Google to Launch Service to Rival LinkedIn Within the UK

Google is launching its recruitment platform Hire in the UK, two years after first unveiling the tools for American companies, as it doubles down on efforts to grab market share from recruitment giant LinkedIn. 

The search giant said it had been working with British businesses over the past couple of months to develop the tools, which will integrate with its Gmail, Sheets, Calendar and Google Voice functions. 

This will mean companies using the software will be able to do things such as schedule interviews through Hire that will then automatically show up in the Calendar, or track their pipeline of candidates through Sheets.

Recruiters will also be able to use the platform to sort through applicants better, as it provides them with additional information such as whether a candidate has previously been offered a position at the company. 

The platform, aimed at companies with up to a few thousand employees, has now been made available in the UK and Canada, having initially launched in the US in 2017.

Dmitri Krakovsky, vice president of the Hire & Google Cloud Solutions division, said the Silicon Valley giant had noticed a lot of interest for the tools outside the US early on in its roll-out, especially in Canada and the UK.

He said the introduction of European regulations over data privacy last year had also played a part in Google’s decision to choose the UK as one of its first international markets for the tools.

“Over time, as we built out cloud functionality more and as we built some of the functionality that’s absolutely necessary in the UK and European markets with GDPR and things like that, we felt that the Hire product became ready for those additional markets. That was the impetus for us to start expanding there.”

It comes as part of a wider push by Google to move into the recruitment sector, which it is estimated generates around €500m (£440m) in revenue every year. 

The company has already launched a separate Google for Jobs service in a number of countries, including in the UK last summer.

That site is essentially a listing service where job hunters can find openings, featuring those from other sites such Reed and Guardian Jobs, whereas the latest tool, Hire, is targeted more at companies looking to recruit new staff.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics last month revealed that the number of job vacancies in the UK was at a record high, and that companies were struggling to hire given the low unemployment rate.

Recruitment companies in the UK have also warned over a slowdown in the hiring market in light of current Brexit uncertainty.

Mr Krakovsky said: “Generally we think of [recruitment] as sort of a societal problem, and there are peaks and troughs over time but we want to provide the best set of tools for the companies to recruit.

“During different times the economy is going to go up and down and change, but the fundamentals of the problems, we feel, are always going to be there. We don’t look at this at what’s going to happen next month, or even the next two months, or next year. It’s a long-term hypothesis that we can provide value to companies around the world.”

The roll-out of both services in the UK will be seen as a direct move by Google to steal share from incumbents such as Microsoft’s LinkedIn, a market leader in the space.

LinkedIn is one of Microsoft’s fastest growing businesses, with around 560 million members. One of the site’s most popular product to date is its Talent Solutions platform, on which recruiters can search for future employees.

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