Market Watch: Job Searching AI

Not all AI are designed to steal our jobs; although many existing AI are created to replace repetitive manual labors that can be written in algorithms, there are AI with the purpose of finding jobs now. In fact, job functions like designing, babysitting, analytics, and most of the STEM job simply can’t be replaced by AI easily...yet. Recently, Google released its private alpha testing version of the AI product to the public via the Google Cloud Platform. Google is offering its free alpha testing trial version to Google users. During the free trial, user can have access to the service then choose to terminate the service when time is almost over or continue using it as premium service.

At June 20, Nick Zakrasek, product manager, revealed this ambitious project, Google For Jobs in Google’s press release blog. Within the blog, he stated that the problem of job seekers is that they can’t find the right job to fit their skill. Underemployment is one of the serious economic issues where skilled labors only can find unskilled jobs. It is true that many job seekers these days feel like they can’t find a right job for the skill they learned or trained for throughout multiple years. At the same time, employers are having trouble finding individuals that can fit into their open positions. The Manpower Group released a survey claiming that 46 percent of US employers are having issues of filling open positions to the right candidates due to lack of available applicants, applicants lack of experience, applicants missing the required skills (hard and soft), or applicants asking for more than offered. Hence this AI product has the potential of being widely used by employers and job seekers.

Today, we’re taking the next step in the Google for Jobs initiative by putting the convenience and power of Search into the hands of job seekers. With this new experience, we aim to connect Americans to job opportunities across the U.S., so no matter who you are or what kind of job you’re looking for, you can find job postings that match your needs. – Nick Zakrasek

As most of us know that Google has access to the information of major job boards like LinkedIn, Hired, Indeed, Monster, WayUp, and even freelancing and volunteering recruitment sites, users don’t need to scroll to all these individual websites to find jobs. In this project, Google is going to use the machine learning technology they developed called Cloud Jobs API to give smarter job recommendations to job seekers. At this moment, this software is still in alpha testing and Google users can sign up for free trail. Google for Jobs will learn about the user’s skill set and experience levels. The recommendation jobs will vary a lot among fresh college graduates, veterans looking for civilian jobs, and parents looking for part time job. 

At the present stage, Google for Jobs is accessible through both desktop and mobile platform but only have job openings available in the US. It also has filtering features of what most online job boards have like “jobs near me”, choosing industry, job type, experiences, location… and search keywords to fit criteria in the job description. As Google is combining all job posts from major online job boards, the most important task should be done is to eliminate the duplicated job posts since most companies don’t only post their opening positions in one online job board. This will be not be an easy task as some companies are hiring multiple same entry level position jobs. At the same time, Google for Jobs have features of rating employers. This could be a feature from GlassDoor. Compared to other job boards, Google For Jobs’ advantage is going to have the largest dataset of job opening and rating of employers within the US.

In addition, job scam will be an issue that Google For Jobs will have to look after. There are certainly existing job scams in large job boards that their administrators don't notice. Inexperienced job seekers may fall into those traps. If Google For Jobs is going to preside over most of the jobs on the internet, it might have the most detailed list of job scams as well. In other words, Google For Jobs could be the most unsafe job board as well. The AI should check for the legitimacy of the recruiter. At the moment, users can rate a job position and a recruiter’s legitimacy. However, this method also can be twisted when competitors maliciously report each other. 

This AI won’t eliminate online job boards since it's only gathering information from job boards. Companies would continue to post their opening positions on job boards. However, in some ways, this AI may be disruptive to the employment agencies. With job boards like LinkedIn, Hired, Indeed, various college job boards, and even Craigslist, less and less job seekers go to job agency for jobs and go online to look for job openings. They had been causing disruption to these agencies. In some cases, employment agencies need to post their clients’ job offers on online job boards. With this new competition, could employment agencies survive when this AI is released? In the worse scenario, these experienced agencies can become career consultants and provide interview and career tips to young, inexperienced job seekers. Even with the success of the Google AI, there will always be a role for employment agencies.