Indeed Makes it Official and Launches Resume Search

Taking the next logical step in its evolution from job search engine to job board, Indeed today unveiled its resume search service.

The carefully planned launch had been scheduled to occur tomorrow, but an error in distributing the press release forced the company to lift the embargo it had placed on bloggers, analysts, and others who got a preview of the service earlier this week.

It’s a straightforward search, identical in most regards to the site’s job search. It is keyword based, though it will accept some Boolean and Google query types. Searches can be easily narrowed by simply selecting from a menu on the left that shows up on results pages.

Searching and reviewing resumes is free and will remain that way. But contacting the candidates — free for now — will eventually cost. How much, said Chris Hyams, Indeed’s VP of Product, who piloted the demos, won’t be released for a while.

For now, the “goal is to introduce the system to as many people as possible,” said Hyams.

Job seekers will appreciate the simplicity of the system. It accepts all forms of resumes and will import a user’s LinkedIn profile. Users can elect to keep the resume private and not findable in a search, or make it public. In the latter case, the contact information is stripped out. Employers use a form to contact the job seeker, who decides whether or not to respond. Job seekers can also apply to jobs they find on Indeed with their resume.

The interface, said Hyams, was designed for ease of use. “We always start with the question: What is best for the job seeker?”

Since Indeed began collecting resumes several months ago it was only a matter of time before the site offered resume search. After more than a million resumes, the time, obviously, has come.

Even Hyams more or less joked about the resume service being an open secret, especially to the job boards whose relationship with Indeed can best be described as “frenemy.”

“This is not going to be an earth-shattering surprise,” Hyams said earlier this week during a preview.

Pardon the pun, but indeed it isn’t. There’s been no response from the job boards, nor is it likely any of them will have much to say publicly. Many of them are Indeed customers, buying PPC ads to drive traffic to their own sites. Many of them, though far fewer these days, depend on Indeed to distribute their own listings to a broader market.

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Indeed and SimplyHired, the two leading job search engines, built their business by scraping listings from job boards. But in the nearly seven years they’ve been at it, both sites have developed relationships directly with employers. Many of them provide a daily feed of their jobs to each site. Many of the job boards do that, too.

However, in the last year, fewer listings from job boards have been showing up in searches on Indeed and SimplyHired. The CEOs of both sites told me directly they are not discriminating against job board listings, but clearly, the preference in cases where the same listing comes from a direct employer and also from a job board is to go with the employer’s listing.

It’s a matter of benefiting the job seeker, Indeed’s Paul Forster told me, as did SimplyHired’s CEO Gautam Godhwani. The employer’s listing is one click closer than the job board’s.

Yet, as recently as a few weeks ago, I’ve heard from job board operators who insist they’ve been told by employees at one or the other of the search sites that there are problems with the format of their feed, or they have poor quality listings, or they have been the subject of job seeker complaints, or … In each case the operators swear they’ve made no changes and had been indexed previously, in some cases for years.

For smaller job boards, the traffic from Indeed and SimplyHired — now the 3rd and 4th most trafficked job sites respectively — can be critical. Some job boards exist almost entirely because of the distribution they get from the two search sites, so not being indexed can spell disaster.

Listings from CareerBuilder and Monster, mainstays of the jobs inventory for both sites for years, have also dramatically diminished in volume. A Monster spokesman said his company never provided a direct feed of its listings, but was scraped. Any change there was made by the search sites. However, he added that Monster has seen no impact on its traffic. A comment echoed by CareerBuilder.


John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


10 Comments on “Indeed Makes it Official and Launches Resume Search

  1. Although I love the article, I have a problem with the phrase “evolution from job search engine to job board” – which seems tanamount to saying “evolution from Google to the Yellow Pages”…

    The interesting card that Indeed must have up their sleeves but aren’t showing yet is some browser-integration to let the jobseeker use their application (as stored on Indeed’s servers) to apply for jobs that aren’t on Indeed’s servers. To date this has been the Holy Grail of solutions for companies in the online-resume business (emurse, visualcv, etc.) but so far nobody has pulled it off. Maybe Indeed has twisted enough arms of the big ATS vendors to pull it off.

  2. Enjoyed the article John and yes Eric the whole “evolution from A to B” meme can be a lot of fun. Evolution from Google to Yellow Pages lol.

    Recruiter to ATS vendor. ATS vendor to job board. Job board to social network. And the final stage, social network to recruiter.

    Keep your enemies close, and your friends closer.

  3. As one of the owners of niche job board, I have been keeping a close eye on the evolution of vertical search engines (probably a better descriptive phrase than job search engine) because they have and continue to be valued partners of our business.

    Most–but not all–of the grumbling that I hear from other job board owners is due to Indeed, SimplyHired, and some of the other aggregators choosing to reduce and in some cases eliminate their imports from some of the job boards. I rarely hear a job board owner complaining about any difference in the user experience brought on by these quality control changes. The reason for that is simple: the changes are almost always better for the user but at the expense of the job board as the aggregators have made significant efforts to reduce duplicate and even bogus postings they have received from job boards. Some job board owners do not understand that an aggregator which already has a copy of a job posting from an employer does not want a copy of the same posting from a bunch of job boards as it is better for the user to send the job seeker from the aggregator site directly to the employer site rather than from the aggregator site to the job board and then to the employer site.

    Job boards which send unique postings to the aggregators still seem to have these postings being imported by those aggregators. But job boards which send postings they are running on behalf of other job boards on a revenue share basis, job postings they scrape from other job boards and employer websites, or other such low quality postings are finding that the aggregators are cutting them off at the knees. I have had a number of conversations with small, niche job board owners who relied on scraping other sites for their job posting content and then distributing those scraped postings to the aggregators in order to generate their traffic. These are the boards which are being devastated and these are also the boards which few will miss.

  4. @Steven – Anyone who finds the phrase “the changes are almost always better for the user but at the expense of the job board” scary should be very concerned about the future of their business. If a job board is not serving its users better then the competition, it’s toast.

  5. Does anyone else think there should be more privacy control settings? As a job seeker if you want to be contacted by employers you have to make your resume public and viewable to everyone. Everyone is NOT limited to employers. Other job seekers & third parties can go to the Indeed Resume search (for free) and download all the information on your resume. There should be some sort of employer validation process so the only people that can view your resume are actually employers. Thoughts?

  6. “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

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