Earlier in 2017, after a year of testing, Google launched Hire, an app that integrates with Gmail and Google Calendar, designed to help businesses improve their recruitment processes. Initially aimed at small and medium sized businesses to sync candidate information, interviews, comments and communications, it’s also a tool easily adopted by any recruiter keen on efficiency too. But will it change the employment and recruitment space as intended or will Hire be the next Google Wave or Plus stagnating in the background until they eventually admit defeat and pull its plug?
Hot on the heels of May’s Google For Jobs initiative, Hire is the company’s second move into the employment marketplace, as it gears up to challenge the Microsoft-owned LinkedIn as the go-to name in the online jobs space. It’s a sector with a great deal of recent activity, and Google seems seriously interested in it, which is why Hire may be a success for them. Facebook also last week announced an agreement with ZipRecruiter to open up job postings to its 2 billion users, in their bid to threaten LinkedIn’s crown.
On the face of it, Hire isn’t a direct competitor to LinkedIn; in fact it complements it. In terms of recruiting, LinkedIn is primarily a tool best used for sourcing and contacting passive candidates, so Hire would typically be involved in the next steps of the recruitment process. However, should Hire succeed, LinkedIn will have every right to feel nervous. Google has the ability to move into any market it chooses and with Google for Jobs already able to serve results from competitors further down its page, it would only take Google to enter talent sourcing (with access to non-LinkedIn members too, remember) for the power dynamic to shift considerably.
Whether or not Hire will have any impact on the smaller recruitment companies also remains to be seen. While it’s true that any tool that streamlines processes will make in-house recruitment faster and therefore cheaper, there will also be the long-term networks, experience and specialist knowledge of the professional recruiter that delivers better results. Technology has to date only improved the recruitment sector rather than endangered it, and even a giant like Google has shown nothing so far to change that view.