Enter Google Hire.
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Talent acquisition tech vendors are on notice that there's a major new player on the scene -- one with a ready-made base of more than three million users of Google's G Suite of office apps, with which Hire integrates easily.
The search giant unveiled Google Hire July 10 with a blog post from Berit Johnson, senior product manager for Google Cloud, though Google had been previewing the tool to analysts for months.
Aimed at SMBs
Analysts said Google Hire is likely to instantly affect the fast-expanding segment for talent acquisition systems for small and medium-sized businesses, not only because of Google's installed base, but also because of the elegance of Hire's technology.
"There are vendors targeting that space that are probably a little nervous about this move. Google is just so smart about rolling this out," said George LaRocque, an independent HR technology analyst in New Jersey. "That being said, the segment itself is just massive, and Google isn't the only productivity suite in town."
Google's counterpart in the space, Microsoft, of course, boasts the Office suite, as well as recently acquired LinkedIn, which has evolved into a popular recruiting tool among its social applications.
Linked to Google job search engine
LaRocque also noted that Google Hire is optimized for Google for Jobs, a (for now) free service unveiled in May 2017 that connects Google search with job platforms such as LinkedIn, CareerBuilder and others. The two products will form a powerful combination, and Google could also move upstream with Google for Jobs with a premium version, as in LinkedIn's service, analysts said.
"Hire and G Suite are made to work well together so recruiting team members can focus on their top priorities instead of wasting time copy-pasting across tools," Johnson said in the blog.
Meanwhile, analysts who have seen demos say a key selling point of Google Hire is its simplicity and usability and how smoothly users can merge applicant tracking data and interviewing schedules with Google Sheets, Gmail and Google Calendar.
"There is some game-changing technology embedded in the search algorithms," said Paul Hamerman, vice president and principal analyst for HR tech at Forrester Research. "It's a nice product. It's pretty simple."
George LaRocqueHR technology analyst
Hamerman said it is not coincidental that the Google Hire release follows the defection to Google in 2015 of Dmitri Krakovsky, former senior vice president for human capital management products at SAP's SuccessFactors subsidiary.
Krakovsky, now a Google vice president, was intimately involved in the development of Google Hire, Hamerman said.
Another HR technology analyst familiar with Google Hire, Holger Mueller of Constellation Research, said that while the new talent acquisition tool is a strong entry into the SMB segment, it will not likely have an immediate impact on that market nor compete with sophisticated systems for large enterprises.
"There's no track record to handle complex talent acquisition needs," Mueller said. "No company will replace Taleo with Google Hire in the near future."
Microsoft customers likely stay put
Similarly, few Microsoft Office suite users are also likely to switch allegiance, Mueller said.
"It's a well-done integration for G Suite users," he added. "It's a viable product for recruiters. G Suite customers will see Google sales people pushing the product."
As for where Google is going with HR tech, that remains to be seen, LaRocque said.
"They don't participate in the HR tech market, so their intentions aren't as clear," he said. "Some people believe this is a test for a bigger play and they're going after Microsoft Dynamics and CRM, but that doesn't make sense to me."
Competitors for Google in the SMB recruiting niche include Lever, Workable, JazzHR and Greenhouse, LaRocque said.
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