Do You Use Indeed?
As a recruiting firm leader, you likely use job boards to attract additional candidates for your searches. For example, Indeed has historically offered three ways to post jobs – job scraping, budget-based job slots, and one-off job sponsorships.
Job Scraping – By connecting your recruiting website to Indeed, the platform can automatically and organically scrape your jobs for free. This results in ALL your jobs getting pushed to Indeed. Up to this point, this is the typical method recruiting firms to use to get their jobs on Indeed.
Budget-Based Job Slots – When you have a contract with Indeed for a set budget per month, they allow you to post a certain number of jobs at a time. These jobs will be highlighted within the job search platform, to allow you to rise to the top of related searches.
One-Off Job Sponsorships – A One-off job sponsorship allows you to put money behind a certain job ad hoc. This allows you to get a little more juice for a specific job you need to get noticed as you see fit.
These are clearly useful tools for any recruiter, but what if your ability to post jobs to Indeed (for free) went away?
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Indeed is Moving to a Pay-To-Play Model
Beginning in 2019, Indeed will be removing the organic Job Scraping option from your website. Hold the phone. That’s a big deal! On top of that, the move is specific to recruiting firms.
Client brands (such as Target, Best Buy, General Mills, etc.) will be able to continue having their job sites scraped for free. But recruiting firms’ jobs will no longer have this option. Why is that?
Indeed received feedback (lots of feedback) from candidates using their platform that many of the jobs they applied for weren’t real jobs. Whether your recruiting firm uses this method or not, you’ve probably heard of profile job descriptions. This is a tactic some recruiting/staffing firms use when they need to establish a pipeline of candidates. For example, if an IT staffing firm consistently needs to fill Project Manager or Business Analyst roles, they may create a generic job description and post it on their site – resulting in pipeline-driven job descriptions living on Indeed.
While this may be a solution for staffing firms to keep a constant flow of candidates, it creates a poor user experience for candidates who think they are applying for a real, open job. When it comes to any platform, whether it’s Google or Indeed, they are keen on making sure their users have a good experience, and don’t choose their competitors to fulfill their searching needs.
By removing the ability for recruiting firms to post jobs for free on their platform, we believe Indeed anticipates a greater number of their jobs becoming only real jobs (they are banking on recruiting firms not wanting to pay for pipeline job postings), thus providing a better candidate experience and maintaining their standing as a top source for job seekers.
What Does This Mean for Recruiting Companies?
In early 2019, if you’re using Indeed to scrape your jobs organically you’re going to have to get creative. You may already be “paying to play” on Indeed, and if so, that will become your only method for getting jobs on the platform. For those not paying to play…well, either you’ll no longer have representation on Indeed, or you’re going to have to start budgeting another line item.
This change affects all recruiting firms a little differently – depending on how often you post positions on Indeed. If you only post some, it may not hurt you. For others, it can make things difficult.
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What Does This Mean for You? Here’s Your Next Step
What’s next? It’s time to start evaluating. As a digital marketing agency supporting the recruiting industry, one of the first steps we recommend is looking at your analytics. If you set Indeed to push applicants from the Indeed job posting directly to your website’s job URL to apply, look at your analytics to see how much traffic is coming in. Look to see where that traffic is segmented. If you have different practice area sections, which ones are getting the most traffic? And if your Indeed jobs are set up to have candidates apply directly on Indeed, the next step is just as vital.
Most importantly, analyze your placement source. Out of 20 roles placed, where did your candidates come from? If none came from Indeed, look back further. You may decide it’s not the best use of your budget. What if you find that 17 of 20 placements had a candidate that came from Indeed? Then it’s going to be quite important to allocate budget to Indeed’s pay-to-play model.
There isn’t a perfect science to predicting when platforms will change, but there is a surefire way to consistently evaluate your payoff from those platforms. You already track your placements. Are you also taking the time regularly to evaluate your company’s placements to ensure you’re investing in the sources producing success? If not, you may be leaving money on the table.
Is $20,000 In Billings Worth It?
For every recruiting firm using Indeed, this is the perfect time to evaluate what’s working. After all, if you’re a search firm making $20,000 in billings from just one placement, it’s worth your time to stop and see how you should pivot to continue your company’s success. Billings look different for every type of agency – from staffing to engaged search – but if you’re currently making money on what was once free (i.e., Indeed’s job scraping function), it’s time to evaluate your return on investment and how you want to keep that revenue stream alive!