Google's core update: A comprehensive guide for recruiters, ATS platforms, and the Job advertising Industry 

Transforming Digital Recruitment 

The Google November 2023 Core Update marks a significant shift in digital recruitment, affecting recruiters and Applicant Tracking System (ATS) platforms. 

Nonso Onowu on January 30, 2024 Average reading time: 3 min
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Google's core update: A comprehensive guide for recruiters, ATS platforms, and the Job advertising Industry 

Enhancing search result quality and relevance, this update highlights the need for heightened online visibility, crucial in attracting top talent in today’s competitive market.

Understanding the update’s impact

This fourth major algorithm recalibration of 2023 brings significant changes, especially in recruitment. Recruiters now find their well-crafted job listings, such as those for niche roles like Ruby on Rails programmers, attracting a broader audience, sometimes unexpectedly leading to a high volume of unqualified applications. This shift necessitates a more diverse SEO strategy, focusing not just on keyword integration but on understanding the intent and context of search queries. Alexander Chukovski elaborates on this in his LinkedIn video. 

Challenges for ATS platforms

ATS platforms face challenges in user experience and SEO. Traditional platforms with complex application processes risk high abandonment rates, as highlighted by Appcast’s finding that 92% of online applications are never completed. To adapt, ATS platforms need to simplify application processes and align job listings with active job seeker searches, ensuring comprehensive and informative content. 

Evolving recruitment practices 

Recruiters can leverage this update to enhance job listing visibility and adapt their SEO strategies. A well-optimized job advertisement can now reach a wider audience, but recruiters must also address the growing use of AI application tools by job seekers. As noted by industry expert Richard Collins, the rapid adoption of these AI tools for crafting resumes and cover letters poses new challenges and opportunities for the job advertising industry. 

The impact of AI on job advertising 

The adoption of AI by job seekers raises concerns about the future of job advertising. As Collins points out, AI tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated, aiding in writing CVs, tailoring applications, and even participating in interviews. This surge in AI-assisted applications could lead to a flood of unqualified candidates, affecting the economics of job advertising and potentially leading to a significant decrease in advertising spend per job. 

Take, for example, a job listing for a specialized programming language like Ruby on Rails, which normally attracts just a couple of applications. Suddenly, it’s inundated with over 300 submissions, but none meet the qualifications. This trend suggests a shift towards an employer-centric labor market, where the availability of genuine, open positions is dwindling, a scenario not reflected in the official statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This change is partly due to job seekers increasingly turning to AI-powered application tools to boost their job prospects, often using them indiscriminately rather than strategically.

To address this, the industry needs to pivot towards more effective methods, concentrating on attracting genuinely qualified candidates instead of just depending on revenue from job advertisements. 

Broader implications for the labor market 

The update streamlines job searches, making it easier for candidates to find suitable roles. However, the rise in AI tool usage complicates this process, as job boards and employers may receive an overwhelming number of applications. This trend necessitates a reevaluation of online presence and application processes, with companies seeking more efficient ways to handle the influx of applications. 

AI-Apply automation tools: A double-edged sword 

While AI-apply automation tools streamline the application process, their widespread use brings new challenges. Recruiters and hiring managers must find ways to sift through a large volume of applications, identifying genuinely qualified candidates amidst a sea of AI-generated applications. 

The Google November 2023 Core Update presents both challenges and opportunities for the recruitment industry. By understanding and adapting to these changes, recruiters and ATS platforms can optimize their strategies, leveraging technology advancements to improve their processes and better connect with top talent. 

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