Online recruiting world domination: Indeed’s big plan

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Last week I looked at some of the bigger stories from 2016 – ranging from Facebook Jobs to Microsoft/LinkedIn. But I led off with Indeed’s move into tech staffing. Why? Because I actually think that it will have a more significant long term impact on the recruitment marketing industry than anything else in 2017 (yes, even AI!).

Then I thought, well, why not lay out Indeed’s master plan for world recruitment domination? It might be useful to you as a competitor, friend, or frenemy, after all. And of course, full disclosure: I don’t really know anyone at Indeed, no one there feeds me info (why would they, after all?), and the rest of this is just pure and utter speculation. Enough with the CYA!

Indeed is of course just part of Recruit, one of the world’s largest staffing and recruitment companies. Recruit has plenty of job boards besides Indeed – but it’s obvious that Indeed is leading the charge worldwide for the company – at least in recruitment marketing. So how does a very large job board plan to make the leap to complete world domination?

  1. Market expansion: Indeed continues its growth into non-North American markets at a relentless pace, following its original U.S. playbook: a) enter market and use job board content to build traffic; b) generate revenue by selling traffic back to job boards; c) after reaching critical mass, pivot to selling direct to employers and agencies. Although the plan depends on credulous job boards willing to work with Indeed in each new market, it continue to work. As they say, a sucker is born every day!
  2. Staffing: As noted here, Indeed is moving into tech staffing via their Indeed Prime service. Given its enormous mass of users and resumes, migrating this service to other verticals seems only logical. I suspect that any staffing category that is lucrative (for example, healthcare) will be targeted. Indeed is very, very good at executing on a plan, so I expect to see expansion into these new verticals sometime in 2017 – and, depending on the local environment, into non-U.S. markets as well.
  3. ATS: As many of you already know, getting deeper into the hiring ecosystem means that you’re harder to dislodge – and nothing is more integrated into an employer’s hiring process than their ATS. Indeed knows that, too. They’ve had a ‘light’ ATS for some time. An employer can use Indeed’s (free) ATS and (free) Indeed Apply function to promote (not free) their job. Then they track activity in the ATS, manage (not free) Indeed Resumes, and – well, you get the picture. Why would an employer use anything else? All Indeed needs to do is put some of its prodigious sales and marketing heft behind it – and they will leave much of the ATS world (at least that part targeting SMBs) in disarray.

So what’s missing? Well…Indeed still doesn’t have much of a brand, but they’re working to change that. They continue to dominate search engines (although that could change with the twist of an algorithm). If anything, I think the biggest potential challenge for Indeed might be its own success; companies that have grown into the #1 position often become victims of their own hubris (Monster, anyone).

There you have it: Indeed’s big plan. What do you think? Am I full of it – or on the money? Let me know!

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