Google's New ATS: What You Need to Know About Google Hire

July 18th, 2017
Jon-Mark Sabel

We found out a few months ago that Google had been beta testing its own Applicant Tracking System. At the time, we didn’t know a whole lot - only that it was being beta tested by a range of small businesses, from home energy financiers to server hosting companies.

Now, it’s been officially launched to the public as "Google Hire".

Are You Eligible for Google Hire?

To use Google Hire, your organization needs to meet the following prerequisites:

  1. You must employ fewer than 1,000 employees.
  2. You must be a G Suite customer.
  3. You must be a US-based business.

If your organization fits those qualifications, you can now add Google Hire to your existing G Suite package.

So if you are eligible for Google Hire, read on. If not, you should still know how it’s changing the ATS game. This is Google we’re talking about - it will be interesting to see if they open it up to larger enterprises if Google Hire is a hit.

Under the Hood: What Google Hire Brings to the Table

For eligible businesses, Google Hire offers a huge array of features right out of the box. These include:

1. Customizable Process Staging

You can build out unique hiring processes for every job requisition, adding stages like coding challenges and candidate presentations when pertinent.

2. A Google-Optimized Career Site

This is a big one. Most job seekers start their job hunt on Google anyway, and Google just released its “Google for Jobs” search feature. A career site optimized for Google is a huge advantage for smaller businesses looking to organically feature their job requisitions higher on Google Search. 

3. Candidate Profiling and Collaboration

Google Hire offers several ways to flesh out candidate profiles:

  1. Import Existing Data. Hire automatically imports Google Search results into the candidate’s profile. This means candidates’ LinkedIn, Github, and other professional profiles can be easily added and referenced.
  2. Collaboration. Google Hire users can collaborate and have conversations on each candidate’s profile. If you use Slack, imagine this functionality like each profile having its own Slack channel.
  3. Grouping & Sorting. Candidates can be grouped and sorted into “Collections”. This allows recruiters to group candidates by tier, as well as saving “silver medal” candidates (those who were good, but didn’t quite make the cut) for job requisitions down the line.

4. Interview Scheduling

Since Google Hire is fully incorporated into the G Suite, allocating time for interviews within Google Calendar is simple and efficient. Check out this video to see how seamless Google makes the scheduling process.

Of course, both you and your candidates will need to use Google Calendars to fully leverage this functionality.

5. Candidate Relationship Management

When it comes time to fill a new job requisition, Google Hire resurfaces candidates who applied to similar positions in the past. This is in addition to the previously mentioned “Collections” functionality that allows you to keep track of former top-tier candidates who didn’t quite make the cut.

Google is also bringing its machine learning-driven search functionality to candidate search. For example, searching for a “Front End Engineer” would yield candidates with experience coding in HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

A somewhat unfortunate aspect of Hire's candidate search is that - for the time being - its results only rank candidates by experience. Or as Google puts it: "Experts appear at the top because results rank each candidate's experience for each skill." That's an interesting way of framing what looks like a pretty big limitation. The best candidates aren't always those with the most experience, and an inability to rank candidates by any other attribute kind of defeats the purpose of "Candidate Discovery".

6. Data-Driven Insights

Google Hire offers predefined reports, providing insight into candidate pipeline, the efficacy of postings on different job boards, and time to hire. For small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) without this existing functionality, this is huge.

It’s difficult to make changes without knowing what direction they’re taking you. With Hire’s reporting (which, of course, is easily transferred to Google Sheets), small businesses will access to the same data that drives decision making at large enterprises.

Looking to the Future: What Google Hire Means for Everyone Else

If Hire turns into a consistent revenue stream, Google may consider using it to gain G Suite leverage in the enterprise space. With thousands of (usually smaller) companies making use of G Suite for everything from scheduling to collaboration, the enterprise market is a logical next step.

Keep an Eye on Your Career Sites

Career sites are one of the first places candidates turn to when looking for more information about your company. But more and more they are being found during the "discovery phase" of each candidate's job hunt.

Generally speaking, larger organizations will have websites with more "Domain Authority", causing them to rank higher in Google. If Google chooses to prioritize the sites of paying Hire users in its Search rankings (as it seems to imply when it says "with Hire, you get a career site that's optimized for Google Search"), this could flip things in favor of smaller organizations with Hire hosted sites. 

Of course, it's yet to be seen what exactly Google means when they say "optimized for Google Search". But it stands to reason that any site optimized by Google for its own Search application will be fairly powerful.

We’ll be sure to learn more in the coming days, so stay tuned - things are definitely getting interesting.

Google isn't the only technology company bringing artificial intelligence to the recruiting space.

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