Does Google hope to grow its core offering by disrupting the recruiting software space and offering a free ATS?
The business of recruiting is known to be sizeable, over $100B in the US alone. So I am not surprised to see the recent announcement from Microsoft to buy Linkedin or Facebook’s interest in it or the uncovering of Google Hire last week. Google Hire is apparently Google’s new ATS for a community already over served by dozens of suppliers. My guess is that they are in it for something bigger, but Google understands that it all starts with the ATS hence Google Hire.
I see 2 areas where Google could see this initiative as a key strategic area.
First advertising, still the core of Google’s revenue, I am surprised how few recruiting departments are leveraging the adwords venue to attract talent. Most companies want passive candidates and could attract them with the adwords approach. Or even the understanding that “jobs” or “jobs near me” are among the top web searches, must have been a market that Google has been trying to capitalize on for years. An ATS that would integrate a version of Google adwords could be a killer for this space. As most job boards leverage Google heavily for their traffic, they would be able to deliver a critical volume of candidates without having to rely on traditional job boards like Linkedin.
Second, social networks or GooglePlus resurgence. I remember at one stage, when I was at Taleo, we had more profiles in our combined databases than Linkedin. The approach to build a “universal” profile was an appealing vision that is easily achieved when you receive tens of millions of “profiles” or resumes every year. The market at the time was not ready to share those profiles, but today it is different, most organizations if well packaged would be ready.
In other words, Google could offer a free ATS for the side benefits it would bring them, namely advertising revenue and an active enhanced GooglePlus community.
This is an interesting time for the industry and we look forward to seeing its evolution and Facebook’s response.