Category Archives: Technology

3173Gregg in oil fields of TexasEngineering

From the oil field to Indeed: How I Became A…Search Quality Strategist

Search Quality Strategist, Gregg Stephens, shares his unlikely career journey from searching for oil and gas in Texas to helping candidates search for jobs on Indeed.
Gregg playing guitar

Gregg showing off his guitar skills

Gregg Stephens is a Search Quality Strategist in Search Quality (known internally as SQUALL), the team that helps ensure the job search experience on Indeed is relevant and of high quality to both the candidate and employer. He’s an avid traveler and awards points hacker, using points to travel the world.

In this installment of “How I Became A…”, Gregg shares his unlikely career journey from searching for oil and gas fields to helping candidates search for jobs on Indeed and how he’s continuing to learn and develop his career.

Gregg’s background makes him a modern-day renaissance man, having worked as an EMT in high school, taught scuba diving while earning a double major in Journalism and Geological Sciences from Ohio University, only to use his degrees to play as a classically trained finger-style guitarist. 

He eventually worked his way back into oil and gas exploration before taking some time off to research geochemistry and earthquakes for the State of Texas and eventually joining Indeed in May 2018. So just how does a person with Gregg’s skillset end up at Indeed?

A career as a geologist on the rocks 

In the spring of 2018, Gregg was a geologist looking to leave the top geoscience research institute in the world, with his resume detailing exactly how technical and data-heavy his work experience was. 200 job applications later without one single interview, he was stuck. Confident that he could do the job, but unable to even compete for it. His own miscalculation?

Gregg in the Oil Fields

Working in the oil & gas fields of Texas

“I assumed recruiters saw geoscience data the same as tech data. A conceptual truth, but I missed the mark thinking that everyone saw the interchangeable skills that I saw,” Gregg said.

“I had all the confidence in the world that I could be a major contributor in tech, but it meant nothing without someone on the inside knowing what I knew how to do as well. There is no substitute for networking, and the best time to start is yesterday.”

He finally broke into tech when his now-wife made a post on Indeed’s internal social media page asking for advice on his behalf. 

Ironically, It was seen by a fellow geologist who was looking to return to geology. Shortly after they forged their relationship, he broke his interview drought and interviewed with his future boss, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Picking up pebbles of information along your journey

Gregg and Ash at an Indeed Holiday Party

Gregg and his wife Ash (also an Indeedian!)

While his journey to Indeed may be unconventional, the skills he picked up along the way have helped him tremendously in his role here at Indeed. He’s a product strategist, specializing in personalized advertising, so he needs to know jobseekers better than they know themselves.

He helps ensure that the ads and emails we deliver are relevant, high quality, and bring you back to Indeed. 

This isn’t an easy task; on any given day, he looks at hundreds of thousands of data points in the past to a) figure out why individuals engaged the way they did, and then b) use that to predict what they’ll want to see tomorrow.  

How does a background in geological sciences and journalism help with anything to do with job seekers?

“I’m a staunch proponent of three-dimensional thinking. SQL and python skills are great for mapping data, but the mapping concepts make more sense when I’ve also reverse-engineered outcrops by tying X-ray fluorescence & spectral gamma-ray signatures into spatially-adjacent drilling logs,” Gregg shared. 

“Geology isn’t the roadside outcrop you’re looking at; it’s the physical, mathematical, and three-dimensional possibilities through time. It’s creating hypotheses from the probability of each outcome. It’s testing, learning, and adjusting to what works – exactly like my job here at Indeed.”

Be boulder and ask for help.

Gregg didn’t get to where he is now all on his own, and says that one of the best resources in professional development is a mentor. 

Gregg poses outside an Indeed office in Austin

Gregg poses outside an Indeed office in Austin

“My mentor is not just someone who I can learn from as they grow; by speaking up and stating what I wanted to accomplish, my mentor was able to help mold my work philosophy into a leadership philosophy,” he said. “That knowledge, support, and belief in my aspirations to grow and manage that business is why I’m currently earning my MBA through Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.”

That said, working with some of the brightest minds is also an invaluable resource.

“There’s no better way to perform at the top of your game than to work with people whose brain power constantly pushes you to your limits,” Gregg shared. “Between my team, the product managers we support, commercialization, and operational leadership, there are no off-days. I have to bring my A-game every day because the standard of performance is simply that high.”

Don’t take hard work for granite

Lastly, and he cannot stress this enough, being dedicated to your craft is an absolute must. 

“Being obsessive about my work is the passport that’s allowed me to move between industries. Prior to academia, my standard workweek was 96 hours on a drilling rig. This was great to capitalize on my ‘normal,’ which was how I became a published scientific author at the University of Texas in one year with no prior research experience,” he says.

“You don’t need to work 100 hours a week, but the opportunities that arose from always being the hardest worker in the office are how I get here today.”

Gregg working by the pool

Work hard, play hard.

The most rewarding aspect of his job is the jobseeker feedback and knowing someone has found employment via Indeed.com. 

I don’t say that lightly; we must have jobseekers critique our work. Alternatively, there’s no better motivation to get better than ‘Gregg, you missed the mark’. When the bar is set so high, there’s no better way to improve than to check your work against the real thing. Feedback gives us the ability to invest in our successes and fix our shortcomings.”

Read more Indeedian stories on our #insideindeed culture blog.

 

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2941Career Growth

From Nigeria to Texas: How I Became A… Product Scientist at Indeed

In this 'How I Became A....', Adesewa Adegoke details her journey from University to Integration Engineer and what led her on the path to being a Product Scientist at Indeed.

Adesewa in front of a living wall

Adesewa Adegoke is a Product Scientist at Indeed Austin. She uses numbers to help deliver products, and ensures that they launch and run smoothly. She’s a twin, and loves listening to music and imagining doing really cool dance moves, but says she’s not a good dancer.

In our next installment of ‘How I Became A….’, she walks us through her incredible journey of becoming a Product Scientist and how her hard work and preparation met opportunity to bring her to Indeed.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Adesewa was never particularly drawn to computers as a kid. The little interaction she had with computers was in high school for an arts class where she got to do simple designs using Corel Draw, but to her this was more work than fun.

“It was my Dad who encouraged me to major in Computer Science, because he said it was the future. I just knew I had to do it well,” she explains.

Even though Adesewa was a bit unsure, she knew she had to give it her best effort. She went on to study Computer Science as an undergraduate at Covenant University in Ota, Nigeria, and later began to actually fall in love with her programming classes. She was fascinated by the concept of writing code, and the fact that you can watch the code do what you’ve laid out for it.

Adesewa selfie in an outdoor setting

After graduating, she worked as an Integration Engineer for the next 4.5 years. It was during that time she started hearing more and more folks talk about opportunities in “big data.” She was curious, and after doing her research, soon realized it was something she wanted to pursue.

Adesewa decided to take a big leap towards her dream and moved across the world to attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There she received her Masters in Information Systems Management, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. 

“I loved certain aspects of business intelligence and data analytics, but knew that I didn’t want to just solely focus on the numbers,” she recalls. “I wanted to use those numbers towards delivering tech products.” 

While in grad school she spent a lot of time on Indeed.com searching for internships. In fact, she visited the site so often she was inspired to develop an Indeed mobile app as a way to practice her skills, not knowing an opportunity was approaching around the corner.

Her university soon hosted a career fair for students where Indeed recruiters would be in attendance. She had the opportunity to bring up the backstory of how she developed the app in her spare time as a personal project. 

Adesewa and team in Alaska for a conference

At the KDD conference in Alaska

“It was definitely the best conversation I’ve ever had with a recruiter. They were actually interested in what I had to say,” she says.

Her proactiveness paid off. It was at the same career fair where she also got the chance to meet some of the Indeed Business Intelligence team, and it wasn’t long before she received an opportunity to join the team as a Business Intelligence Analyst. After just a few months of showcasing her skills, she was able to move into her role now as Product Scientist.

“A lot of Product Scientists are proactive people, they’re not people who lay back and watch things happen, but rather stand up and look for that opportunity and go for it,” Adesewa explains in a video about her team and what makes them successful.

As a Product Scientist at Indeed, her role supports product owners and product managers from ideation, product strategy, execution, as well as experimentation, to the actual launch of products. To sum it up, she ensures that Indeed products will launch and run smoothly. She focuses on statistics and machine learning.

Learn more from Adesewa and other Product Scientists at Indeed about building the team and what makes them successful in the video below.

But even though she’s found success and solid footing at Indeed, it wasn’t always easy. Early on, she struggled with an internal battle she now identifies as imposter syndrome.

“You’re surrounded by so many smart people, and sometimes you forget that you’re smart, you’re there, because you’re smart. Imposter syndrome is a real thing,” she says.

Bike riding with a part of the Product and Data Science team in 2019

“There have been times when things were not so great and I just told myself, I’m at that low point. But just give it some time, a month from now, a few weeks from now, things will definitely not be the same.” she recalls telling herself.

In spite of the need for some internal pep talks every now and then, she loves that her role is not monotonous and that she gets the opportunity to work on many different projects using different tools, solving different problems.

She looks back on her journey so far and feels proud that she worked on so many different projects that she’s always wanted to do, while staying on her toes and continuing to learn and grow. 

Adesewa in front of graffiti mural

She’s also come full circle as she’s currently mentoring a PhD graduate student on a similar path she was on years ago. It’s super meaningful to her because she can now share knowledge and help others walk the path that she helped blaze at Indeed. 

“Providing the help you wish you had, makes someone else’s journey a whole lot better. You’re equipping them for a better journey to make the right decisions,” she says.

“If I could do something differently, it would probably be to doubt myself a lot less.”

 

Some advice she has for others is to be open to information and stay curious about what’s happening in your industry. She believes information is power. Use your research to guide your job search, to identify what job titles/roles to go after and what companies align with your ambitions. 

Adesewa and team at an outdoor event

Fun times bonding with the Product Science team (pre-covid)

“Remember that life is indeed about ups and downs, but if you try not to be short sighted and know how to look toward the future, things will work out!”

 

For more stories on #insideindeed, follow us on our Instagram and Facebook pages and read more on our culture blog. To learn more about the perks & benefits Indeed has to offer, click here.

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2931Rani holds up the Indeed mobile appInclusion

How I help make Indeed’s mobile app more accessible

Rani Cohen shares her story of seeing an opportunity to put her passion for being an ally for the Deaf-Blind community to work, helping make Indeed’s mobile app more accessible.
Rani showing off the Indeed mobile app

Rani Cohen, Client Success Specialist – NYC

Rani Cohen shares her story of seeing an opportunity to put her passion for being an ally for the Deaf-Blind community to work, helping make Indeed’s mobile app more accessible.

Rani started with Indeed in August 2019 and is a part of the Client Success Dedicated Team in New York City. She got involved with the Access Indeed Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) in late 2019.

As a Client Success Specialist at Indeed, I work closely with Account Executives to help Employers with their hiring needs by providing strategic advice to help them make their next hire. I help answer questions about Indeed’s products and services, troubleshoot technical issues and provide suggestions for optimizing job advertisements.

My affinity for the Deaf-Blind community started during my previous job. I moved through many different roles and titles but always was involved with accessibility. I was inspired by a customer who is Deaf-Blind and works for the Helen Keller National Center. She was coming to us for guidance about how to use VoiceOver on her smartphone to be more independent. I worked with that client and another one of my colleagues for the better part of 6 years.

Throughout my tenure at my previous job, I made sure to leave time to do Accessibility work. I’m self-taught when it comes to the VoiceOver feature. I wanted to take the time to understand it myself to best teach the functionality, so I sought out resources and practiced in my spare time. I also took an ASL class so that I could better support any Deaf customers who came into our store. During that time, I became more familiar with VoiceOver and the challenges that the Deaf-Blind, Deaf, and Blind communities face in the workforce.

Working with the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Blind communities gave me a unique perspective on what challenges those communities face. This ignited my passion for accessibility and making sure to focus on removing all obstacles in the way. I’m super grateful for the people I met who helped guide me and pushed me to take the time and learn about this technology.

During that time I made a Deaf-Blind friend who is a technology whiz with his own tech blog. When I told him I was going to work for Indeed, he said he had challenges using our app while he was searching for his jobs using VoiceOver.

This knowledge inspired me to join Access Indeed, an Inclusion Resource Group at Indeed (IRG) dedicated to identifying and addressing issues that come with visible and non-visible disabilities in the workplace, to try to see how I could get involved in Indeed’s accessibility work. I’m really not okay with things being “just accessible enough”. I believe that we should remove as many obstacles as possible so we really can help all people get jobs!

An Opportunity to Help 

Rani showing off her Apple watch

Rani sporting a piece of her favorite technology

One day I was in the Access Indeed IRG Slack channel and saw one of Indeed’s, Senior Design Technologist asking if any of the members know anyone who uses assistive technologies day-to-day, such as screen readers, Zoom capabilities or dedicated software, Braille devices, speech input software, etc. because she was working to make indeed.com compliant with new web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.1). I hesitated for a bit before replying that while I am not a Blind user, I have some experience using VoiceOver on iOS.

Now, I’m currently working with Indeed’s Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging team as part of a cross-functional accessibility initiative to help troubleshoot the VoiceOver functionality. What I do is enable VoiceOver on my iPhone and just go through the Indeed app as if I were a job seeker looking for a job. What I’ll do is report things that are not announced correctly.

For example, the back button should simply say “Back Button,” but it used to announce “Blue Chevron, maybe, back button.”

Little things like that can be super overwhelming for a Blind user if the announcements are wrong, or too long, or just plain confusing. I do all this in my spare time when I am not doing my regular Client Success responsibilities, simply because I am passionate about it and want to help. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to contribute to this development.

I really want to see more awareness around accessibility-related bias in the hiring process. After working with Helen Keller National Center, I witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to be a Deaf-Blind individual looking for work. We should be so aware of this and do everything we can to make this better, being the largest job site in the world.

I think this work can help Indeed stay true to its mission to be the best place to find a job for all people by creating access for anyone using a screen reader to connect with future employers.

Find out more about Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Indeed.

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2741Technology

Here to Help: How Indeed’s HR took charge in times of uncertainty

Paul Wolfe, Indeed’s Senior Vice President of HR, describes the beginning of what we now know as a pandemic, and the challenges he faced while taking charge of keeping everyone focused on our mission...

Formal headshot of Indeed SVP, Paul WolfeIn this podcast, Chris Hyams, Indeed CEO, speaks with Paul Wolfe, Senior Vice President of HR, about how Indeed has been responding to and managing the effects of the pandemic as it has unfolded. 

Paul Wolfe, Indeed’s Senior Vice President of HR, describes the beginning of what we now know as a pandemic, and the challenges he faced while taking charge of keeping everyone focused on our mission: 

“The whole experience has been mentally taxing. Our jobs have changed. It’s no longer just what we’re doing from an HR or people perspective.”

He said: “It is day-to-day, hour-after-after, decision-after-decision, with sometimes not great or not a lot of information as we are still learning about Covid-19, the new protocols and advice coming out each time. Adapting is the best word to describe it, but there’s mental fatigue dealing with it every day.”

He added the senior leadership team made sure to keep in touch with employees and ensured that they were supported the right way, in addition to closing the office.

“We were careful in our communications, and we let our employees know as much as we could. We were transparent without breaching confidentiality, and without divulging and sharing confidential information. Medical choices are personal choices. We don’t always know what’s going on,” Paul shared.

“We need to be as transparent as possible, as it’s not only impacting the business but also impacting people’s lives… and that’s a scary thing.”

Paul also talks about the relationships that have been built, the people at Indeed and how they have responded to uncomfortable situations.

“There are a group of amazing people who have worked bizarre hours, crazy days and weekends and done things they never thought they had to do and have pivoted to do whatever they could,” Paul said. 

“This whole pandemic, for companies and people… you truly see people and their core when they are dealing with a crisis. You have a deeper appreciation of people around you.”

To find out more on how Indeed managed to stay focused in times of uncertainty, listen to the rest of the podcast here:

We’re hoping this series will give you a little insight into some of the learnings Indeed has gathered so you can learn from our experiences. We’re here to help. You can watch our Here to Help series trailer to see how Indeed is navigating through the complexities of working at home.

Learn more from Paul Wolfe about leading with vulnerability. For more Indeedian stories check out our #insideindeed culture blog.

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2616Technology

From Marketer to Product Manager and New Dad – Hear Jon’s Tips for Both Roles

Product Manager Jon Clemons shares his ideation process, how he developed the Indeed Resume Maker app (履歴書作成-インディード) and his experience working #insideindeed Tokyo.

Jon Clemons is a Product Manager at Indeed Tokyo. He walks us through his ideation process and how he developed the Indeed Resume Maker app (履歴書作成-インディード), his challenges and life #insideindeed Tokyo.

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Jon is part of the Product team at Indeed and has extensive experience in product and growth throughout his career. He moved to Tokyo in his third year of college and has been there ever since. He has a passion for coding and enjoys having conversations and discussions about design.

If you’re curious to find out about what it’s like being a product manager in the tech industry, or have ideas you would love to bring to life, this episode of our Culture Matters podcast may be an interesting listen for you. 

“Having come to Japan, when I was in college, I worked part-time jobs and I knew the resume format was different from the US. I saw that gap in the market in terms of the competing offerings out there, and there were some things I thought would be useful as well.” Jon shares his own experience on resume writing, and breaks down his ideation process of the Indeed Resume Maker in the Culture Matters podcast.

Author with family

“One of the shared points that most people bring up is that you have to be a good collaborator. Kind of like with the gratitude journal… when my wife handed the pen to me, I thought she was writing in her journal, and she suggested I write and we had a shared thing. You have to be open to similar feedback and suggestions from your team as a Product Manager. It’s a lot of collaboration and ideation together; and the great thing about that is that you get new ideas.” Jon shares in a podcast conversation with Inside Indeed.

Jon gives us insights into the working culture and what it takes to be successful in the Product team at Indeed.

In the interview, Jon also shares about failure, how to overcome it and advice on becoming a successful product manager

“If you ever wanted to start an idea or build something, but you’re not an engineer or a designer, I don’t think that it’s a hurdle to becoming a product manager. The most important thing is that you understand the discipline of product management, you do projects on the side and you make it known to people who would be potential mentors. The combination of all those things, the advice, the things you learn, the failures and your side projects will prepare you to be a really good product manager.” Jon shares.

Jon highlights the diversity of being a product manager, and the advantages of being able to connect and touch on different aspects of products and teams across the business.

“In meetings with Engineers, we’re talking about features and how to implement things. It’s a lot about breaking down big problems into really small tasks, and really small chunks and attacking it one by one. I can also jump into meetings with our UX Designers and we can do virtual whiteboarding.” Jon shared.

To find out more, listen to this episode of our Culture Matters podcast.

For more stories on #insideindeed, follow us on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

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