Resumes on Indeed: the other shoe drops

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Well, folks, it’s official – Indeed is letting anyone and everyone search their resume database. It’s free – for now.

Sound familiar? It does to me – after all, Indeed used the same playbook during their initial launch: they allowed job boards to list their postings at no charge. Then they began charging for preferred listings. Most recently they’ve pivoted to focus on employers, while at the same time tightening the screws on job board listings.

Who does Indeed’s latest move affect?

  • Job Boards: If you weren’t sure before, you should be certain now – Indeed wants your customers. They’ll offer free access for a while (maybe a few months, maybe a few years) – then they’ll charge. And they’ll do their best to make your job board’s resumes irrelevant.
  • LinkedIn: This move directly targets LinkedIn, serving notice that Indeed is not content to be a search aggregator but instead plans to dip directly into one of LI’s core revenue sources.
  • Monster and CareerBuilder: Indeed has already lapped these boards in terms of traffic, and over the past 2 years has increased sales staff and focus to lure the generalist job boards’ customers away. Adding resume access is another move in that direction. (However, as long as Indeed’s resumes remain free and publicly available, expect many of Monster customers to use 6Sense for search and access).

Even at 1 million, Indeed’s database is much smaller than its generalist competitors – and many niche boards will continue to have deeper and more active databases, at least for the near future. But the move will further destabilize the online recruiting industry – a sector that is already reacting to social media and cloud startups, contracting recruiting budgets, and a lingering recession.

Competitively, I think it’s a great move on Indeed’s part – one that had been long anticipated. ‘Free’ is an irresistible lure for recruiters (as it was 5 years ago for job boards), and many will migrate to Indeed simply because of that. Then, one day, they’ll wake up (as job boards did) and realize that they are now paying for what once was free.

How does that old saying by Santayana go? – “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Yep. What he said.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. gregg

    Good analysis Jeff. So in the end, is it a game of pacman? Everyone saying their strategy is xxx when in fact it is to get the recruitment revenue stream.

  2. Job Board Doctor

    It does seem that way, doesn’t it?

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