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 [1]. 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+?


[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17204313

Views: 921

Tags: Euro, Google, Google+, London, Network, Social

Comment by Sarang Brahme on March 5, 2012 at 8:14am

I think it is too early to judge Google+ and write it off.

Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter too several years to position themselves where they are currently. For Recruitment - Google+ is much better than FB. FB gives away nothing for Recruiters to search for whereas G+ scores well in this area. With Hangouts, G+ provides a good tool for group chatting. G+ now integrating with Google with their social search feature, gives a greater searching advantage to users for collaborating.

However, G+ has to offer something very unique to score above FB who have standardized Social Media in the industry. People will definitely leave their footprints on G+ but whether G+ is good enough to hook them for long time is remains to be seen. For me - I do login once a day but that's it....

Comment by Steve Shacklock on March 5, 2012 at 8:52am
That's a good point and I think you're right to some extent; perhaps it is too early to judge, but growth has slowed and it seems to be losing momentum. It’s a good design and a great concept, but I’m not sure it fills a relevant gap in the market and brand pages are struggling to compete compared to those on Facebook.
Like you I check G+ once a day, but it's more out of routine than anything else.
Comment by Brian K. Johnston on March 5, 2012 at 12:39pm

Yes, Google is #1 search engineer on the planet.  If you have an internet strategy in place G+ it is working for you.. If you don't have a strategy it won't work/produce results. Good question!

Comment by Christopher Perez on March 5, 2012 at 5:25pm

I think a lot of the recruiters who signed up for G+ may be waiting for someone to spoon feed them a template or recipe for how to use it in their businesses. Until then, they are staying in their comfort zones and using tools they've become more comfortable with. I'm probably somewhere in this group which is odd because I'm usually an early adopter especially with technology.

The dynamic reminds me of the inverse of the old joke about the popular restaurant: "No one goes there anymore; it's too crowded." In this case, referring to G+, no one goes there because no one is going there. Someone will figure it out and then everyone will be rushing to dust off their accounts and dive in. I'm nowhere near ready to write Google off!

Comment by Raman Ramamurthy on March 6, 2012 at 10:18am

Google+ has not done enough efforts to increase the no. of users and that is bothering me. Actually with the best search engine like Google, there are many ways to add value and help recruiters

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