In a crowded market for recruiting software, Google has helped play hitmaker as strong search results and ads helping differentiate among a field including a host of startups and legacy players. Now Google’s taking on a new role of competitor.

With a new application announced on Tuesday called Hire, Google is taking aim at the small- and medium-sized business part of the recruiting market. Its pitch is simple: for recruiters who already spend much of their day in Gmail and Google Calendar, they can schedule interviews in Hire much faster and with a lot fewer clicks. “For people scheduling interviews, that’s all they do, day in and day out,” says Dmitri Krakovsky, a vice president at Google Cloud. “We believe this will save recruiters multiple hours a day copy and pasting things from one application to another.”

When Google studied how its G Suite customers were using recruiting software, they found that G Suite typically operated in a “parallel universe” to the third-party or homemade tools a company used for its recruiting functions. Companies would end up speaking with applicants by email and perform interviews using Google Voice and Hangouts, then log the activity on those tools. But in the interests of saving time, data would get lost routinely in that transfer, causing headaches as applicants moved through the system, Krakovsky says.

The Workplace Of The Future – Or Now?

The alternative solution to doing it all in Google would be to schedule calls and conduct more business within the third-party apps themselves. There are plenty of options in the market, from Forbes Cloud 100 companies iCIMS and Greenhouse Software to Bamboo HR, part of Utah’s fast-growing cloud computing scene, as well as Jazz HR, Lever, Workable, Zoho and public companies such as Cornerstone OnDemand, Oracle and SAP SuccessFactors. Google is betting that despite all those options — or even because of how many there are — a big chunk of its 3 million business customers for G Suite will find it easier to put everything in the same place as their work email.

Mayday! Mayday! I’ve Been Hacked

Hire syncs up to keep emails in one thread in Gmail and attach info such as room availability, contact numbers and interview questions within a Calendar invite. The app is for sale separately as a premium add-on to G Suite, initially just in the United States and for businesses of under 1,000 employees. More than 100 customers are already using Hire, Krakovsky says. The company plans to announce machine learning tools later this year that will allow, among other use cases, for recruiters to resurface strong candidates for previous positions when new ones open up.

The app is the first role-specific attempt of its kind for Google, which announced a Google for Jobs initiative at its I/O conference to tackle job boards and listings. The closest comparison may be Google for Education as a set of tools, though that offering is specific to a vertical, not a function. Krakovsky says other role-based applications aren’t imminently planned.

Understanding the real innovation behind the iPhone

For startups in the recruiting software space, the Hire app may limit growth opportunities within Google’s sphere. For customers who are happy with their existing providers, Hire may be intriguing more as an add-on or extension than as a full replacement.

If the result is happier G Suite customers, Google probably wouldn’t care. “Two days ago I was talking to a customer, and she said, ‘when I saw what you were doing with the calendar, I wanted to cry,'” says Krakovsky. “She had to open 7 different tabs, look at availability, write that down and go back to the app to try to make sense of it all. If we can do that in 30 seconds, it’s a huge boost.” – Written by