The Battle for Global Recruiting Domination: Indeed vs. LinkedIn

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 7.45.45 AMWith over 300 million profiles and presence in 200 countries, LinkedIn seems to be the dominant player for global recruitment. But there is competition from a new kid on the block. Indeed. With a presence in 50 countries, 28 languages, millions of CVs, and at least 140 million job seekers monthly, Indeed seems to be the biggest competitor and the first player that really gives access to the complete global market.

Developments at Indeed and LinkedIn

Indeed and LinkedIn can be seen as two recruitment channels that have changed the status quo in the market. Indeed, as the biggest job aggregator, recently entered the stock market. It is not focusing on a single service anymore. Besides aggregating as many jobs as possible it is moving to a global organization that focuses on providing advice, resumes, and recruitment data … a salary survey where you can search and compare salaries from over 5 million functions, a resume database which contains over millions of resumes, a job trend page, an employer referrals section, and blogs where Indeed shares trendy recruitment information.

After LinkedIn announced that companies can create showcase pages to promote their business, it is now time for the job seekers themselves. Is LinkedIn moving from the largest social business network where people can source, refer, connect, and interact with each other to the largest job board with a lots of other features as well? LinkedIn has decided to extend its recruitment channel by aggregating job listings from other sources.

In this article we use data from,, and Intelligence Group to make a comparison between the strengths of Indeed and LinkedIn, in core of the global workforce. Let the battle begin.

Indeed vs LinkedIn: What is the Status?

Both are frontrunners, pioneers, and innovators in developing services that are a new way of doing (international) recruitment. Both evolved into global recruitment channels that are more extended and complete than ever before. In which countries do they have the largest market share? Who of the two shows the strongest growth? Who beats who in the battle for global recruitment domination?

Choosing LinkedIn Over Indeed as Preferred Recruitment Channel

According to the Global Talent Acquisition Monitor, a large scale international research executed by Intelligence Group in 45 countries, 87 percent of the labor force in the measured countries would prefer LinkedIn over Indeed as their preferred recruitment channel.

linkedin vs indeed

Indeed Grows Strong in the “Homelands” of LinkedIn

Indeed is gaining market share in some of the top markets of LinkedIn. According to data from Intelligence Group, Indeed is positioned second in the U.S. and fourth in the United Kingdom and Netherlands as the most preferred job board.

The difference between the channels LinkedIn and Indeed with regards to the scores on the question “preferable recruitment channel” is small, especially, in comparison with their rankings in the United Kingdom and United States (see the three figures illustrated below).

Netherlands UK US









The figures illustrate the relationship that LinkedIn has to Indeed based on the scores on the question “most preferable recruitment channel.” Worldwide LinkedIn scores 2.5 times better than Indeed. In the Netherlands LinkedIn scores two times better than Indeed, in the United Kingdom 1.1 times, and in the United States LinkedIn scores 1.4 times better than Indeed. So LinkedIn is still dominant over Indeed but the gap with Indeed in closing fast in its most dominate markets.

For a total view of the scores of both recruitment channels in all 45 countries take a look at this.

In addition, when we take a look at the data provided by of both recruitment channels (LinkedIn and Indeed), there is a big difference in the traffic toward LinkedIn versus Indeed. Looking at the 607.5 million visitors of LinkedIn, 38 percent of the traffic comes from the United States. Of the 132.5 million visitors to Indeed, 60 percent comes from the United States.

Also: both are not sending a lot of traffic to each other; Indeed and LinkedIn are not each major referring or destination sites to each other.

What does this information tell us? Is LinkedIn the strongest channel and the overall winner? No. That would be too easy: more insights are needed. The battle of global recruitment goes further and is bigger than the Netherlands, UK, and the U.S. alone.

global market linkedin indeed

LinkedIn in Asia, East Europe, and Oceania

According to the data of Intelligence Group and, LinkedIn is in some parts of the world very strong, but in others parts less so.

Only 3 percent of the labor market in Germany, Poland, and Austria and 4 percent of the labor market in Czech Republic evaluates LinkedIn as the preferred social media recruitment channel. In Germany and Austria rules over LinkedIn. Thirty one percent of the German labor market and in Austria 1 out of 4 rates as most favorite recruitment channel.

Outside of the European borders, in countries like South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Argentina, and the U.S, LinkedIn is a popular recruitment channel. Further to Oceania and Asia (except Singapore and India) there is a real different view of LinkedIn. In New Zealand 8 percent evaluate LinkedIn as a preferred recruitment channel. Moreover in Japan and Taiwan LinkedIn is preferred even less (2 percent).

Article Continues Below
linkedin as preferred channel

Indeed Highly Ranked as Favorite Job Board

Indeed is highly ranked in the U.S., UK, and the Netherlands. Other countries where Indeed scores well as a job site are France (second position) South Africa, New Zealand (both fourth position), and Australia (fifth position). In addition, based on, Japan can be added as country were Indeed is seen as a preferred job board. With 12 percent Indeed is after (17 percent) evaluated as the second-most-important job board in Japan.

where LI is rankedin high








Indeed the second most important job board in Japan

Indeed Wins on Traffic Numbers in Parts of Asia, Oceania, and Europe

In 23 of 45 measured countries Indeed had more traffic than LinkedIn. So Indeed beats LinkedIn by local traffic. In addition to the findings that are highlighted in the section before, it seems that especially from Western to Eastern Europe and in countries that are part of Oceania and Asia, Indeed has more traffic than LinkedIn.

indeed japan 

Since September 2012 Indeed is part of the Japanese company Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd. This already resulted in a more prominent position of Indeed in Japan but is even more important for the growth of Indeed in the near future. It opens doors in other Asian countries. Indeed is already strongly represented in the Asian market. It is very unlikely that LinkedIn can win the Asian market now that the first moving advantage is gone. This means that Indeed has an open playing field in winning the hearts of the Asian labor force.

The Battle Continues

Overall LinkedIn and Indeed are both strong recruitment channels each with their own characteristics. LinkedIn wins this battle, but it is very uncertain that it wins the war. In the markets where LinkedIn is strong, Indeed is closing the gap. In countries where LinkedIn is not strong or not present at all, Indeed wins. And Indeed has the opportunity of the Asian market.

But LinkedIn is a strong player, still the global dominator, and is adapting the aggregator strategy of Indeed to reduce the distance between both. Whether this is a game changer on the long run is the $1 million dollar question. Indeed wins in the rising markets of Asia and in the more western mature labor markets. It only seems a matter of time that Indeed wins this race to win the hearts of more job seekers. On the other hand LinkedIn has the power and financial advantage to develop more new technologies and tools that improve their current recruitment services.

Therefore it is hard to conclude who will be the overall winner and global dominator. It all depends on the developments that will take place in the very near future.

Geert-Jan Waasdorp is founder of Intelligence Group, a European data & tech company specialized in (global) recruitment intelligence and recruitment marketing. Its core business is answering the question: “Where and how to attract the best talent in the world?" Intelligence Group is a global authority in the field of knowledge of the (international) labor market, recruitment and recruitment marketing. With an independent and data driven view it provides information to international top employers on recruitment marketing, global talent mapping, and international mobility. Among its clients are ADP, Randstad, Philips, Unilever, Heineken, Cielo, Alexander Mann Solutions, Brunel, Nespresso, and


8 Comments on “The Battle for Global Recruiting Domination: Indeed vs. LinkedIn

  1. Great article but a couple of glaring inaccuracies:
    1) Bad math in the chart comparing linkedin and indeed traffic in the US. 60% of 132.5M is 79M, not 790k.
    2) Recruit is the largest jobs company in Japan, and owns and operates many of the top job websites, including, job.rikunabi, next.rikunabi (top 3 shown on your list). Including Indeed they own 15 of the top 20 jobs websites in Japan.

  2. I run 28 specialty job boards. Today I only spend money with I have sites with backfills from,, and I have tried spending plans with all of the above with results that I could not easily track, could not control the budgets by individual job posting or the backfill was not responsive.
    When someone places a job posting on a, or backfilled site I comp a posting to one of the sponsored sites so I can successfully advertise the job posting for my client.
    You can see my list of sites at
    and I welcome anyone with thoughts and ideas to contact me at
    We all need to improve our service to our customer base. Aggregators need to go back to being an aggregator and stop trying to be a job board too. Also the whole resume think is totally out of control and being abused by many.

    1. What do you mean by that last statement? I used Indeed for postings in my prior position, at the end it was the only job board we used with good results. However, in my current position it netted near zero qualified active candidates. At the end of the day it seems like every other job board to me, and the traffic they get does not necessarily translate into hits/applications for you.

      I thought you might have been referring to their resume database in your last statement, though I’m not sure how they are ‘abusing’ that other than through pricing, and offering no feedback/stats on the candidates. I’d be more inclined to pay a buck or two a shot to contact people on there if I had some data, perhaps even to the individual level, regarding response rates. If I know Joe Blow is a .NET Developer who has posted his resume recently, but hasn’t answered even one of the fifty inquiries sent his way in the last week, it’s more helpful. At least then I have a better idea of who may or may not really be interested and active, vs posting on a lark and not really caring.

      I’m still trying to get my boss here to give Appcast a try, the pay per applicant model, which is much better in my opinion. Even if they’re not terribly well qualified, at least you’re only paying for people who apply, as opposed for some nebulous traffic / click status.

  3. I’m thrilled Indeed is doing so well. It might be partially due to the fact they are much friendlier to ATSs and CRMs and would rather partner than compete. I hope they will one day help Linkedin become more humble and respectful to the other e-recruitment industry players.

  4. Did I miss something. How can the two sites be compared? One is for seekers the other for networks.
    Members of one tend to be passive the other active.

  5. Did I miss something. How can the two sites be compared? One is for Seekers the other for Networkers
    Members of one tend to be passive the other active.

    1. I know a couple but they could have gotten the work without it. I always get messages from 3rd party recruiters from all over for work in my state… which makes me question why companies would be willing to take part of the money they wish to attract me with and spend it on someone from somewhere that’s nowhere near there to basically spam me with the same job post 6 others like them already have.

      Thing is, you can’t stop the spam because it comes from many different recruiters every time.

      It’s unappealing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *