Google failed with Google+. Why is Hire / Jobs different?

If you think of Google, you think of one of the most successful companies in the world. However, when it comes to products, they have more failures than most and yesterday they announced they were finally putting to sleep Google+ following the discovery of a bug that could have leaked half a million users personal information.

 I don’t think Google shutting plus yesterday is a defeat, the defeat happened many years ago – instead, they are reducing risk given the new height of privacy law and consequence from GDPR and have decided that keeping this product on life support for it’s passionate users isn’t worth that risk. 

If we look back at the closing of Google Reader, they made the same decision here. The people that were using Reader avidly loved it, and still haven’t found a true home for their RSS feeds since. This echoes again in Google Glass (despite the Enterprise Edition still living) as they exited the consumer market even though power users were big fans of the glasses. Google simply aren’t happy to serve a niche, they want mass market adoption.

When Google+ launched, it had a massive hype and was the talk of the town. However, when Google+ was launched it was more like a technical demonstration, and soon after interest died down when people discovered that there really was not much to do. They didn’t give people a big enough reason to come back.

Historically, Google has a lot of fantastic ideas and great technical implementation but they suffer from an utter failure to understand the human element/social psychology angle.

So, why is Google Jobs/Hire different?

Diane Greene. The VMware cofounder is behind Google Hire, her company Bebop were building what is now Hire when Google acquired them in 2015. Since this acquisition, we have seen Google move into the recruitment space aggressively, and more important, successfully. Diane nows sits as the CEO of Google Cloud, and has been on the board of directors since 2012. 

As Hire is a separate team inside Google, they seem to have swerved the usual traits of just a technical masterpiece, and delivered a very useful product for the masses. The rollout has been carefully planned as each of the products intertwine from Google For Jobs, Google Hire and Google Cloud Job Discovery. 

With Discovery coming first, they used job boards to deliver enough traffic to train their algorithms to give the best job searching capabilities, then with Google For Jobs, they used this newly trained AI to start showing jobs to candidates before they even reach the job boards (Sneaky, right?). 

Given that according to CareerBuilder, 73% of all job searches start on Google, they are now the front of house for jobs and have the mass market they crave. Right now, they are being friends with job boards, delivering them traffic but with the introduction of Hire, it is clear to me they will want to drive that traffic primarily to Hire clients in the future. It will be interesting to see just how aggressive they are here in the future.

As Google sees search traffic moving to voice, evident by their massive investment in Google Home to go against Amazon’s Alexa, this also means 73% of job searches will shift to voice too (Give or take!). By ensuring Google has job data and can convert natural language to the best job search results, when (not if!) they introduce Jobs to Google Home, they will also be at the forefront.

That’s why Google’s Talent Solution is different and is here to stay, and of course it’s part of GSuite which makes it that bit harder to simply turn off.

If you’re already using Hire, be sure to check out the beta of their Android app too – that alone puts them ahead of a lot of the competition.

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