African-Americans, like most job seekers, turn to search engines and job sites like Indeed when looking for work. Google, the worlds largest search engine, has announced Google for Jobs. The new service seeks to leverage Google’s advanced machine learning capabilities to sort through millions of job listings to better match opportunities with candidates.
This new service could help with black unemployment rates which are almost always higher than the national average. Why? Perhaps your name is too black. But ask any African-American and they will tell you straight up that job hunting is an unfair game.
Google for Jobs does not plan to offer its own job listing service. What it is doing is collecting job listings from third party sites like Facebook, Linkedin.com, Glassdoor, Monster, and ZipRecruiter. Google will then filter jobs using various criteria and bundle together openings for similar jobs that might be listed under different names.
Major employers like FedEx and Johnson & Johnson have been piloting the program. According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai the companies saw an 18 percent increase in applications compared to previous methods. The service works by sending the user to the job site posting to apply. But the job listing market is a big business with a market size estimated at $4 billion annually. According to a report by Bloomberg, Indeed.com job search site raked in over $300 million in revenue in the first half of 2015. Google could be testing the waters before it dives in.
Google for Jobs could play well among black people by revealing more opportunities for employment. According to a study African-Americans have come to rely on online job search information sources more than any U.S. racial or ethnic group. But evidence indicates that not only are black sounding names shunned in the recruitment process but blacks require more education that whites when applying for the same jobs.
A National Bureau of Economic Research report showed that applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback. Applicants with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback. The launch of Google for Jobs is planned in the next few weeks.