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Indeed tips its hand: what big budget ads really mean

IndeedRemember when LinkedIn used to say it wasn’t a job board? Oh, wait – I guess they still do. Yet if you ask a room of HR professionals that question, the answer is crystal clear: “Of course LinkedIn is a job board!”

Well, I would argue that Indeed is going through something similar. Launched in 2004, the site for many years defined what a job aggregator was: a site that aggregated the majority of its jobs from job boards, and generated the majority of its revenue from those same job boards (and don’t get me started on why job boards ever allowed this in the first place!). Then about 3 years ago, things began to change: job boards were dropped from the site, and in their place was job content scraped directly from employer web sites. A bit later, the reason became clear: the Indeed sales team was calling on employers directly, selling their PPC services to job board clients.

Then Indeed added resumes, and a few months ago, they launched major market television campaigns in the U.K. and the U.S. Does this sound like some other major sites that tend to call themselves job boards?

Um, yes.

If you’re running TV ads and your sales team is targeting every employer in North America, you’re a job board. You may use aggregation as the method for acquiring your job content, but the traditional definition of aggregator no longer fits. Should the traditional definition should be retired? Maybe so. Of course, that leaves sites like Juju, Jobs2Careers, TopUSAJobs, etc. out in the cold.

Should job boards operating in markets outside North America expect Indeed to change its business model? Yes.

So get ready. Your current partner will soon be your biggest competitor.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. “expect Indeed to change its business model?”

    What else can Indeed change?
    They already have direct job posting, resume posting, resume search, job search.
    It’s hard to come up with something else that would make Indeed more of a job board.

  2. Like @ Dennis Gorelik mentioned before. Indeed does whatever an aggregator shouldn’t do. I get it, money, but Indeed sees it in his magic glasses.

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