5 values that helped Indeed become the world’s #1 job site*
A decision back in 2004 to build a site focused on job seekers above all else fundamentally changed the way people get jobs.
With Indeed, job seekers could now find every available job with a simple “What” and “Where” search, saving lots of time and effort in an already daunting and frustrating process. Our first slogan summed it up perfectly: “One search. All jobs.”
Since then, we haven’t forgotten the principles that got us here, which starts with putting those who need us most at the forefront of our thought process.
“It’s a rare situation these days to have a company focused on the smallest or quietest voice,” Director of Job Seeker Search Quality Operations, Mike Morrison says of Indeed’s first defining value.
As we’ve grown into an industry leader, we’ve defined 5 core values that have helped us grow to where we are today and will continue to guide us as we look to change the way people get jobs in the future.
Job Seeker First
The job seeker first value is the foundation of our simple, but powerful mission statement: We help people get jobs, worn proudly across the chests of Indeedians around the globe.
This value was ingrained in our CEO, Chris Hyams from the time he started at Indeed ten years ago.
“My first real experiences at Indeed of seeing this value in action started within the first week or two after I started in 2010. The Search Quality team (which had just been formed) made a decision to remove a specific job board from our search results. The job board in question was spending what, at that time, was quite a bit of money with Indeed. But it was very clear that they provided an extremely poor job seeker experience,” he recalls.
Our CTO, Andrew Hudson, explained to him at the time that we were less concerned about the revenue impact than the experience for job seekers.
“At most companies, revenue trumps everything else. But this was an incredibly powerful illustration of walking the walk of putting the job seeker experience above all else.”
You can see this value in action in how our products have evolved. We started as a search engine, followed by the creation of our Search Quality organization to ensure that only the best jobs show up on Indeed. Many products that followed have strived to put the job seeker first, including Indeed Resume, Company Pages and Indeed Apply.
Fast-forward to the launch of new features aimed at helping job seekers impacted by COVID-19, including the #readytowork hashtag that allows job seekers to alert employers of their immediate availability for any job. This was just one of many decisions we’ve made recently to ensure that the basics of what we do work better than ever in our current world.
“Putting Job Seekers First has given us a clear roadmap,” Indeed’s CEO says. “If there is a job out there, it needs to be on Indeed. If there is a job on Indeed, it needs to be from a real employer who is actively hiring right now. We need to know everything we can about every job and every job seeker to create the best match possible. These things are even more critical today than they have ever been.”
This value is represented symbolically in our offices across the world. As a reminder to always give the job seeker a seat at the table, we have an empty orange chair in every conference room.
UX Research Director, David Yeats discusses how our UX team helps build the job seeker first value into our products.
Listen: Chris Hyams details how our value of putting job seekers first helped Indeed differentiate itself in a challenging marketplace, the obstacles of protecting and policing those who use their site, and why taking risks and being resilient has provided dividends in this recent Mission Daily podcast.
Pay for Performance
Some may ask “why is a business model a core value?”
Director of US Marketing, Carmen Bryant explains, “Our pay for performance value is very similar to our putting the job seeker first value. It’s the mirror image of that. It’s really how we demonstrate value to customers.”
“The most vivid example is when the employer actually makes a hire. That’s the best time for us to get paid because it aligns the value that we deliver to the customer with our first value of helping job seekers,” Chief Operating Officer, Dave O’Neill adds.
“When we create hires, both sides win, and that really should be the ultimate objective.”
Indeed has always prioritized aligning customer value with how we make money. When our co-founders Rony Kahan and Paul Forster decided to put job seekers first, they also built a pay-for-performance business model that ensured Indeed would only get paid when we delivered value to our clients.
Check out this article from Business Insider about the early days at Indeed.
“If you think about how decisions are made at any company and how people act, it’s driven by, more than anything else, the bottom line,” says Chris Hyams. “If the primary source of revenue is driven by something that’s delivering value to our customers, that’s unbelievably important.”
In fact, as we constantly re-imagine how to further align ourselves with customer outcomes, getting closer to the hire using a pay-per-hire model is a top priority.
The bottom line is we want there to be no ambiguity about how we reach our bottom line.
General Manager of Enterprise, Maggie Hulce says, “The message that it sends to employers is we want to get paid when we deliver value and we don’t want to get paid when we don’t.”
Hear more from Maggie in the video below.
“If we can measure it, then we can improve it.” This is something our leadership team says often. We test and measure as much as we can, which means conducting hundreds of A/B tests throughout the company every year, constantly evaluating what search terms job seekers are using and what they’re clicking on when looking for jobs, along with a whole lot more data-driven experiments.
For the past decade, Indeed also has been ramping up our ability to measure hires. In 2019, our Hired Signal Team was created to work with Employer and Job Seeker teams to count individual hires throughout Indeed.
Read the stories of millions of job seekers who found their jobs on Indeed.
“One thing that being data-driven means to me is being able to trust that our data is accurate and reliable and also be able to identify ownership for a particular data source,” Amy Westmoreland, Product Scientist on the Hired Signal Team, says. “One challenging thing about data is it doesn’t always tell you things that you want to hear, but it’s helpful to be open to sticking to the original hypothesis and letting that drive your decision making.”
“We all have ideas, some of which we think are great, some of which prove not to be great, and I think it teaches us to be humble in our approach to problem solving and let the results speak for themselves,” COO, Dave O’Neill, adds.
Watch: Dave O’Neill talks with Indeed’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, about the economic impact of COVID-19 on jobs and the global economy.
Indeed is a future-focused company. With new competitors popping up all the time, it’s essential for our survival. To us, it’s about not being afraid to fail.
“Innovation is about trying lots of risky things with high probabilities of failure, but when they succeed, the payoff is one hundred or a thousand fold,” says Senior Product Director, Brendan Stern.
One major way we have fostered and institutionalized innovation at Indeed is through the Indeed Incubator, an initiative to encourage anyone at Indeed to find a better way of doing things. The Incubator created a formalized pipeline where Indeedians could pitch their new product ideas and receive funding and staffing to run the project, in hopes that it could become a full-fledged product.
“Although the Indeed Incubator is only a few years old, it has proved how ahead of the curve we are, in terms of vision, structure, team dynamics, and executive support,” says Lisa Besserman, Incubator Head of Program.
“Our team is not only committed to building next-generation products, but also fostering a culture of intrapreneurship and democratizing innovation across all Indeed offices around the world.”
Find out how an Associate Product Manager at Indeed went from being a new grad to pitching products through our Incubator program.
Possibly one of Incubator’s best success stories has been Indeed Hiring Events. Within two years of launching, the Hiring Events team facilitated more than 20,000 events, 15,000 of which were in 2019 alone. The Incubator team was also at the forefront of our Hire Now initiative that supported hiring surges for essential industries in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
Indeed Incubator stands on the shoulders of Indeed University, which launched in 2015 with the mission to empower new hires out of college to prototype ideas.
Read about one of Indeed University’s early success stories: Job Spotter.
We also realized innovation can take many forms, one of which is shaping how we work cross-culturally. When we opened the Tokyo engineering office in 2013, one of the most challenging aspects for employees there was learning to accept failure, a tenet of innovation which runs counter to Japanese culture.
“The team was very sensitive to deploying new features or new code that was not perfect or not validated yet,” says Indeed Hire Group Manager Graham Davis. “We needed to help the team understand how to fail faster and be OK with failure — just do it as quickly as possible so you can learn what you need to learn and move on, and ultimately build the thing that works.” The Tokyo team went on to innovate Company Pages and successfully launch our Salaried product.
Find out how Indeed is innovating to make the interview process a seamless virtual experience in this ‘Here to Help’ interview with Director of Product Management, Ryan Arroyo.
Inclusion and Belonging
The notion of inclusion emerged organically inside Indeed, first as employee-led Affinity Groups dating back several years before being formalized as Inclusion Resource Groups (IRGs) in 2016. IRGs started under the banner of a newly dedicated Inclusion team, which was recently changed to Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (DI&B) when current VP of DI&B, LaFawn Davis, took charge of the program last year.
Watch members of our Inclusion Resource Groups discuss why DI&B is important to them.
Under LaFawn’s leadership, we have aggressively grown the DI&B team, released Indeed’s diversity data for the first time this year, made a commitment to the accessibility of Indeed’s products and services, and launched the Product Advisory Council to ensure our products are created and tested with a diverse set of perspectives.
Listen to LaFawn talk with Chris Hyams about what living the value of Inclusion & Belonging looks like to her.
Additionally, knowing there are biases and barriers in the hiring process means using our technology to help reduce bias and lower barriers to employment for underrepresented populations in our pursuit of helping all job seekers.
“The reason why I came to Indeed is to impact the world by helping people get jobs. I fundamentally believe that is life changing,” says LaFawn.
“We can accomplish this by removing bias and barriers, and that means making sure that our workforce reflects the diversity of communities where we operate, making sure we have an unbiased recruiting process, continuing our commitment to equal pay and promotion opportunities, removing barriers to entry by hiring people with nontraditional backgrounds and helping other companies do the same.”
Today we have 10 IRGs with representation all over the world. We have since created identity months to celebrate each IRG on our #insideindeed Instagram, added executive sponsors to help leverage IRGs as true business resources, and recently added our newest group for Parents and Caregivers.
Hear VP of Client Success, Glenda Kirby discuss being executive sponsor of our Women at Indeed IRG in the video below.
Together, these values drive us forward to ensure every job seeker has an equal opportunity to find the right job for them.
Want to learn more about Indeed and the people behind the world’s number one job site*? Check out our #insideindeed culture blog.
*Comscore, Total Visits, March 2020 .