Google launches new job search experience in Africa

Google, at a press conference held on 1 March 2018, has announced a new job Search experience that aims to help job seekers find employment opportunities. For the first time, when someone uses their phone or computer to search on Google for a job, they will see a streamlined experience letting them explore, research and find relevant, local job postings.

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This launch builds on Google’s existing commitment in Sub Saharan Africa to improve economic opportunities for job seekers and employers, demonstrated through its Grow with Google initiatives. The Digital Skills for Africa program, Google’s commitment to train 1 million African youth between April 2016 and March 2017, was achieved and surpassed. In July 2017, this program was extended to see 10 million youth trained by 2022 as well as 100 000 developers trained across the region.

“Finding employment is still very difficult for many people,” says Google South Africa country director Luke Mckend. “With unemployment in South Africa so high, this new job Search experience will help the millions of South Africans searching for new opportunities. We believe that the web allows anyone, anywhere, of any age, to grow their business, learn the skills they need to get a job, to grow in their career, become an entrepreneur or developer. This new jobs search tool will be a key driver for connecting job seekers to open opportunities, helping more people to Grow with Google.”

As of 1 March 2018, job seekers in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria will be able to use the new search experience to help them quickly and easily find opportunities suited to them, through an immersive experience that lets them explore jobs from across the web and refine their search to meet their specific needs.

Users will able to view at-a-glance details about the posting, such as job title, location, whether it’s full-time, part-time or an internship, as well as detailed information should a job be of interest. Using Google Maps integration, job seekers can search for jobs any place they can find on the map, and if they’re signed in, they can even see how long it would take to commute to the job from home.

At the press conference it was revealed that searching for a new job can take time, so if you step away from your job search, Google has made it easy to pick up where you left off as well as stay in the loop on opportunities that are right for you. Simply push the “get alerts” button to get email notifications when new jobs matching your search appear.

As this is an open ecosystem, Google is inviting all job sites, platforms and employers — big and small — to integrate with them and make their jobs eligible to display in the new jobs search experience. With Google’s newly released open documentation, any jobs provider is able to integrate its content through open structured web markup standards we support.

To optimise the feature and make it more useful, Google is working with a broad and growing cross-section of the partners, including Job Mail. These collaborations ensure Google is able to present job postings content accurately, as soon as it is posted, to exactly the people that will find it most relevant.

“After 21 years in online recruitment in SA, Job Mail is excited to work with Google in South Africa. Following its launch in the US in 2016 and the success its shown since then, the new job search experience within Google will help bring Job Mail customers’ vacancies to a more targeted audience of job seekers and career climbers. Job seekers have never had it easier to search and find relevant jobs so quickly. In SA, where unemployment is still such a challenge, the new job search feature is a welcome initiative,” said Felix Erken, Managing Director of Junk Mail Media Group.

“This new job Search experience is part of our broader commitment to improve economic opportunities for job seekers and employers through Google technologies in partnership with the broader employment industry. Google is committed to providing useful, accurate and relevant information based on your search queries and helping you connect to your next job. In this way we hope to make a contribution towards matching job seekers with jobs and taking steps to tackle the skills gap,” concludes Mckend.

In addition to its Digital Skills initiative and the new jobs Search experience, Google also supports tech startups at various stages of their lifecycle through the Launchpad program. Announced last year, Launchpad Accelerator Africa will provide over $3 million in equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to over 60 African startups over 3 years. Intensive 3-month programs, held twice per year, will run out of a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos – the program’s first location outside of the United States.

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