Is Indeed’s Resume Service Job Posting’s Climate Change?

Indeed made it official this morning, decloaking its new resume service with a blog post encouraging job seekers to try it out.

I posted about this a week ago, as word was leaking out that Indeed was conducting a private beta test. Indeed CEO Paul Forster confirmed the test, but didn’t offer many details then.

Now, what we see is a broadening job seeker service. Users create an account (if they don’t already have one) on Indeed where they can build a resume or upload one.  The resume can be shared by making them public, or they can remain hidden and used only by the job seeker.

Public resumes are searchable on the site or via search engines. That makes Indeed resumes much more visible than the leading other public resume site, Craigslist. It’s also a significant improvement over Craigslist’s resumes, which can charitably only be described as free-form and clunky. Indeed’s resume builder creates the kind of resume any ATS can read.

Since the service is in beta and just launched, it’s going to be a while before Indeed has enough of a resume volume to be a significant recruiting source. But with more than 13 million unique monthly visitors and a promo on every page, Indeed’s resume potential is palpable.

I’ve heard from a couple job board operators since the original post about this, and they’re wary of what the future holds. The two run small job boards, one of which has no resumes. Both upload their listings daily to Indeed and its competitor, SimplyHired, which send them a significant amount of traffic. Google, too, is a player, though not as strong.

Both worry about the possibility of being disenfranchised by the search sites, a worry only fueled by the resume beta launch.

Last week I asked both Monster and CareerBuilder if the test altered their relationship with Indeed. (Job listings from both sites are indexed by the search sites.) And I asked if they regarded Indeed as a potential competitor.

Not surprisingly, I didn’t hear from either of them. I would be surprised, though, if they, too, weren’t wary of the evolution of the vertical search sites. Starting from zero six years ago, Indeed and SimplyHired are now No. 3 and 4 in total U.S. traffic.

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At Monster and CareerBuilder, job posting fees are only a portion of their revenue. More than a third comes from resume searching. With the recession forcing all recruiters to become more creative and efficient in sourcing — a trend not likely to be reversed even in an improving economy — a free source of resumes will be a magnet, drawing in recruiters. If they find quality, and enough of a volume, it will become harder and harder to justify paying to search a database.

There’s no danger of that happening anytime soon. But, as a veteran of the newspaper industry’s disenfranchisement by the Internet, I see the parallels. SimplyHired and Indeed, besides free distribution of employer job posts, also offer pay-per-click premium positioning. That’s not something the major job boards have embraced. Yet it is something recruiters are testing, and, ironically, so are the job boards — but as customers of SimplyHired and Indeed!

When I emailed Indeed’s CEO about how his resume service might affect the relationship, Forster downplayed the effect.

“I’m not aware of any feedback from job boards on this,” Forster wrote me. “We have always seen job boards as partners and don’t see that changing for any reason.”

It’s a curious, and complex partnership, though. With both sites sending millions of job seekers to employer career sites and job boards, not posting to SimplyHired and Indeed is no option for most. Yet, that’s the very content that drives the traffic. Free public resumes ups the stakes.

Now add LinkedIn and its growing recruitment-based services and revenue to this mix, and it becomes evident that the recruitment advertising business is facing its own global climate change.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. 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.

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7 Comments on “Is Indeed’s Resume Service Job Posting’s Climate Change?

  1. I wrote about this recently in my blog (http://www.jobboarddoctor.com/2011/03/02/indeed-the-elephant-in-the-room-or-just-the-same-old-friendly-puppy/). Depending on your nature, this is no big deal – or possibly the first major move to pushing job boards out of the aggregator’s equation. The aggregators get a LOT of CPC money from job boards – but perhaps Indeed is now getting MORE money from companies, and has decided that the risk of adding resumes is worth the reward. Only time will tell.

  2. This is definitely big news for job board owners. This is how I see the history and future of the Job Boards relationship with Indeed and SH:

    Past: Friend.
    Current: Frenemy.
    Future: Enemy.

    One thing you haven’t mentioned that could also have huge implications is a little bullet point on the Indeed Resume page:

    Coming soon: Apply to jobs with one click.

    If Indeed is creating a 1 size fits all resume application for the ATS systems, (a la ResumePal by Job Fox, which has not been adapted at all) and a job seeker doesn’t have to re-create the wheel to apply for jobs at multiple companies that use various ATS systems….Why on earth would a job seeker use any other job board.

    Most jobs on job boards (would love to know the percentage) re-direct you to the posting on a Corporate Career site anyway, so my Monster resume doesn’t really help me apply to most jobs already. This could turn the elephant in the room into a Wooly Mammoth.

  3. One significant benefit that Indeed would get in making resumes available for free to recruiters and employers is significantly increased traffic from Google, Bing, Yahoo and the other search sites because each of those resumes will drive traffic to Indeed and each click from a recruiter or employer is an opportunity for Indeed to sell that recruiter or employer some pay per click job postings.

    LinkedIn takes a similar strategy. Type in just about anyone’s name into Google, Bing, or Yahoo and if they have a LinkedIn profile — which more and more do — then chances are excellent that their LinkedIn profile will come up first in the search results and almost certainly on the first page. Type in keyword combinations for job titles and locations like a typical recruiter would and chances are also excellent that you’ll see LinkedIn profiles a/k/a resumes on the first page. Soon you’ll likely also see Indeed resumes on that page.

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