The Next Big Thing in Recruiting is… Voice Search Optimization

Voice Searching in Recruiting

This is a guest post by Joe Linford.

Have you seen these Apple commercials promoting Siri? In a nutshell, some celebrity asks their phone a question, there is a beep and voila – there request is answered. Typically, the celebrity du jour wants to know where the nearest restaurant is or an update to be added to their calendar. Its a cute commercial (typically) and meant to showcase how easy and convenient it is to use a digital voice assistant like Siri, instead of actually typing in a query on Google. So, that’s television. Are people using Siri in real life? As of March 2012, not so much.

The Next Big Thing in Recruiting is… Voice Search Optimization


Is this indicative a flop? In my opinion, its way too early to tell. Most likely, its only proves that people are resistant to change. What is important to note is that Siri is only in the early stages of its evolution. Early adopters of tech seem to love it, where the rest of us are still trying to figure it out.

And Apple is determined to make this tech stick. No doubt they have been listening to the feedback and took that into account when planning their latest upgrade.

  • Apple unveils iOS 6 with 200 new features, updated Siri
  • iOS 6 Update Will Bring Siri To iPad, Eyes-Free Vehicle Integration To iPhone 4S
  • WWDC: Apple iOS 6 Previewed; Facebook Integration, Improved Siri, and Brand New Maps for iPhone, iPad

This is important to recruiters because I think it represents the next big shift in the industry. Should voice search catch on (or rather when, if Apple has its way), this could trigger a whole new way that jobseekers look for work. Rather than type in keywords ad nauseum, they could ask Siri to find them a job.

If you have an iPhone that is integrated with Siri, ask it to find you the perfect job. Chances are, it will not. However, consider the not so distant future and Siri begins to handle more complicated queries. Imagine that you have Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter apps on your iPhone and Siri had access to all of their data (with your permission). I can see these scenarioes happening, easily…


Me: Siri, access LinkedIn. (ding)
Siri: Connected to LinkedIn.
Me: Siri, who do I know at Apple?
Siri: You have 27 first level connections (ding)
Me: Siri, is Apple hiring? (ding)
Siri: Yes
Me: Siri will Apple hire me? (ding)
Siri: Possibly. There are 14 jobs that match your experiences.
Me: Siri, read me the job titles. (ding)
Siri: Social Media Manager, Sourcer, Video blogger…
Me: Siri, tell me more about the videoo blogger job. (ding)
Siri: Apple is looking for a creative and dynamic person to help brand our culture…
Me: Siri. I like that job. Bookmark it. (ding)
Siri: Job is saved to your favorites.
Me: Siri, am I connected to the person who posted that job? (ding)
Siri: Not directly, but you have 3 people who can make an introduction


Me: Siri, access Twitter. (ding)
Siri: Connected to Twitter.
Me: Siri, tweet this message: Apple rocks! I would love to work there. Hashtag stevejobsforever (ding)
Siri: Message tweeted.


Me: Siri is anyone hiring in my area? (ding)
Siri: There are 122 jobs in your area.
Me: Siri are there social media jobs in my area? (ding)
Siri: There are 14 social media jobs in your area.
Me: Siri, name the companies that are hiring (ding)
Siri: They are all with Apple.

Of course, once that happens, VSO becomes even more crucial. What is VSO? Voice Search Optimization. Its like SEO, but instead of the manipulating search engines to pull up your site when someone does a search engine query; its designed to bring up your site in response to a voice search query.

How many companies are optimizing for voice search now? Is it even a thought? Most likely its not, but give it time. The more people use voice instead of typing in a search, the more relevant VSO will be. Will your company (or rather, career site) be among those that stand out in a voice search? Its something to think about more later, than sooner, but considered all the same.

In the very near future, Apple will be releasing its Siri update which will bring Siri to the iPad. In case you don’t have an iPad 2 and need a good deal, follow this link for more information on where you can one (or more, for your team of recruiters).

About the author

Joe Linford contributes on behalf of comparison website Broadband Genie, covering broadband, mobile broadband and tablets.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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