Does your job search actually work?

Does your job search actually work?

So, you have a job search on your recruitment website. It is an essential part of your web presence, allowing candidates to browse the job positions you are hiring for. It needs to allow users to quickly find job listings that interest them, and this requires a combination of simple to use filters and clear to understand results.

Simple to use filters seems like a no-brainer, right? Your job search has an input for keywords, plus some selectable categories the user can choose from. Everything the user would need to start a search.

But do these tools you have provided the user actually suit their needs? Are the categories using your phrasing, which may be industry specific? Great for veterans, not so good for those starting out, or interested in a career change. 

Does the keyword search only match words in the job description exactly? Would 'HR' match 'Human Resources'? If you have a minimum search term length to stop matching on short words such as 'to' or 'as', you now cannot even search for 'HR'.

But does your search handle jargon? Acronyms? Numbers? As a software engineer I am all too familiar with searching for the programming language 'C++', only to have the '++' ignored and the results only show jobs for the 'C' language (which are not the same!!). Does 'Finance Director' also match against 'Junior Finance Analyst'? How many results in how many industries does including the word 'manager' cause?

Location is another difficult topic. Place names are not unique, and context is very important for choosing the right place. There are over 25 places around the globe called 'London'. It may seem obvious to assume the user means the capital of the UK, but what if that user was in Ontario, Canada? Add on to this lack of uniqueness with colloquial names for places, such as 'West End', and it is very easy for the computer to pick the wrong place.

Users may want to search by postal code, but this follows a different pattern in every country. Are you sure your search will continue to work if your business expands overseas?

A user is not going to fight your job search. If they can't get the results they want, they will leave and try elsewhere. Configuring search tools is hard - there is a reason why there are only a handful of major search engines. A solution that works for a site with 20 jobs is likely to fail with 10,000 jobs.

As industry professionals with years of recruitment website experience, we have experienced all of the above problems. Solutions that resolve an issue for one customer introduce issues for another. A website that has worked perfectly for years suddenly fails to perform when they expand to new industries. 

Sourceflow uses Google's Cloud Talent platform to power our job search. It handles acronyms and spelling mistakes, seniority levels and industry jargon. Location matching is provided by Google Maps. 

Every issue listed above is solved by a Sourceflow recruitment website.

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