Google has launched various services in its time, many transforming the way we lead our daily lives. From Gmail to Google Maps, Google Chrome and Google Search, Google is undoubtedly the king of the web. So why wouldn’t Google try to stake a claim on one of the largest markets of the internet - the social networks? Social networks have grown phenomenally within the last five years and now encompass much of the world’s internet user population, (Facebook’s latest user count is 800 million), so Google decided to come up with its own social network, Google+.
Launched in June 2011 as an invitation only event under a fanfare of media, it then proceeded to open for business properly on 20th of September to everyone over 18 and has since opened to persons younger than 18 depending on laws in specific countries. It was hoped that the launch would bring direct competition to Facebook, the undoubted king of the social networks, but what does this mean for recruitment?
I’ve heard Google+ be likened to a bit of a gym; something at one stage we all join but never actually use; but Google claims it currently has 100 million accounts, 60% of which are active daily (not something independently verified). The premise for Google+ is great, you can aim updates at specific people, organize hangouts and it’s reported to do great things for your search engine optimization (SEO), so why is it not taking off?
Well I can see two major problems with Google+ in recruitment: Firstly, the people to populate it first were self confessed geeks, those who like to try out new technology and debate its usefulness – great if you are recruiting within the IT industry or digital marketing sector but perhaps not so attractive for those looking for more general jobseekers. Unlike Google+; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the fastest growing social network of the moment, Pinterest, know how to popularize themselves. Facebook started with college students building up a unique club that everyone wanted to be part of, even if you weren’t in college. Twitter attracted celebrities and journalists giving tweeters uncensored facts from the specific source. LinkedIn developed a professional career based network allowing you to build up your contacts and enabling you to network in the 21st century. Pinterest enabled graphics to appeal to their main users, women . Google+ can do all of the tasks of these social networks and it works well, but unlike Facebook, it’s just not cool enough to captivate the larger audience.
Secondly, its brand pages were too late to launch! People adapted to not liking companies and interaction between recruiters and candidates suffers because of it. Google+’s biggest brand page is H&M with just over 500,000 likes which is tiny compared to Facebook’s own Facebook brand page with a cool 62 million likes. That then leaves very little chance for smaller companies to gain much support.
It’s frustrating that Google+ is struggling to make a difference within the recruitment industry, the premise for the network is great but for whatever reason the social network fails to pack a punch, what do you think? Are you successfully recruiting on Google+?