Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Location Location and ... Jobs

Thanks To:

Ramkarthik

  

I recently started a conversation on LinkedIn with regard to location based search and jobs in particular a new feature Total jobs have added (see here for an example; http://http://goo.gl/zQyXN). There were lots of positive comments and some good ideas suggested, mainly all the additional information that including mapping gives. This got me thinking how powerful mapping information can be as the visual representation goes so much further than just having the word displayed to provide the end user with a richer more engaging experinece.

Some of the ideas highlighted were:
  • Travel details such as train stations, underground stations, buses etc.
  • Addtional location specific details such as highlighting parking or local amenities.
Recruitment sites showing this rich information to candidates set themselves apart from the other sites because not only do they potentially help you find a job but also provide you a depth of knowledge that you would have to research yourself otherwise. It also helps to speed up the decision making process meaning companies should get more relevant or engaged candidates applying. 

The types of business I see this benefiting the most are direct employers as these are the ones mostly like to disclose highly targeted location information and this could lead to reducing costs of external employment agencies. Something which was hinted at in the video posted on the Guardian website (http://www.guardian.co.uk/advertising/video/2)  where a number of employers commented that they would be looking to higher direct more this year. 

Something else corporate or direct employers can already take advantage when thinking about location based information is rich snippets and structured data.  The key area to think about here is search engines support of structured business data such as the address details, using the right type of mark up within a web page is what makes the difference. 

If for instance you were to encode your businesses address details using the hCard Mircoformats mark up you could include geo data such as the longitude and latitude of the location, now when search spiders crawl the web page indexing the data they can use this information to pin the business to a point on a map or target search results within local listing. Relating this back to the above now you can post business address details with each vacancy (on your site) including the Rich Snippet information giving your vacancy the maximum opportunity to appear in location based searches by candidates but note only that your vacancy could appear in map results. 

Location information could also be posted in Tweets to add great context to them and also mean that when the information is processed by third party software using the twitter stream you message is more highly targeted and when combined with a twitter users location you can only start to imagine what the possibilities are not only for the recruitment sector but any business. 

Links: 
http://goo.gl/Miqli - Google webmaster guide to Rich Snippets and HCard