart phone, tablet or a laptop? It may mean the difference whether they explore your job opportunities or not. 

Many corporations have applicant tracking systems that populate company job boards. For many companies, these third party systems have been utilised for many years – indeed, some are twentieth century technology. In my experience, many internal recruitment and HR teams are subsisting on this technology because the C-suite are reluctant to invest in new systems, concerned about 'more costs in a cost centre.' With the new Google change, they could be building in costs, not reducing them, as their companies won't be able to access the talent their competitors can. 

They may then have to engage recruiters with the technology (like people2people!) who charge service fees to access this quality talent fast. Finally, Google's change reflects the unstoppable move to mobile and related devices. The challenge for job boards and recruiters is how to facilitate job seekers who are on the move, applying for jobs.  If a job seeker saw your ad while looking at your company's job board on the bus, how would they apply? So the recent change in Google's algorithm could make your systems work against you in the war for talent.

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