Skip to content

Indeed layoffs and Recruit’s revenue – markers for the industry?

Indeed layoffs and Recruit's revenueBy now you’ve probably heard of the Indeed layoffs and Recruit’s revenue decline. If not: Indeed laid off 1000 employees on May 13, a cut of about 8% of the total workforce. This follows a layoff in March of 2023 of 2,200 jobs.  “I am sad to share the news that we have made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount through a layoff,” CEO Chris Hyams said in a letter to employees. “Unlike last year, where our reduction was driven by cost savings, we are taking this action because we need to simplify our organization to make it easier and faster for us to make decisions, and help us to more effectively grow revenue and hires.” He went on to say that the new layoffs were “mostly concentrated in the U.S. and are more focused on R&D (research and development) and some Go-to-Market teams.”


And Recruit? Well, the company that owns Indeed reports a drop of 4% in revenue for the 4th quarter ending March 31. The company pointed to drops in job postings on Indeed. It wasn’t all bad news for the company – revenue rose 2.5% in their operating segment focused on matching and solutions., which includes HR consulting and recruitment.


So what does it mean when the biggest job board in the world and one of the biggest staffing and recruiting companies in the world have not-so-good news? Hyams in particular focused on ‘sustainable growth’: “Despite our efforts so far, our organization is still too complex, we still have significant duplication of effort and too many organizational layers that slow down decision-making. ” In other words, the company is too damn big and complicated. Does that mean more rounds of layoffs are on the horizon? It kind of sounds like it. And Recruit is not forecasting significant growth overall, either. For the full year 2024 they are forecasting anywhere from down 3.4% to up 2.4%.

What are the identified (by Indeed and Recruit) factors contributing to these issues? Too many employees. Too much organizational complexity. A downward hiring market.  Why am I breaking these out? Because I’m trying to decide if what is happening to Indeed and Recruit is going to happen to the rest of the job board world.

Here’s what I think (for what it’s worth!). The only factor that affects the rest of the market is a downward hiring market. It can be argued that in fact what we have is an uneven hiring market – still more jobs than people, but a continued mismatch (both in skills and geographic location) between people and jobs. That’s why some job boards are having a great year, and some are not.

Notice what Indeed and Recruit aren’t mentioning? They aren’t mentioning AI, or any other kind of technology challenges. They aren’t mentioning competitors (you can do that when you’re the biggest!). And they aren’t mentioning past missteps (such as PPA and price increases). Other job boards, large and small, have managed to embrace AI, compete effectively, and avoid missteps. No one’s perfect, of course, but it seems to me that for the past decade Indeed has been driven to grow at all costs. Somewhere along the way it morphed from the lean, effective competitor it was pre-Recruit, to a typical very large company, with all the foibles that entails. They’ve been successful enough to cover other failures at Recruit – the cost of being the shining subsidiary.

To their credit, they seem to be addressing their failures – so hats off to the management. Is it too little, too late? Hard to say. LinkedIn continues to grow, as does Seek, Stepstone, and upstarts like Upwork. Is being part of Recruit still a benefit – or a challenge? Again, hard for me to say.

But I’m pretty confident that Indeed layoffs and Recruit’s revenue woes are not an indicator of a job board implosion. Instead, they are providing opportunities for competitors to grow and take market share. It should be fun to watch!

[Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.].

[Check out the JobBoardGeek podcast archive!]

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top