Google wants to use its search power and machine learning to help more people find jobs

Google for Jobs uses machine learning to help people search for positions across all industries and experience levels.

Image: iStockphoto/zakokor

Your next job may come courtesy of Google. Google for Jobs, announced at Google's I/O developer conference in Mountain View, CA on Wednesday, will use machine learning to collect and organize millions of job postings from across the internet to better connect employers and job seekers.

"Google for Jobs is our commitment to use our products to help people find work," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai in the first keynote address.

"We've been talking about machine learning in terms of how it will power new experiences and research," Pichai said. "But it's also important we think about how this technology can have an immediate impact on people's lives by creating opportunities for economic empowerment."

Some 46% of US employers say they face talent shortages and have issues filling open positions, while many job seekers are looking for openings, Pichai noted. "There is a big disconnect here," Pichai said.

Many people already begin their job search on Google, Pichai said. Google for Jobs takes the form of a new search feature on the site to help people find jobs across all experience and wage levels.

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Pichai said Google worked hard to include jobs that have been traditionally much harder to search and classify, such as those in retail and hospitality. LinkedIn, Monster, Facebook, Glassdoor, and other job sites have partnered with Google on the initiative.

With Google for Jobs, a candidate can go to Google and search "retail jobs in Pittsburgh." The initiative will then allow them to filter by full time, part time, or contract work, as well as by the date the job was posted, job titles, and even commute times. If they find a posting that seems like a good fit, they are just one click away from applying, Pichai said.

"Whether you're in community college looking for a barista job, a teacher relocating across the country, or somebody looking for work in construction, the product should work," Pichai said.

Google for Jobs will roll out in the US in the coming weeks, and will be expanded to more countries in the future, Pichai said.

"I'm personally enthusiastic for this initiative because it addresses an important need and taps our core capabilities as a company, from searching and organizing information to AI and machine learning," Pichai said.

This isn't Google's first jobs venture: Last November, the search giant announced its Cloud Jobs API, which Pichai said was the first fully end-to-end, pretrained, vertical machine learning model offered to employers through Google Cloud. Johnson and Johnson, one early adopter, found that with the API applicants were 18% more likely to apply to a job, suggesting that the matching is working more efficiently, Pichai said.

Besides the traditional job search sites, Google for Jobs may face competition from Facebook, which launched a job search feature in February 2017, allowing companies to post job openings on their Facebook business Page, and candidates to apply directly on the site.

It remains to be seen if these new job search solutions will help fill the tech talent gap, as 40% of employers worldwide currently face talent shortages, driven by IT.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. At the 2017 Google I/O conference on Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Google for Jobs, a new feature that allows job candidates to search for jobs directly through the Google search page.

2. Google for Jobs will include positions across all experience and wage levels, including those that are traditionally more difficult to search for, such as those in retail, hospitality, and construction.

3. Google for Jobs will launch in the US initially, and other countries after that.

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