Configuring WPJobBoard to Meet Google for Jobs Requirements

Implementing Google For Jobs in WP Job Board

Do you want to maximize the exposure of your job listings on search engines, especially on Google’s new job listing feature:  Google for Jobs? If you’ve installed WPJobBoard on your website and need to make it compliant with Google for Jobs,  this how-to explanation is for you.

Here’s how WP Job Board Is Configured to Match Google for Jobs Requirements

Getting your job descriptions to show up in Google search is very valuable. It might make the difference between paying a lot for the same exposure or getting it for free. How you post the description makes the difference. If you meet  Google’s expectations it could mean getting very valuable exposure to the best candidates. If your job listings don’t meet Google’s expectations then getting the same exposure might be expensive.

Google for Jobs is picky.

In order to get your job listings to show up in Google searches, Google expects your webpages containing job descriptions to have something it needs to establish some certainty as to what it’s looking at.

Google looks for specific information that’s attached to the webpage, within the webpage’s HTML source. This special code is called Structured Data. It defines how the elements of a job posting are broken down and therefore should appear to searchers. The different elements of the job description are, for example: the job title, the employer, the location of the job etc.

By breaking the job description down better, people who list jobs make it easier for robots to read and understand the listing.

Having robots be able to read your job listings is a big deal in 2018. Google sends its robots, its crawlers, through the entire web all the time. When they find something that looks like a job description they do their best to index it, and list it for candidates that are doing job searches on Google. If the robot runs across a web page that has the job description broken down into the correct format, the Schema.org format for a job posting, then Google is very certain that the page represents a job description, and not someone’s bio, for example. Google really, really wants to be certain before sending visitors to your site. Formatting the data in the Schema.org specification, using Structured Data, is the way to make Google’s robots undeniably certain that they’re looking at a job listing.

WPJobBoard Meets Google Structured Data Requirements.

There’s no other job publishing tool available today that allows meeting Google for Jobs requirements so completely, so easily and so flexibly.

WPJobBoard can be configured to meet Google for Jobs requirements more completely than most major job board sites.

Getting WPJobBoard configured to meet Google for Jobs requirements isn’t hard.

All that you need to do is make sure all the fields Google expects are accounted for in your job listing form. Then you need to map your fields in your form to the field definitions Google expects to match the schema. But you can’t do the mapping until you’ve got the fields in your form.

The same powerful flexibility that makes WPJobBoard configurable for almost any unique set of business requirements also makes configuring Google for Jobs less straightforward. There’s no one-right-answer for the exact steps to take, no one configuration that’s going to work for all business requirements.

The steps to follow are below:

1. Compare the list of fields you’ve got now in your Edit Job form to the list of fields in the Structured Data specification.

Some fields are installed out-of-the-box when you install the WPJobBoard Plugin. For example the Job Title and the Job Location’s City. Other fields are not installed by default, but are part of the Google for Jobs requirements, so they’ll need to be added. You’ll have to pick what’s added.

An out-of-the-box install of WPJobBoard only installs a dozen fields to the Edit Job form. These are:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Job Type
  • Category
  • Company Name
  • Contact Email
  • Website
  • Logo
  • Country
  • State
  • Zip-Code
  • City

Two of these fields aren’t part of the Google for Jobs specification, but make job postings more useful in WpJobBoard: the contact email and the category of job.

There are other parts of the full technical job posting schema that are implied when using WPJobBoard. These are datePosted and the URL of the job posting. Both of these are created automatically when a job posting is published through WPJobBoard, inherited from the native WordPress set of meta data.

Make a list of all the structured data fields you intend to implement and identify which of these fields you already have versus the ones you don’t have.

Step 2: Add the fields you don’t have.

There’s no rule about how many fields you need to add. Perhaps your stakeholders, the people who have to enter the jobs or the people who pay them, don’t want to have to enter so much data, or the data just isn’t ever present in their job definition scenario. In those cases you wouldn’t need those fields and it would probably make more sense to delete them.

Maybe the salary data is never present in one site’s job descriptions, so having that field would just confuse the people whose role it is to enter the job descriptions. Maybe the employer is intended to be hidden, or needs to be a fixed value. For example a recruiting company may not want to show the company they’re trying to get the candidate for.

Different scenarios yield different requirements for editing jobs postings in WPJobBoard.

If you add all of the fields Google is expecting, you’ll end up with a Edit Job form that includes 21 fields. When you test a job posting published with this configuration, with all 21 fields exposed, the job posting will generate no warnings Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.This implies adding 9 extra fields over and above the fields included in an out-of-the-box install of WPJobBoard. These extra fields are:
Work Hours – Free Text
Base Salary -Numeric Value
Salary Units – Dropdown
Skills – Text area
Qualifications – Text area
Educational Requirements – Text Area
Responsibilities – Text Area
Experience Requirements – Text Area
Industry – Category – (?)

The majority of these new fields are simple to add. They are only either single line text fields or text area fields. Users can type whatever they want within the fields. Some are more appropriately drop down fields where users can only choose from a list of pre-defined values. The base salary is intended to be completed by users only with numeric values.

Using Category as Industry

The industry is an interesting and unique field. Technically, there’s nothing stopping someone from configuring WPJobBoard to allow free text entry into this field. However, it makes a lot more sense, in terms of searchability, to use the same terms other professionals are using. For example, using the United States SIC codes defined by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission. This normalizes the list of industries and increases the likelihood that your job listings will match external search terms more often. There’s no rule that says you have to configure to an external classification, but doing so is often part of some business requirement. Instead of SIC codes your configuration might have to use something equivalent, like EA codes, part of ISO 9000 standards.

In your implementation of WPJobBoard you might already be using the Category field to designate industry. This is common for recruiting firms, for example, who specialize in finding candidates for only a few specific industries. If you’re using category for some other purpose it might be necessary to add an additional field that can be used to hold the industry value Google expects as part of its schema.

If your implementation of WPJobBoard can make life easier by hard-coding any of these required fields to a drop down, or easier yet, a hidden field with a fixed value, it might make your data entry crew happier. However, be careful. This makes your implementation less flexible and can lead to data log jams when exceptional job descriptions emerge.

Also, be very careful not to repeat the same information from listing to listing. Be especially careful to never include boilerplate descriptions of the jobs or organization. If you put too much duplicated information across your published job listings they’ll be subject to the same search penalties any other webpages need to avoid; Google considers the information on the page of less value when it’s duplicated, in whole or in part, with some other page. Google doesn’t care that the stakeholders feel better seeing the same corporate boilerplate or HR statement. Google doesn’t care about corporate stakeholder sentiment – it cares about sending its users to unique content.

Step 3. Map the Fields to Google’s Schema using the Google For Jobs Schema Mapping tool in WPJobBoard.

This step is easy once you’ve got all the right fields. All you need to do is go into WPJobBoard’s configuration section, in the Google Jobs area. Choose the fields you’ve got one by one and pick which of the structured data field definitions it matches to. Do this until you’ve got all the structured data fields accounted for and mapped.

 Step 4. Add & Map Job Types.

WPJobBoard comes with only a few job types defined out-of-the-box, when it’s installed. Google expects there to be 8 values for the job type field that match its definitions of job types. Although you can have more job types in WPJobBoard, and you can call these job types anything you want when you display them on your site, Google wants you to map 8 of your job type definitions to their job type definitions.

You can do this in WP Job Board by going to the Settings (WPJB) in the WordPress menu branch and choosing Job Type. This opens the Job Type definition window. Add the four missing job types Other Compensation, PerDiem Temporary and Volunteer.

Next, do the mapping by going to the Google For Jobs configuration panel and expanding the section labeled Employment Type Map.

You’ll see the Job Types listed. For each choose the appropriately matching Employment Type definition. The only one that doesn’t match exactly is Freelance. Choose the value: Contractor to match the Freelance type.

Step 5. Enter a Job Description.

Find a job description and test it.  If you don’t have every single field worth of data, make some up by filling in some bogus data, but formatted correctly.

In the Edit Job Window you’ll see a warning that lets you know if the job description is incomplete and hasn’t met all of Google’s requirements. Once you’ve filled in enough fields you can publish the web page and get a formal, final URL for the page.

Step 6. Test the Job Posting in Google’s Tool.

Copy the final URL of the job posting. Paste it into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/

If the data comes back with no warnings, great! Congratulations – your configuration of WPJobBoard is Google for Jobs compliant.

Step 7. Document and Train.

Now that you’ve got a compliant instance of instance of WPJobBoard configured, if you want your job postings to show up high in searches., getting everyone to use it in a compliant manner is critical.  This implies some training. Make sure your users understand that their use of WPJobBoard empowers them to win in a competition for the best candidates, but it has to be used to its full potential, understanding the limits and expectations for their job listings implied by Google, the competition and by the business rules at hand.

If you’ve got questions about implementing Google for Jobs, please use the WPJobBoard Support Forum. The answer you need will probably be valuable to someone else. Let us know what concerns you have or anything else that might make WPJobBoard’s job postings compete better.

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